Thank you, Greeter team, for persevering during July's very hot/humid weather. We were all looking forward to a warm summer, but consistent 32C? Oh No!
We also had another hurdle to overcome: how do we welcome and guide Patrons to the Festival performance and Sex at the Studio?
To keep us on our toes, we had to direct patrons with grandchildren to Horse and His Boy at the Festival Theatre and Sex at the Studio. Very quickly, Greeters became adept at judging the arriving audience and selecting their words accordingly. Interesting!!
But Greeters were able to hold their own. Here are some fun comments:
Greeting on the day of Brigadoon and Sex. I said, “Welcome to the Shaw. Are you here for Brigadoon or Sex?" It was out of my mouth before I realized what I had said. The elderly gentleman looked at his wife and said “Sex? You didn’t tell me about Sex!" It was very funny, we laughed but I’m sure my face was scarlet. His wife just grinned and he said “I guess we are going to Brigadoon"! "
Another elderly couple, when I welcomed them and asked if they were here to see Brigadoon, he said. “No, we're going to Sex and hoping to learn a few things!"
Actually, I think it’s more entertaining when we say to patrons, “this way for Sex” or “for Sex, please proceed to the next theatre". Usually, folks just giggle or are surprised when they haven’t heard about Sex, are puzzled by the comment but laugh when you tell them.
One patron had the best line: “I hear Sex is highly overrated."
A gentleman told me he was seeing the plays Sex in the afternoon and Getting Married in the evening and what does that say about him?? I responded that he is seeing them in the wrong order!
When I asked patrons whether they were going to see the Mae West play, some said, "No, I’m going to see Sex". Conversely, when I asked patrons whether they were going to see Brigadoon, some said, "No, the other one"! Most people were titillated just walking to the theatre - laughing and asking "Is this where we go to see Sex?" or I’m going for Sex”!
Finally, the title of the review in Broadway World was "SEX is Alive and Well at Shaw Festival". Need we say more???
John and Marg Mather, email@example.com
Left to right: Brian Parr, Paul Madely, Joe Cassidy, Bob Buchanan
Paddy Parr, Shaw Theatre Gardens Chair
You never get a second chance to make a positive first impression! Currently in year three of developing the tranquil Gallery Garden behind the Royal George Theatre, our volunteer gardeners were acutely aware that the garden entrance was marred by the sight of a giant air conditioner.
Working with Shaw staff to meet maintenance criteria, Guild Member Bob Buchanan designed and built a rolling screen using deconstructed greenhouse pallets. His creative and functional design guarantees a positive first impression for patrons attending events such as Continue the Conversation. Bravo, Bob Buchanan, and welcome to the beautiful GALLERY GARDEN!
I hope that you are all having a wonderful summer. We have now reached mid-season peak at the Shaw with only Man and Superman and the Christmas shows to open for the remaining 2019 Season. At this point it seems appropriate to recap the 2019 Season so far, so here it goes.
2019 Hosting by the numbers
- 201 = Number of Hosts on the current 2019 Host List
- 111 = Number of Hosts Signed Up For Emergency List
- 19 = Number of Host Pairs
- 22 = Number of New Hosts in 2019
- 172 = Number of shows hosted April 10 to August 2
- 403 = Number of Host Assignments completed
What these numbers tell me is that we are a large group of very dedicated volunteers in Hosting. Over half of our membership is willing to pitch in on a moment’s notice in an emergency situation, so we have a lot of members residing in the NOTL area.
And welcome, New Volunteers! You have amply demonstrated your eagerness to jump in and support the Shaw by being active participants in the Guild. These numbers look very good to me and I hope you agree.
Greg Fedoryn, Host Chair, and a man who loves numbers!
Presents the Canadian Forces Snowbirds at Niagara District Airport, September 11. VIP tickets and General Admission tickets available at notlsnowbirds.ca.
Theatrical Cemetery Tours at St. Andrew’s Church. September 20, 21, 27 & 28 at 6 pm, 7 pm & 8 pm. Tickets are limited, must be purchased in advance. Call 905-468-3912.
RiverBrink Art Sale: Join us at the opening reception: August 30, 4-7pm to purchase artwork while enjoying delicious appetizers, local wine and music in support of RiverBrink Art Museum. $50 Tickets available now! Art Sale open to the public with free admission August 31st & September 1st 11am-4pm. www.riverbrink.org
Exhibit and Opening: Looking Back – Forging Forward: Trench Art & Ronald Boaks. Exhibit is on now and runs to September 29.
Moonlight Picnic: Book your table for Friday, September 6th, 2019 6 - 10 pm.
This season marks my 20th year as a Shaw Guild volunteer. It all started as a request by Peggy Service to join her "Gala" committee back in 1999 when Christopher Newton was Artistic Director. In 2003 I was one of 17 volunteers who participated in a Pilot Project for the Docent program.
Initially I guided back stage tours but presently, working with the Shaw Education Staff, I also have the opportunity to do Introductions at the Festival Theatre and to facilitate the "Continue the Conversation " discussions. This is one of my favourite activities! Every year is different and I make myself available where needed. I have helped out in Escape Rooms and in the Narnia workshops and for several years I have been a Garden Manager in support of the Shaw Guild Garden Tour fundraiser.
How very fortunate I am to be a member of the Shaw Guild and to have the opportunity to share my passion for the theatre with our Shaw patrons. I am grateful!
