May 25, 2020 Newsletter

A new message -
and a martini recipe! -
from Laurie Harley.
Click here to view on YouTube.




Patricia Ford and Eddie the Pug
Suzanne Hebert - Shadow
Kim story 2
fundraising events posters

The Show Must Go On: Willing the Winds of Change

Part 4 in a series by Paddy Parr, Shaw Guild Gardens Chair

In the wee morning hours of April 1992, I received a call from my Maintenance Crew Head that our warehouse on the shores of the Niagara River was on fire! He had received an alarm company call stating there was an “intrusion alarm”, which turned out to be a burning telephone/hydro panel, and he quickly activated a 911 call. This historic facility, the old Shepherd Boatworks, housed our production stage storage, entire (priceless) props inventory, and the Academy facility, the teaching arm of the Festival. Parked adjacent to the Academy building were three semi-trailers containing the entire Court House Theatre… staging decks, risers and seating!

By the time I arrived, the entire production storage was gone, including the stage revolve! The Academy performance space was fully engulfed, and the winds from the river were driving the flames slowly toward the props storage! There were multi fire trucks on site with our fabulous NOTL VOLUNTEER Firefighters! Word had travelled fast, and many company members and townspeople had gathered to watch this tragic loss.

Watching helplessly, the only option left was some heavy-duty prayer, and miraculously, the wind turned!  The fire moved off and was brought under control by the fire crew. Once the smoke cleared and we could inspect the devastation, we were shocked to see the three trailers proudly standing right beside the burned-out Academy, albeit with tires melted off, and all hardware disintegrated, but the entire Court House Theatre intact!

Kim Mustill’s second home is a small private farm between Stevensville and Ridgeway, where her horse Cassie lives. Here she is visiting goslings that were newly hatched. The 3 largest were hatched one week ago and the smallest (the adorable one in her hands) was hatched this week.

These are called Sebastopol geese and, when mature, they grow feathers like boa shawls. The large fellow with the ribbons, held by the family's daughter Camryn, is the male, Gaston, who is very successful at the fairs, including the Royal Winter Fair. 

The geese love to eat lettuce, green grapes and dandelion flowers. They can be very chatty and are excellent announcers when anyone arrives on the farm!

Suzanne Hebert has a new puppy!

Covid 19! You need certainties. You need friends. My cat, Puppy, was put to sleep early last week. She had become blind (who knew that cats could have high blood pressure, which would destroy their sight). Always a friendly cat, she looked so unhappy, trying to work out our house, with lots of stairs and obstacles everywhere. The best decision seemed to be to send her to cat heaven, where she would hopefully meet all my previous cats, Bibitte, Toutoune, Twinkle, Jean-Baptiste, Pignochon. And play forever in fields with lots of flowers and butterflies. And meet my two big wonderful Labradors, Kobe and Maggie, who always thought that cats were wonderful.

After that hard decision, I lasted a day. Crying. Lonely. Miserable. And then I went on Kijiji (the Humane Society sites are mostly closed because of Covid 19), and found this adorable, tiny bit of sunshine.










A Yorkshire. Smaller than my foot at 8 weeks. Funny, bright, I've named her Shadow because she follows me everywhere. Initially thought of calling her Underfoot!

Life is good again, despite Covid 19. I have a tiny little animal to care for and love. And I think she loves me.

Your comments and questions are welcomed by Laurie Harley, President of the Shaw Guild at

Newsletter items related to the Shaw Festival and Guild are welcome! Please send short articles and photos to

Hope to hear from you,
even if it's only to say hello! 

Greetings from the Greeter Chair!

We have begun the long COVID journey back to a “new normal”, and as Canadians:

We will Shake Hands again

We will Hug again

We will Kiss Grandkids again

We will Go to the Gym again

We will Shop again

We will Eat in a Restaurant again

We will Travel again

We will Party again

We will Dance again

And as part of the Shaw Family:

We will Delight in Theatre again

We will Enjoy Guild Activities again

We will Dig in the Shaw Gardens again

We will Welcome Guests to the Garden Tour again

We will Tour Backstage again

We will Educate again

We will Host again

We will Greet again

We will Meet Live (not Zoom) again

We will Be Together again!

Take care everyone.....we are on our way back!      Marg & John Mather

Guild Member Laurie Gunton is looking for singers to sing outside of retirement residences in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Laurie is hoping to gather up to 5 volunteers and will make the arrangements for the serenades of well-known songs to bring smiles to the residents’ faces. Laurie is also open to your ideas!


As part of her business, Smooth Move for Seniors, Laurie has already arranged for flower donations to four retirement homes, trying to think outside the box.

Please contact her at 647-966-2576 or email

Another Yummy Recipe from the Kitchen of Joe Allevato

Guild Members Share Pet Photos!

Patricia Ford and her comforting companion, Eddie the Pug.


Watch this short video of Linda Baines’ grand-dog Arthur who expresses his sentiments on the pandemic lockdown.

NOT Your Grandmother’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This recipe is different because butter is replaced by mayonnaise and cooking is started in a cold frying pan not a hot frying pan.  Many folks who start with a hot pan and butter, end up not melting the cheese and burning the bread.  This method results in melted cheese and less chance of burning the bread.

1 – Be Patient: Start with a cold pan as you would for fish with skin or chicken thighs with skin.

2 – Use mayo: Mayo has a higher smoking point than butter.

3 – Spread your mayo to the very edges of the bread.

4 – Use a melty cheese: Use a combination of American and sharp cheddar.

5 – Use bread with a tight crumb: White bread is best.

6 – Filling: Do not use watery fillings. Don’t use anything that you would not eat raw. Use sweet toasty charred scallions or fiery fresh spicy pickled jalapenos.

