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The Globe and Mail

Manitoba Theatre for Young People founder fired after 30 years

Leslee Silverman

Leif Norman

Manitoba Theatre for Young People has fired its founder and artistic director.

Leslee Silverman had been with the organization for 30 years.

Recently, the company has been in financial trouble, amassing debt of about $1.5 million.

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However, president Gloria Koop says the organization's financial situation isn't linked to the decision to let Silverman go.

Koop says that decision was a difficult one to make, adding the company is in a time of reorganization.

On its website, the theatre company lauds Silverman as a national leader in Canadian theatre for young audiences.

In 2003, she was the first recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council Arts Award of Distinction recognizing "the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements by a professional Manitoba artist."

The theatre's mission statement is to produce professional theatre for children and youth, and provide training "that is accessible to people of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds."

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