Hispanic awards honour Leslievillian

hispanicLeslieville resident and opera impresario Guillermo Silva-Marin was named one of Canada’s 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians in a gala ceremony on Nov. 19.

In what was described as a “Dancing with the Stars” style competition, Silva-Marin was one of 20 nominees selected by a panel of journalists and executives. The 600 people in attendance at the gala then ranked the finalists. Their votes were combined with those of the judges to determine the winners.

Silva-Marin arrived in Canada from Puerto Rico in 1969. Since then, he has been advancing the interpretative arts in Canada: he founded and was general director of the Toronto Operetta Theatre in 1985, and has served as the general director of Opera in Concert, founder and artistic director of the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, and lecturer, stage director, and interim director of Opera McGill at McGill University.

In addition, he has been an active participant in music education, teaching Spanish diction at the Royal Conservatory of Music and lecturing on interpretative studies at York University.

Silva-Martin has also won the Canada Council for the Arts award and the Chalmers award, and has been recognized by the Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico. He has performed with the NYC Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the Casals Festival, the Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the Cincinnati Opera, the Toronto Symphony, and Ireland’s Cork Opera. Downtown dance company leader Esmeralda Enrique was also named one of Canada’s 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians.

Canada’s 750,000 Hispanics are the country’s third largest minority group.