January 2021 Newsletter

Garden Tour logo

Both events continue to evolve and innovate; for example, on the Garden Tour a new approach to sponsorship was introduced and special activities will take place in each garden. The Sip, Savour & Stroll event, originally introduced as a companion piece to the 2019 Garden Tour, will have new features, including a silent auction. Due to scheduling circumstances, it was moved to late August. It promises to be a really special and unique “hot ticket” event.

Eventbrite will be used as our ticketing vehicle, for both events. In this way, we will be providing our patrons with fully contactless ticketing experiences akin to Shaw’s own stated policies approaches. It also enables us to better provide, and publicize, what TC describes as our duty of care, guided by prevailing safety protocols, to event attendees and for Guild members involved in these events.

In the 2021 Playbill, Tim Jennings writes to the Friends of Shaw as follows – “to be totally frank, we need your help”. I want share this same message with you our Guild membership – we will need your help when the season begins, and when the Shaw calls upon us.

Which leads me to ask you for help in the most immediate way, by renewing your annual membership renewals as outlined by Susan MacDonald; membership renewal fees, together with our sit-in revenues, and our two major fundraising events discussed above, constitute our main source of revenue. I thank you all for your assistance in this.

On behalf of my colleagues on the Executive Committee (EC), I would like to thank you for your continued support, and for your understanding as we work together through 2021.

Roll on, the 2021 season.  


The Garden Tour team is busily working on plans for a GREAT Garden Tour on June 12!  


Early bird tickets go on sale March 15.

More information will be sent to you in due time, as well as ticket information.

Note: you must be a paid-up member of the Shaw Guild in 2021 to volunteer to help in one of the gardens. Renew your membership now!

Message from Alan Walker, President, Shaw Guild

2021 Season Tickets Now On Sale! That was the full-page advertisement appearing in last week’s print media read in the Walker household. With the 2021 Shaw season thus made more tangible, it’s a great way to introduce the following remarks, my first of 2021.

In anticipation of improved circumstances, in the early Summer, we are also planning to make ticket-related announcements in the early Spring. As you will recall we were unable, in 2020 to present our annual Garden Tour, or our Sip, Savour & Stroll event.

Planning for both events continued over the Holiday Season, and we anticipate that separate ticketing announcements for both will be made in March.

Duties include working with the Shaw Festival to coordinate drop-off of materials, organizing volunteers to help with the distribution and maintaining a spreadsheet of activities.  The estimated time commitment for this role is two hours per month during the season.

If you are interested in volunteering as PTW Coordinator, please send an email to mary.mizen@gmail.com

Volunteer Wanted!

February 11 at 4pm - First Shaw Guild Event of 2021 presents “A Day in the Life of a Shaw Actor”

Music… Mystery… Comedy… Love… And more. A great season is planned at the Shaw for 2021. There will be changes to ensure safety, of course. There could be twists and turns along the way as well. But the Shaw wants to tackle this unpredictable year, and so does the Guild.

All 2020 memberships will expire on January 31. Don’t let your membership lapse! If you haven’t renewed for 2021, now’s the time to make sure you’re up-to-date. Your profile will be updated in MVP so that you can see and sign up for volunteer shifts and Guild activities.  

We are looking for a volunteer to coordinate Playing This Week (PTW), which is the distribution of items during the Shaw season, including:

  • Playing This Week flyer -  delivered weekly to NOTL merchants
  • Shaw Festival programs - delivered to NOTL merchants in Old Town a total of six times
  • Brochures for the Garden Tour – once or twice, March to June

Make sure you’re ready for the 2021 season. Have you renewed your Guild membership?

To renew your membership, simply send your $20 annual fee by e-transfer or mail, as follows:


Transfer your fee online to shawguildmembership@gmail.com. Once the transfer has been made, email Membership Chair Susan MacDonald at susan.e.macdonald@me.com with the name(s) of the renewing member(s) and the answer to your security question.


Mail your cheque with the name(s) of the renewing member(s) to:

                Shaw Guild Membership, Box 83, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,  L0S 1J0

Your involvement in the Guild and the Shaw Festival counts. Keep your membership active!

NOTE: We are always looking for relevant articles and photos from members who would like to share them with other Guild members! Please send to info@shawguild.ca




Join us as we have an in-depth chat with Jenny L. Wright, a longtime member of the Shaw Company.  Jenny will talk to us about what it is like to be a part of the Company – and particularly how she prepares for a day mid-season where she might be in two productions on the same day – possibly in different theatres!

Tune in Thursday, February 11th at 4 pm for an interesting conversation with a wonderful and talented actor!  Should you have questions for Jenny you can enter them in the YouTube chat during the talk, and we will address them if we are able to.

On that date and time, access the live broadcast (and the recording afterward) at this link!

AND. . . Sip, Savour & Stroll is happening on August 28.

Early bird tickets go on sale March 28!

Watch for the notice, and don’t miss out on this exclusive elegant garden party!

Shaw Festival History – Did you know that in 1991. . .?

On May 7, 1991 hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment was destroyed in a fire at the Shaw Festival Academy and Central Storage building.

The old Sheppard Boatworks building was the major storage area for the huge Shaw properties stock. The Festival stage turntable the flexible touring set. Also lost was the Court House lighting and sound equipment, worth thousands of dollars. Quick action by the NOTL Volunteer Fire Department saved the Court House stage units and seating. The Academy’s records, teaching aids and video equipment were completely destroyed.  As disastrous as these losses are… “the show must go on” and did.

Excerpt from Shaw Festival - The First Fifty Years by L.W. Conolly.



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