Barry Gilson Memorial Fund

Pacific Opera Victoria Foundation is accepting donations to our Memorial Fund to recognize the life and work of Barry Gilson.

Barry Gilson was born March 10, 1957 and died peacefully March 21, 2021, age 64.

Maxime Goulet, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Glynis Leyshon, and Barry Gilson at The Flight of the Hummingbird Workshop in 2018. Photo by Nadia Zheng.

If you would like to celebrate Barry’s life and work with a donation, contributions may be made to the Pacific Opera Victoria Foundation Memorial Fund, Flight of the Hummingbird, in Honour of Barry Gilson.

All funds collected will support future productions of the Vancouver Opera in Schools and Pacific Opera Victoria’s Flight of the Hummingbird.

In this enchanting opera, the animals of the forest are inspired to come together by Dukdukdiya, the Hummingbird, to save their beautiful home from a raging fire.

Barry Gilson was co-librettist and co-designer, with Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, of The Flight of the Hummingbird, a new opera for young audiences, co-commissioned and co-produced by Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera.

Barry was born and raised in Thorne, South Yorkshire, England. His ancestors are thought to be Viking, but his name can be traced back to the village of Kilmersdon in Somerset where Jack and Jill climbed the hill (Jill’s son = Gilson).

He was the principal of award-winning architectural interiors company RED Design. He was a highly experienced Operations Executive who demonstrated the ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a variety of highly competitive industries, cutting-edge markets and fast-paced environments. Barry had strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record of more than 35 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, business unit development, design, project management and facilities planning.

From his teenage years in musical theatre to roles as President of the Burnaby Art Gallery, founding member of a theatre company, and partner in Y Public Art with Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Barry made the arts a major part of his life.


Sara Schabas as Dukdukdiya (Hummingbird). The Flight of the Hummingbird 2020. Tim Matheson Photography

Simran Claire as Bunny. The Flight of the Hummingbird 2020. Tim Matheson Photography

Evan Korbut as Owl. The Flight of the Hummingbird 2020. Tim Matheson Photography