The Shaw Festival’s beginnings date back to the 1960s, with a small group of volunteers and a big idea. As the Festival grew, so did the group of volunteers.

A History of Volunteering

In 2011, the Shaw Librarians prepared a History of Volunteering at The Shaw, in recognition of the volunteers who have been such an integral part of the theatre over the past 50 years. Click the cover design at the left to download the pdf.

Preparing the document, information was gathered from many sources, including early newspaper articles, The Shaw archives, Brian Doherty’s Not Bloody Likely, A. R. Day’s The Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1962-1981 and approximately 40 oral histories which have been collected by Nancy Butler over the past 25 years.

This document, which has been adapted to focus more specifically on volunteers, has been prepared for the Shaw Guild in response to a request for a history for their records.

Shaw Volunteer Committees and Presidents

From 1962 - 1964, there were small groups of volunteers, but no formal organization.

The Women's Committee Executive: Niagara Peninsula

Marjorie Rand 1964

Audrey Wooll 1965

Unknown 1966

Marjorie Rand 1967

Betty Mitchell 1968-1969

Grace Moogk 1970

Jean Gent 1971-1973

Shaw Festival Guild Formed in 1974: List of Presidents

Lillian Magder (1st President) 1974 (160 members)

Jean Gent 1975

Christine Elder 1976-1977

Eric Monks (1st male President) 1978-1979

Grace Wildfong 1980-1981

Audrey Storey 1982

Ken Gent 1983-1984

Lorraine Rayment 1985-1986

Elfie Northey 1987-1988

Howard Martin 1989-1990

Keith Norman 1991-1992

Robert Aylesworth 1993-1994

Marybeth Moyer 1995-1996

Shirley McKeown 1997-1998

Kelvin Service 1999-2000

Gail Nagley 2001-2002

Ron Dagleish 2003-2004

Faye Goodwin 2005-2006

Suzanne Hebert 2007-2008

Carol Reid 2009-2010

Peter Barwell 2011-2012

Peter Gill 2013-2014

Arlene Carson 2015-2016

Julian Rance 2017-2018

Laurie Harley 2019-2020

Alan Walker 2021 - present