Garth Drabinsky

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Garth Drabinsky
Born Garth Howard Drabinsky
(1949-10-27) October 27, 1949 (age 66)
Toronto, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Film and theatrical producer and entrepreneur

Garth Howard Drabinsky, LL.B. is a Canadian film and theatrical producer and entrepreneur. In 2009, he was convicted and sentenced to prison for fraud and forgery. The sentence was reduced on appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear a subsequent appeal.

Film and theatrical career[edit]


Born in Toronto, Ontario, Drabinsky graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1973, and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1975.[1] Entering into the entertainment business in 1978 as an independent commercial film producer (through Tiberius Entertainment Limited, formed with Joel Michaels)[2] and film distributor (through Pan-Canadian Film Distributors Inc., formed with Nat Taylor),[3] he was credited as the producer for:

In April 1979, he and Nat Taylor co-founded Cineplex Theatres, which created a chain of multiplex theatres for the Canadian market. By May 1984, it had acquired the Canadian Odeon Theatre chain, thus becoming Cineplex Odeon and a major player in the industry.[3] It expanded further through the acquisition of several US theatre chains, but he left the company in December 1989.


He leveraged his ownership of the Pantages Theatre in Toronto to form the publicly traded theatre production company, Live Entertainment Corporation of Canada, Inc., also known as Livent.[3] The company expanded, building or refurbishing several theatres, including the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, and entered into management deals with others in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York. It became noted for its productions (which earned a total of 19 Tony Awards out of a total of 61 nominations) of:

Tony Award for Best Musical * Tony Award for Best Musical Revival **

After Livent[edit]

Drabinsky is still active in the Canadian entertainment industry, through Tiberius Entertainment[5] (now known as Garth H. Drabinsky Productions).[6] In 2011, it promoted the film Barrymore at the Toronto International Film Festival, based on the play with Christopher Plummer.[7]

Livent insolvency and subsequent proceedings[edit]

In November 1998, Livent sought bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada, claiming a debt of $334 million,[8] and securities regulators in both Canada and the US began investigating Livent's books.

Canadian proceedings[edit]

On March 25, 2009, Drabinsky and Livent co-founder Myron Gottlieb were found guilty of fraud and forgery in Ontario Superior Court for misstating the company's financial statements between 1993 and 1998.[9][10] Drabinsky was sentenced to seven years in jail on Wednesday August 5, 2009 for his role in the case.[11]

Drabinsky filed an appeal in the Ontario Court of Appeal with respect to his sentence on September 3, 2009.[12] During that appeal, he remained free on bail. On September 13, 2011, the Court of Appeal, while upholding the convictions, reduced Drabinsky's sentence to 5 years. Drabinsky applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the application was dismissed without costs on March 29, 2012.[13][14] Drabinsky was originally held at Millhaven Institution, for assessment. In December 2011, he was transferred to serve out his sentence at Beaver Creek Institution, a minimum security prison, located in Gravenhurst, Ontario,[15] and was released on day parole in February 2013.[5] Drabinsky was granted full parole on January 20, 2014.[16]

Administrative proceedings were initiated against Livent, Drabinsky and others by the Ontario Securities Commission in 2001,[17] and they were suspended in 2002 until all outstanding criminal proceedings had been completed.[18] In February 2013, the OSC announced that hearings would take place on March 19, 2013, in the matter.[19] In September 2014, the OSC announced that a settlement agreement had been reached with Myron Gottlieb, but proceedings continue against the other parties.[20]

US proceedings[edit]

In January 1999, Livent reached an administrative settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission,[21] while civil and criminal proceedings were simultaneously pursued against Drabinsky, Gottlieb and certain other former Livent employees.[22]

In 2005, former investors in Livent corporate bonds won a $23.3 million settlement against Drabinsky and Gottlieb in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,[23] for which enforcement of the judgment was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2008.

