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Max Wyman is one of Canada’s foremost cultural commentators. For more than three decades he wrote arts criticism and analysis for Vancouver newspapers and CBC Radio. The Compassionate Imagination is his seventh book on the arts in Canada. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a former member of the board of the Canada Council for the Arts, and a former President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. He lives in Lions Bay, British Columbia.

Award History

2023 Finalist

Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
for The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy

Jury Citation

The Compassionate Imagination is a brilliant, breathtaking, and lyrical exploration of the power and importance of arts and culture to functioning democracies. As the world increasingly moves towards high-tech with an emphasis on STEM, Max Wyman lays out an irrefutable case for the role of the arts and humanities in building better societies and calls for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) approach instead. A profound and beautifully written examination, Wyman offers deep insights into how and why arts and cultural funding is vital to safeguarding Canada’s present and future.”

—2023 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy Jury (Samantha Nutt, Taki Sarantakis, and Scott Young)