Baycourt Community & Arts Centre and Tauranga City Council are pleased to announce and welcome James Wilson as the new Baycourt Manager.
A highly respected figure in New Zealand’s performing arts and event management industry with more than 20 years of experience and knowledge, James joins Baycourt from Q Theatre in Auckland where he was Chief Executive since 2012.
Among his many achievements and accolades, James has also served on the executive board of the Performing Arts Network NZ – the peak body for performing arts producers, venues and festivals in Aotearoa – and chaired the organization from 2014–2018.
“I’m hugely excited to be joining the amazing team at Baycourt. It’s clear that Baycourt has played a starring role in the lives of so many people in Tauranga,” said James.
“I can’t wait to discover the stories, creativity and energy of the Bay of Plenty that make this such a great place to live and work.”
Originally from Maidenhead, South East England, James has worked in theatre since the age of 15, initially undertaking a stage management apprenticeship under Ray Cooney at the Whitehall Theatre in the West End.
He trained as a theatre director at Rose Bruford Drama School in Greenwich, South East London, and then worked for a variety of arts organisations in London, including the Lyric Hammersmith, Tate Modern and The Orange Tree Theatre.
It was at the Tate gallery where James met his wife Katie, who was on her O.E. in Europe. When Katie returned home to New Zealand, James made the trip with her, and he has called Aotearoa home since 2005.
In 2011, James joined Q Theatre as Executive Producer just as the doors opened to the public, before stepping up into the Chief Executive role the following year.
Under his leadership, Q Theatre was a four-time winner of the Entertainment Venues Association NZ award for best small venue in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. James also won the EVANZ Venue Executive of the Year Award, and the Supreme Venue Person Award, in 2017.
Prior to his work at Q Theatre, James was General Manager for Massive Theatre Company which works to create and tour New Zealand stories around Aotearoa.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know artists and audiences across Tauranga, and work with the team to continue to bring the best in arts and entertainment to the stages of Baycourt,” said James.
James takes over as Baycourt Manager from Megan Peacock Coyle who stepped down in July of this year to take up the position of Hawke's Bay Opera House and Arts Precinct Manager.