Arrest warrants are outstanding with respect to the US criminal proceedings,[24][25][26] but double jeopardy rules prevent US extradition proceedings from taking place, because of the conviction in Canadian courts.[27]


On July 17, 2014 Drabinsky was disbarred by the Tribunal of the Law Society of Upper Canada[28] for unbecoming conduct, having been found guilty of defrauding the public and forging certain financial statements. The Tribunal's order, effective immediately, revoked his license to practice law in the province of Ontario.[29]

Order of Canada[edit]

On November 29, 2012, Governor General David Johnston signed an Ordinance of Termination revoking Drabinsky's membership in the Order of Canada, originally conferred in 1995.[30] Drabinsky subsequently filed an application in the Federal Court of Canada to block his removal,[31] which was dismissed on January 9, 2014.[32] He subsequently appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal. The appeal was heard in December 2014,[33] and ultimately rejected when the Federal Court of Appeal released its finding, the next month, that there was "no basis" for it to intervene in the matter.[34]

Bibliography and documentary[edit]


Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky by director Barry Avrich at the Internet Movie Database: premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.[35][36]


  1. ^ "Garth H. Drabinsky". Canadian Law List. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Film firm formed in Toronto". Ottawa Citizen. 31 August 1978. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Peter Rist (2001). Guide to the Cinema of Canada. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-313-29931-5. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Damian (13 November 2003). "At last, a Jesus for all faiths". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Knelman, Martin (2013-02-20). "Garth Drabinsky on day parole after 17 months in jail". Toronto Star. 
  6. ^ "Tiberius Entertainment/Garth H. Drabinsky Productions". Telefilm Canada. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Barrymore (2011) at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ Christopher Besant and Lydia Salvi. "The Livent CCAA/Chapter 11 Proceedings". Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  9. ^ Janet MacFarlane and Paul Waldie (2009-03-25). "Livent founders guilty in fraud trial". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  10. ^ "Ontario Superior Court of Justice Decision -- Between Her Majesty the Queen and Garth Drabinsky et al." (PDF). The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  11. ^ French, Cameron (August 5, 2009). "Ex-Broadway mogul Drabinsky gets 7 years for fraud". Reuters. 
  12. ^ McFarland, Janet (September 4, 2009). "Drabinsky files appeal of jail sentence". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  14. ^ McFarland, Janet (2012-03-29). "Drabinsky loses appeal bid". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  15. ^ Knelman, Martin (2011-12-29). "Garth Drabinsky transferred to Beaver Creek minimum security prison". Toronto Star. 
  16. ^ Martin Knelman (January 20, 2014). "Garth Drabinsky wins full parole for 2009 fraud convictions". The Toronto Star. 
  17. ^ "STATEMENT OF ALLEGATIONS OF STAFF OF THE ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION". Ontario Securities Commission. 2001-07-03. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  18. ^ "ORDER" (PDF). Ontario Securities Commission. 2002-11-15. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  19. ^ Schecter, Barbara (2013-02-21). "Curtain to rise again for Livent at OSC". Financial Post. 
  20. ^ Schecter, Barbara (2014-09-05). "Livent co-founder Myron Gottlieb reaches proposed settlement with OSC". Financial Post. 
  21. ^ "ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING - File No. 3-9806". Securities and Exchange Commission. 1999-01-13. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  22. ^ "Litigation Release No. 16022". Securities and Exchange Commission. 1999-01-13. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  23. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2005-02-09). "Executives Must Pay $23.3 Million to Broadway Investors, Judge Says". New York Times. 
  24. ^ Furman, Phyllis (1999-01-29). "Show Con't Go On On Lam, Livent Duo Warrant An Appearance". New York Daily News. 
  25. ^ "Warrants Issued for Ex-Livent Partners". New York Times. 1999-01-29. 
  26. ^ Austen, Ian (2006-10-23). "Fugitive Producer to Offer TV Show". New York Times. 
  27. ^ Tedesco, Theresa (2011-03-24). "Livent duo not ready to take bow". Financial Post. 
  28. ^ Gray, Jeff and Janet McFarland, "Ontario's law Society disbars Garth Drabinsky", Globe and Mail (Toronto).
  29. ^ Ontario Law Reports
  30. ^ "Garth Drabinsky stripped of Order of Canada". Toronto Star. February 27, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  31. ^ McGregor, Glen (February 27, 2013). "Theatre fraudster Garth Drabinsky fights Order of Canada removal". National Post. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  32. ^ Graham Slaughter (January 9, 2014). "Garth Drabinsky loses fight to reclaim Order of Canada". The Toronto Star. 
  33. ^ "Garth Drabinsky makes bid to reclaim Order of Canada". The Canadian Press. December 10, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Garth Drabinsky loses bid to get Order of Canada back". Toronto Star. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  35. ^ Knelman, Martin (2012-07-31). "TIFF will showcase doc on Garth Drabinsky". Toronto Star. 
  36. ^ Kirshner, Sheldon, The rise and fall of Garth Drabinsky, The Canadian Jewish News, 21 September 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.

External links[edit]