Message from Laurie Harley, President, Shaw Guild
The season is in high gear with the last three shows, Victory, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Man and Superman, all scheduled to open this month. Before we know, it will be November and we’ll be waiting for the return of A Christmas Carol and the debut of Holiday Inn.
We’ve all been asking and anticipating what’s in store for 2020 and now we know! Be sure to have a look at the announcement of next year’s playbill. As Tim Carroll put it, “This is a season of classics across the board, classic musicals, classic comedies, classic dramas”. Fasten your seat belts for an exciting 2020!
There’s still a lot happening in 2019. You’ll find an interesting lineup of features in this edition from the enjoyable Summer Celebration, to spotlighting our amazing volunteers, to a new Poems in the Trees contest. Check out the article in this newsletter for all the details.
Request for nominations for election to the 2020 Guild Executive Committee
Due September 1
The Chair positions open for nomination for 2020 Executive Committee are:
- Docent Chair
- Hosting Chair
- Membership Chair
- Fundraising (Garden Tour) Chair
The term of office is two years. A current Chair may stand for re-election. The maximum number of years a member may serve on the Executive Committee is six, or three terms. Elections will take place at the Annual General meeting of the Shaw Guild. This year’s AGM is November 24.
The Shaw Guild By-laws state in Article XIII - Section 3; "A Member of the Guild may recommend a Nominee to the Nominating Committee not later than September 1st, providing that the Nominee meets the criteria for the position, has consent in writing and the nomination has been seconded by another Member".
For further information and/or to submit nominations by September 1, please contact the Nominating Committee Chair, Julian Rance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a new section this month dedicated to promoting events from our sister arts and cultural organizations who call Niagara-on-the-Lake home. Many of our Guild members donate their time to these groups as well as to the Shaw. Sharing information about their fundraising initiatives is another way the Guild can strengthen its connections with the local cultural community.
Your comments and questions are welcomed at email@example.com.
Enter the "Poems in the Trees" Treasure Hunt Contest
Have you strolled through the Festival Gardens lately? It might be time for you to have another look. There is something special going on. We call it “Poems in the Trees”. Inspired by London Transport's 'Poems On The Underground', Artistic Director Tim Carroll has come up with an idea to marry the beauty of the Shaw Festival Gardens with some of the most beautiful words ever written. Shaw Company members have shared their favourite poems and they are now laid out throughout the Gardens for you to discover and enjoy.
- the name of the poem, and
- the Company member who submitted it.
It provides an annual distribution that the Guild uses to support Shaw operations and programs.
As always, we welcome comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents (click link to go to article):
Change, doggone it, We Can’t Escape It!
My Volunteer Page (MVP) volunteer system was introduced and rolled out the beginning of 2019.
Just recently the Guild sent out a survey to get your feedback. While the final survey results have yet to be tallied
it is worth noting the key intent of MVP is to provide a more fair and equitable process for the volunteers to “sign-up” for Hosting, Greeting, Events, and various other support initiatives. This tool empowers our volunteers to determine – what they are interested in, where they want to volunteer. and when they want to volunteer. It also helps us understand you as a volunteer and how you would like to support the Guild. While we realize this is a big change for everyone, this tool really does help the Guild with managing our volunteers and activities.
So, your input on this work-in-process endeavor is greatly encouraged. We know there is room for improvement so please do not hesitate to offer any, and I stress any, comments or suggestions. After all, we truly appreciate our Most Valuable People – our Volunteers. Contact Kim Mustill: email@example.com. Note: Specific questions about hosting or greeting should be directed to the respective Chairs.
The following Guild Members were nominated by the Shaw Festival:
About Marg and Keith: Marg has served as the Greeting Chair since 2015. Under her leadership, she has expanded the Greeter program from just matinees to all Openings and some evening performances. With support from her husband, John, she manages a team of 74 volunteers who contributed over 1200 hours across 392 shifts. In a recent Shaw Guild Member Survey, she received glowing comments on her role as Greeter Chair.
Keith has been involved in fundraising for the Guild for many years. But his efforts in 2018 to organize and manage a Guild Cricket event went above and beyond expectations. 90+ people came out to cheer on the Shaw Cricket Team, which raised more than $1,100 to donate to the Team. For the first time in recent memory, 13 people from Stratford’s Friends of the Festival made the trip to NOTL to join in the event. Even the threat of rain didn’t dampen spirits. The 2018 Cricket event will go into the record books as one of our most successful and this is all due to Keith’s efforts.
I was very active in Amateur theatre for over 10 years in Halton Hill, in musicals, dramas, both directing and producing. My efforts culminated in the winning of a Thea award from Theatre Ontario for my performance as Ruddy in Hello Dolly. After moving to Niagara-on-the-Lake just before retiring from an international corporate life, I once again felt a great desire to get involved in the theatre. I joined the Shaw Guild and was delighted to be accepted into the docent program which I thoroughly enjoyed for 10 years. I’ve also had the pleasure to be one of the facilitators for Continuing the Conversation for the last 3 years, which is a terrific way to engage with patrons from all over the globe, after the show.
My love of gardening motivated me to become very active in the organization of the annual Shaw Garden Tour for many years.
And, while I am not a cricket player, I have had a lot of fun helping to coordinate the annual Cricket Match between the Shaw company and the Stratford company over the past 3 years. Currently, I am member of a committee of Guild members in the early planning stages of establishing a new major annual fundraising event, which we hope to launch in the late fall of 2020.