Bob Barton

Bob BartonBob began his teaching career in Hamilton in 1959. He taught drama to grade 6, 7, and 8 students then transferred to the secondary school panel. Between 1966 and 1968 he conducted pilot courses in dramatic arts, grades 9 and 10, for the Ontario Curriculum Institute. Later he became a language arts and drama consultant for the Hamilton Board of Education and then the North York Board of Education. In 1973 he joined the Ontario Ministry of Education as an arts consultant. During his years in the Ministry he initiated the development of the support document Drama in the Formative Years, formed the steering committee to gain recognition for dance in the curriculum and chaired the Ministry Arts Group which developed the Arts Discussion Paper and Arts Action Paper for Ontario Schools. Bob is one of the original members of CODE and has given many workshops at CODE over the years. He considers CODE to be one of the most important influences in his work as a drama educator. In 1989, Bob left the Ministry of Education to devote his time to storytelling and writing. He works as an artist in schools with Prologue to the Performing Arts and the Writers Union of Canada - “Writers-in-the-Schools” program. Bob is a course instructor with the Additional Qualifications course – Dramatic Arts Intermediate Basic at OISE/UT. In 2002 Bob was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Royal Conservatory of Music.

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David Booth 

David BoothDavid Booth was one of the founders of CODE in the 1960's. During his career in education, he taught drama to grade 6, 7 and 8 students, became the drama consultant for Hamilton, and subsequently for the City of York in Toronto. He completed his graduate degree in England studying with Dorothy Heathcote and Gavin Bolton. In 1973, he began teaching at the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto, where he taught BEd drama courses, AQ drama courses, and later graduate courses in drama and the arts at OISE. He has been on the executive of CODE several times, and has spoken and given many workshops at CODE conferences during the last 50 years. A popular international speaker, David Booth has authored many books and articles on drama in education, and in 2006 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

Professor David Booth
May you rest in peace.

Thank you for your years of service and dedication to CODE.

See video, photo and written tributes to David Booth here.

Please consider honouring David's legacy by making a gift.

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Helen Dunlop

Helen Dunlop is often referred to as the “founding mother” of CODE. Helen’s strong sense of purpose, need, and vision contributed to the creation of the organization. In the mid 1960’s separate drama courses were finally introduced into the school curriculum. At this time, Helen was an assistant superintendent of curriculum. While drama courses were now being taught by people such as Bob Barton, Chuck Lundy, Marilynn Nixon, Bill Roberts, Margaret Shotliffe, and Michael Wilson, there was still a problem. There was no support for teachers! There was a great need to get all of the enthusiastic, imaginative, energetic people together so they could exchange ideas, develop through workshops and gain strength and moral support. This is where Helen was most instrumental in gathering folks together in 1970 to organize more formally. This led to the first official CODE conference which was held at Queen’s University in May of 1971. With the conference being such a success, an executive was chosen and CODE's first year (1970-1971) began our Drama journey.  Thank you Helen for your vision and passion.

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Sonja Dunn

Sonja Dunn

Former educator and drama consultant, Sonja is a poet, storyteller, television writer, producer, host and performer. She has been a CODE member since 1968 and has conducted workshops at CODE conferences for many years. She has written fiction and criticism, ten books of rhymes, raps and songs for children as well as short stories and poetry for the mainstream adult audience. She performs and reads her work internationally and has acted professionally and in community theatre.

Some Awards and Memberships: Council of Teachers of English Sister Maris Stella Award Banff School of Fine Arts Drama Award Canadian Children’s Book Centre First Choice Award Membership Writers’ Union of Canada Canadian League of Poets Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers Canadian Children’s Book Center Ontario Poetry Society

Sonja credits Bob Barton and David Booth for her work in drama in education, as well as performing and reading her works around the globe.

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Wayne Fairhead

Wayne FairheadWayne Fairhead has taught in the Arts, especially in the field of drama/theatre, at all levels - elementary, secondary and tertiary during his 35 years in education. He has been a director, adjudicator, writer and editor of Theatre for Young Audiences’ publications. Wayne has given keynotes and workshops around the world and has been a consistent voice for Canadian Arts, specifically Drama/Theatre in Education, around the globe.

Formerly a curriculum specialist with the City of York Board in Toronto (now the Toronto District School Board) , he has taught at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), York University and in the US at New York University's Study Abroad Educational Theatre Program in 1995.

He sat on the initial Advisory Board of the Ontario Arts Education Institute. As Chair of the Arts Education Council of Ontario(AECO), Wayne lobbied vigorously for the formation of this Institute. He was a member of the inaugural and subsequent Dora and Chalmers Awards for professional Theatre for Young Audiences’ Committees. He has been on the Board of Theatre Direct Canada for a decade.

