Patricia Bovey was appointed to the Senate of Canada in November 2016 as an Independent Senator from Manitoba. She served on the Foreign Affairs & International Trade Committee, Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament Committee and the Official Languages Committee,. She was Deputy-Chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic and the Transport and Communications Committee. She also served as a Steering Member of the Social Affairs Science & Technology Committee. She is Chair of the Senate Artwork and Heritage Advisory Working Group and a member of Internal Economy, Budgets & Administration Committee
As the first art historian and museologist to be appointed to the Senate, Bovey has worked on all issues, from legislation to committee work, primarily through the lens of arts and culture, and from her regional perspective. She has spoken in the Chamber about the impact of the arts, especially on health and crime prevention. She also installed the first works of Black Canadian Artists in the Senate of Canada since 1867Her goal is to ensure the voice of arts and culture is heard, in the Senate as well as in every sector of society.
Winnipeg-based gallery director, art historian, professor and arts and culture management consultant, she was Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004) and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980-1999), and appointed the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Director Emerita in 2014. A Founder of St Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery, the University of Winnipeg’s Arts and Culture Management Program, and MA in Curatorial Practice, she was the Buhler Gallery Director/Curator from its 2007 inception to 2016, and University of Winnipeg Adjunct Professor of Art History, 2011-2017.
Author and lecturer on Western Canadian art, her recent publications include Don Proch: Masking and Mapping, 2019; Visual Celebrations: II, (with Leona Herzog), 2017 and Visual Celebrations, 2012; Mud, Hands, Fire, The Legacy Of Canadian Studio Pottery, “Intersecting Perceptions: Continuity Through Innovation”, 2015; the award-winning Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on a Thread, 2014; Experiences & Insights: My Life As Art, Mary Valentine, “Mary Valentine: Rhythms from the Land”, 2014; Carole Sabiston: Everything Below All of the Above, 2014; “The Prints of David Thauberger”, 2014. She is currently writing Impacts and Turning Points: The Western Voice in Canadian Art.
University of Manitoba Chair (2013-2016), and board member (2007-2016), she served on the Boards of the National Gallery of Canada (2005 – 2009); Canada Council for the Arts (1990-1993); the 1986 Withrow/Richard Federal Task Force on National and Regional Museums; the National Board for the University of Waterloo’s Canadian Center for Cultural Management (2002-2010). She was a member of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (1981 - 2004) and President (1988 - 1991). She was a board member of Emily Carr University’s (1982-1990) and Chair (1987-1989). She was a member of the Public Art Committee of the City of Winnipeg (2003-2007), and the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Art (2002-2003). In higher education, she served as a member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Manitoba Rhodes Scholarship Committee, and Loran Scholarship Selection committee.
Involved in international touring exhibitions, lectures, artist exchanges, and special initiatives in Finland, Iceland, and Norway, she was an official guest of the Japan Foundation, the British Council and the Government of France.
Recipient of the 2015 Winnipeg Arts Council Investors Making a Difference Award, she is Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts and Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association; and received the Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; Winnipeg’s 2002 Woman of Distinction for the Arts; the Canadian Museums Association Distinguished Service Award; the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal; and the 2013 Association of Manitoba Museum’s inaugural Award of Merit.