THUNDER BAY – Breaking News – Former Thunder Bay Mayor Dusty Miller has passed away. Eleanor Joan (Dusty) Miller was a long-time Councillor and served as first female Mayor of the City of Thunder Bay. After teaching in Southern Ontario and living in England, she moved back to the Lakehead in 1954 and became heavily involved in the local theatre community. She was regularly directed for Port Arthur Community Players, which later became the Cambrian Players, directed for Lakehead Musical Productions, and was a vital member of Theatre Northwest in its early years, later becoming Magnus Theatre. She was also a founding member of Theatre Ontario.
In the late 1960s, Miller studied at Lakehead University and graduated with the Chancellor’s Medal for the highest standing achieved by a part-time student. A few years later Lakehead invited her to design and coordinate their drama program. She also taught in the performing arts management program at Confederation College.
Miller was first elected to Thunder Bay City Council in 1974. She chose to run upon realizing that the city’s government lacked expertise in arts and culture. She was instrumental in developing an arts policy for the city, was the first chair of the city’s Arts and Heritage Committee, and also served on standing committees for family and children’s services, non-profit housing, and architectural conservation. She was elected as Mayor in 1978, and, though defeated in 1980, served on council for two more terms.