Peter Herrndorf, 1940-2023
Beautiful piece, Paul. I owe Peter my career. A huge presence and influence. We won't see his likes again.
A very eloquent tribute, Paul, beautifully written. Peter changed my life and those of many others.
Thank you Paul for a lovely piece that comes close to capturing what an enormously important and influential figure Peter was, and a mensch as well. I would add a small grace note on his uncanny ability to work with or around politicians - just as highlights he navigated TVO through most of the Harris years, forged a powerful tandem with the incredible Sheila Copps, and levered key Harper Ministers into the NAC makeover. I was at Canadian Heritage for seven years and had the pleasure of seeing Peter in action. I am glad I had the chance to spend a bit of time with him. He was one of the good guys and will be deeply missed.
Un géant. Merci pour cet hommage qui rend justice à l’importance de son œuvre.
Thank you for writing this Paul. We were all so lucky, any of us who stood in his light.
Thank you Paul for this beautiful memoir about a true hero for Canadian’s culture in all media including museums and personal Christmas cards.
Touching to hear the impact Peter had on you. I only met him briefly but the organization he led nurtured my passion for the arts and for Canada. I hope we can continue building on his vision.
Lovely! Thank you
A national treasure. A lion of Canadian culture. A remarkable tribute. Bon courage.
As an employee of 20 years who started in Accounts Payable and retired as the Managing Director, Operations, I witnessed the steady decline before Peter came onboard. There were so many factors that led to the decline, not the least of which was the government starving it. I’m in Sarah Jennings’ book, in a very sad episode in the Centre’s history. Ah, the skeletons ... when the book came out, Peter said he’d like to touch base with former employees; he never did.
Paul, thank you for this. He was a wonderful man who did so much for so many. He and Ian came up with the idea for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting (originally Friends of Public Broadcasting) over lunch at Le Papillon when Brian Mulroney decided to cut $400 million from the CBC's budget, and he never failed to call on Ian's birthday and sing Happy Birthday into the voicemail. Someone once introduced Peter at a large gathering where he had been invited to speak, saying: "There are 500 people here who each think they are Peter's best friend, and the 500 others are intensely jealous of them." Another line from that introduction was: "Peter never met a deputy minister he didn't like." We will miss him terribly.
And this is why I am so pleased that I am subscribing to you........
Very well said Paul. I had. Interactions with Peter in the era before the NAC when we were both volunteer chairs of professional theatre companies, he in Toronto, me in Vancouver. Resources were scarce. Collaboration was rare. Dealing with Peter was a joy. Everyone had to win or it wasn’t going to happen. A giant in so many ways. A lovely tribute.
Everyone should have a mentor like this. His kindness toward you was repaid with this loving piece.
What a beautiful tribute and a reminder what a passion and vision can do for Canada. A lovely story. Thanks.
Thank you for this tribute Paul. Fitting for the giant that Peter was. He had big plans, and realized them. But he never forgot that it was individuals who made things happen and he was kind and generous to a fault. I will miss him and extend my sincere condolences to Éva and his family and close friends who will feel his loss acutely.