Langara College: Antony Holland, founder of Studio 58, dies at 95

Antony Holland, founder of Studio 58, dies at 95

Vancouver, BC - Langara College recently lost a beloved member of our community. Antony Holland, Canadian theatre legend and founder of Studio 58, passed away on Wednesday July 29, at Nanaimo General Hospital in Nanaimo, BC. He was 95.

“Antony Holland was an inspiration to the entire theatre community.  His passion for acting, his incredible sense of humour and his depth of characterization gave students, professionals, and audiences unforgettable moments in the theatre,” said Kathryn Shaw, Artistic Director, Studio 58.

Holland, one of Canada’s most acclaimed actors, was the founder of Langara’s nationally recognized Theatre Arts program, Theatre Arts at Studio 58. While he officially retired in 1985, Holland continued to support Studio 58 operations by acting, directing, and mentoring students.

“Antony was in love with theatre and he spread his love for his art with generosity and dedication. I am most grateful that in 1965 he had a vision for training Canadian actors, which was the germ of Studio 58, the Professional Theatre Training Program at Langara College. He made the theatre scene in Canada richer through his commitment to training and through his memorable performances. Antony never ‘retired’. He kept working and creating up to the very end. He showed us how full and rich a life can be. We were lucky to have him with us for so long,” added Shaw.

He is the recipient of three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (two for Best Performance as a Lead Actor and Lifetime Achievement distinction), the Sam Payne Award for Humanity, Integrity and Encouragement of New Talent, and the Union of BC Performers Award of Excellence. He is also an inductee of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame.

On June 30, 2014, Holland was named as a Member of the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. The proclamation recognized Holland for his achievements as an actor and a teacher, as well as “notably for founding Langara College’s Studio 58 to cultivate the next generation of Canadian performers.”

Originally from England, Holland was one of the last surviving veterans of the desert war in Egypt during WWII. His fascinating career includes a decade as vice-principal at the legendary Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – founded by Sir Laurence Olivier in 1946. He relocated to Canada in 1957, and became a pioneer of theatre in BC. He has appeared in countless movies and television series, and acted on professional stages for over 60 years. Holland's legendary Studio 58 performance as King Lear has only been eclipsed by his role as ‘Morrie’ in the 2011 stage adaptation of Tuesdays with Morrie, seen by more than 45,000 people across the country. 

About Studio 58

Studio 58 began as a small Theatre Arts course in 1965 and classes were first held on the King Edward Campus of Vancouver Community College. The department moved to new facilities on the Langara Campus in 1970 and began to be known as Studio 58 (referring to the room number of the theatre space). Kathryn Shaw is the current Artistic Director of Studio 58. She was preceded by Antony Holland who was Artistic Director from 1965 to 1985. Jane Heyman from 1985-2005 was the Associate Director, a position now held by David Hudgins. The school operates its own theatre and presents 4 full-length and 2 indie-style productions annually. Professional directors and designers are hired to work on each production. Studio 58 productions are open to the public and reviewed by the Vancouver media.

About Langara
Located in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada, Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 21,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara's expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path.

Learn more.

Kathryn Shaw
Artistic Director, Studio 58
Langara College
604.323.5654  |

Mark Dawson
Communications Officer
Communications & Marketing
604.323.5702  |



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