Lorraine Horton
I remember sitting in the audience during a production of Sweenie Todd in 2016 when, in one of the scenes, Kristi Frank was singing from the balcony.  As she was hitting a high soprano note, a bat flew right by her face into the audience.  She never even flinched, although I certainly did. 

The incident didn’t end there. 

During another scene Corinne Koslo was sitting on a bench left centre stage singing to another actor, Andrew Broderick, facing her when the bat flew right between their two faces and, again, into the audience and then back up into the flies.  This time, there was a little twitter from the audience but, in true Shaw fashion, the actors carried on without missing a beat!

During the days of The Black Death, incoming ships were forced to wait for 40 days to prevent possible infection. The Italian word for 40, "quaranta", is where we get the word quarantine.

Have you ever wondered where the word “quarantine” comes from?

In Memoriam: Barb LeRoeye

About volunteering . . .

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” (Author Unknown)

  • You will see this message (above) pop up. Click Download.
  • Tada! You are now in a virtual Shaw Festival space like the example below! And, whenever you are in your next Zoom meeting, the image you’ve selected will appear automatically, so you just need to do this once – unless you’d like to choose another image.
  • Have fun!!

Here's how to use them:

  • With your mouse, right click on the image above you’d like and select “Save As ...” to download to your computer’s desktop or any other folder – you just need to remember where you have stored them. You can do this with each image above.
  • In your next Zoom meeting, click on the Up arrow next to Stop Video, then click Choose Virtual Background.

A Story of the Old Wild West by Alan Walker:

The following story is offered by way of an homage to Joe “I put the pun in punitive” Allevato, our treasured Treasurer, to mark the occasion of his “39th” birthday in June.

To understand the following classic, you will need to know but 2 things:

  1. Roy Rogers was known as the "King of the Cowboys", and recognized as the best dressed cowboy in the Wild West.
  2. To gain the full effect of the joke, you will need to sing the last line to the tune of the Glenn Miller hit Chattanooga Choo Choo!

Here's the story . . .


Roy Rogers walks into his local saloon, and is greeted fondly by one and all. They cannot help but notice he is wearing a new pair of supremely elegant cowboy boots. Roy is pleased with the comments he receives and he eventually leaves with a new spring in his step.

A week later, he returns to the saloon, but this time in a terrible, dishevelled state, his fine clothes torn and dirty, and worse, his new boots are completely shredded.

“Roy, what in the darn tootin happened”, his friends cry out. Roy collects himself and then says, “it was that dang mountain lion, the one that’s been causing problems in these here parts; we got into a tussle up on the ridge and that critter done ripped the bejeebers out of my fine clothes”.

Another week goes by and Roy returns to the saloon, and his friends are happy to see that he has returned to his more normal state of sartorial elegance.

All of a sudden there is a commotion outside the saloon, and rushing through the saloon doors, Roy and his friends see the aforementioned mountain lion, walking along the main street, bold as brass.

There is a shocked silence until one “Curly Allevato” a wizened, but wickedly witty gold prospector turns to Roy and sings . . . wait for it . . . “Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes”?

Guild Members Share Shaw Memories

Peter Gill

The former Shaw Guild President has a collection of Shaw memorabilia including these posters from past fundraising events . . .

Shaw actor, William Wagner, who performed in last season’s Holiday Inn, and is in this year’s Gypsy, presents his homage to Hamilton. He and his mother had tickets to see it, but the performance was cancelled. He sings “That Would Be Enough”.


From the Shaw!

Also, read about the way actors are rehearsing in this time of social distancing in the Shaw On the Home Front Newsletter.

NEW: Shaw Festival Zoom Backgrounds!

Do you find yourself missing Shaw theatres while in isolation? Are you attending the occasional Zoom meeting while at home? We’ve got you covered with all new digital Shaw Festival Zoom backgrounds.

Sit in the Royal George Theatre as you discuss business strategies with your boss. Stand in our beautiful Shaw Festival gardens while reviewing school work with your child’s teacher.

The new Shaw Festival Zoom backgrounds are a fun way to share your love of this Festival in any virtual setting. Happy Zooming!

  • The window below will appear. The images you see come standard with Zoom. You can use any of them.
  • Click on the + (plus) sign to Add image or video.
  • Click on Add Image

Terry Flynn

It turned out that the first firetruck on the scene from our local VOLUNTEER fire brigade, had an ex­Shaw house manager on board who knew what was in the trailers and he radioed to the rest of the fire fighters, "KEEP THOSE TRAILERS WET".....not only saving the goods, but saving the entire Court House season of 1992. This huge (six-figure) financial loss brought an end to a very special time for the Academy, which would take many years to restore, but there was joy in saving the Court House, as well as the mystery of that changing wind, that saved the priceless props inventory!


This is a classic example of how a VOLUNTEER saved the day, and this ex-house manager, continued on to become a long-standing local Town Councillor, and is presently a frontline worker, as he is also a Paramedic!!   Cheers to the hero of the day, Terry Flynn, I salute you!

  • Find the place in your computer where you have downloaded the image(s) and select the one you want to use.

A long-time resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, enthusiastic patron of the Shaw and recently retired, Barb LeRoeye was finally able to join the Shaw Guild in 2019 and quickly became a Greeter.

Unfortunately, her time as a volunteer was very short. Barb was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in July last year and passed away, with family by her side, on May 14.

From Susan MacDonald: While many may not have had a chance to meet her in front of the theatre, she was a familiar face to pet owners as the former owner of Global Pet Foods in Niagara Falls. I will miss her.


From Marg Mather: Barb was on our team for only a short period of time, but she was delightful and so keen to be a part of the Shaw family. We are truly saddened by her passing.

This website is created and hosted by's Site Builder.