Ron Stuart was born in the New York area and educated at McGill University and the University of B.C., where he completed graduate studies in Cultural Anthropology & Sociology. He has taught Anthropology and Sociology at the University of B.C. and at Columbia College for over 40 years. His research interests include the ceremonial activities of the Coast Salish First Nation, and the educational system of contemporary Japan, where he has done field work since 1972. Ron has been involved in international education in both Japan and Canada, and directed the first study-abroad program for Japanese students in Vancouver in 1978. He was on the faculty of the Osaka YMCA College of Languages and Shinshu Tanki Daigaku during periods of residence in Japan between 1974 and 1989.
In addition to his academic work, he has been active in promoting cultural exchange, and served as consultant to Shingakukai Corporation of Nagano for ten years. He has a strong interest in the performing arts, and has produced several CDs and numerous concerts and theatrical events in collaboration with his wife, Wendy B. Stuart. Ron has served on the boards of a number of cultural organizations, and was the co-artistic director of the World Sacred Music Festival from 2000 to 2003. He recently initiated an ethnographic study of youth development in Langa township of Cape Town, South Africa, and produced a documentary on the program founders and their work. The film has been broadcast in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. In December, Ron & Wendy begin a new documentary film project in Cape Town which focuses on the life of an outstanding Xhosa musician and ethnomusicologist.