Wayne has written and edited many publications including the Remove The Blindfold series and Concrete Daisy and Other Plays. His article "Establishment or Alternative: Two Canadian Models" appears in Learning Through Theatre (1993). TYA5 (1999) published by Playwrights Canada Press is a collection of plays for young audiences that he edited with his late wife, Mira Friedlander.

He is a Former President of both CODE (made a life member in 1996) and The Canadian Child and Youth Drama Association: Drama Canada Inc. Among his many awards, he received the Fabian Lemieux Award in 1998 for his contribution to Arts Education in Ontario.

Wayne, after ten years as Coordinator, has been the Executive Director of the Sears Ontario Drama Festival.

Wayne was Congress Director of the Fifth International Drama/Theatre in Education Association’s (IDEA) Congress in Ottawa, Canada, July 2-8, 2004. In this role he also co-produced the DIRECTIONS: TYA Festival with Susan Habkirk and Prologue to the Performing Arts.

He is currently the Educational Services Consultant for the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in Toronto. 

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Dorothy Heathcote

Dorothy HeathcoteDorothy Heathcote was made an honorary member of CODE in 2008.  She presented at the 2008 Environmental CODE Conference in London via videoconference and enlightened the crowds of dedicated arts teachers with her wisdom, experience and charm. Ms Heathcote is best known for changing the way educators think of drama and its role in the classroom context.  Throughout her life, Ms Heathcote has had incredibly diverse experiences – from war-time parachute weaver to lecturer at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, she has truly been down the road less traveled!  More information about Ms Heathcote can be found at The Dorothy Heathcote Archive, Manchester Metropolitan University

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Larry Swartz

Larry SwartzDr. Larry Swartz was an instructor in the Initial Teacher Education program, as well as principal of Dramatic Arts, additional qualification courses at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). He has been a classroom teacher and consultant for twenty five years for the Peel District Board of Education. Larry is the author of the teacher reference books The New Dramathemes and Literacy Techniques, 2nd edition and The Novel Experience and has co-written several major language arts resources, including 6 Bold Print titles for classroom use. A popular conference speaker throughout North America, his interests include using children’s literature to achieve expectations, reading response, the talk curriculum, drama and anti-bullying.

Memories of CODE Conferences past:
“In my earlier years of teaching I attended one of the conferences up at Bayview Wildwood. I had just begun teaching Additional Qualification courses at the Faculty of Education University of Toronto and knew that I needed to network with other drama colleagues and enrich my professional development. I have fond memories of attending a workshop presented by David Booth; I also remember meeting John McLeod, drama educator from Australia, and I remember the wonderful ensemble drama that was organized for the evening’s entertainment. Since that time I have attended CODE as a classroom teacher, a drama consultant, a language arts consultant and a university instructor. I look forward to attending CODE's annual conference and have presented workshops for most conferences in the past 25 years.”

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Michael Wilson

Michael WilsonMichael Wilson’s original career aspiration of being a jazz trumpeter in Montreal, while faking an undergraduate degree at McGill, led very tangentially, to an early change of course toward teaching secondary dramatic arts in Ottawa, where only one other dramatic arts program existed.  In 1973, he attended the graduate teaching program of the Central School of Speech and Drama, in London, England.   

Returning to Canada, Michael became a school board drama consultant and arts coordinator, during which time he was a lecturer in drama at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University from 1979 – 1981.  After returning to Ottawa, in 1981, to be an arts department head, he became an arts professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, where he remained until finally retiring in June 2010. At the University of Ottawa, he introduced a summer A.Q. institute program in integrated arts, in co-operation with the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  In 2015, he became the founding coordinator of the Imagination, Creativity and Innovation Cohort in teacher education.  His masters and doctoral degrees from OISE emphasized his continuing research interest of teacher education in the arts and the foundation platforms common to all arts experience. 

Michael was among the first group to form CODE and became CODE’s first President. He has attended over 30 CODE conferences and has given workshops and addresses as well as chairing institutes and been involved in other associated activities.  He has initiated many arts education organizations, conferences, and symposia, as well as serving as a board director for several community arts advocacy associations over many years.  However, for him, CODE has always been home.

Michael has been published in many professional and academic journals, been instrumental in several Ministry Arts documents and spoken at conferences nationally and internationally. He is currently the chair of the National Roundtable for Teacher Education in the Arts (NRTEA). He continues to work with community arts associations, national cultural institutions, and local arts advocacy groups and can be reached at

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