Alan Walker 2021-small
Jo Ann Ely

Shaw Guild Service Awards, Presented at the Volunteer Service Recognition Event, November 1, 2021

40 Years 

Allan Magnacca 


20 Years 

Suzanne Hebert, Caroline Kindness, Janet Tucker, Rosalie Yaremko 


10 Years 

Susan Dodd, Grant Hawes, Susan Hawes, Gail Paton, Robert Poitras, Ingrid Regier, Brenda Schultz 


Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

2020 Recipients

Elaine Evans (10 years), John Mather (10 years), Glenna Collins (10 years), Margie Enns (35 years) 


2021 Recipients

Joseph Allevato (5 years), René Bertschi (5 years), Rollice Blake (20 years), Laurie Harley (5 years), Sheila Hill (25 years), Paddy Parr (10 years)

Congratulations to all!

And now a word about Social Media . . .

Although you may still see the old Shaw Guild Instagram page, we have created a new one.  If you are an Instagram user, please follow us on Instagram at theshawguild.   Visit us and ask your friends to visit us!

And, of course, we still have a presence on Facebook at We would value your input and sharing with friends!

Jo Ann Ely, Marketing Convenor

By the time you will read this we will have shared the 2021 Guild Annual Report with you.  It is a retrospective, necessarily, of the year just past, but this year with a twist. I had asked my EC colleagues to share with you a glimpse of what we might plan for 2022. This is not due, some might surmise, for a wholehearted desire to see the back of 2021, tempting as that might be, but to better reflect the promise that 2022 offers.

For example, 2022 represents the Shaw’s 60th anniversary season and it appears to be its most ambitious ever, beginning in early February and ending in late December. And for us it continues the 60 years that Volunteers have played a significant role since the beginning of Shaw’s journey. Much joy and celebration will soon follow!



But before the 2021 season actually ends, we can look forward to being, to some degree, “back in business”, providing our Volunteer services, primarily in Greeting and Hosting, in what will be a very busy 2021 Holiday season. On that, and on behalf of my EC colleagues, to those of you that have answered the call to provide the Shaw in these services, I express my gratitude.

To you, and to your loved ones, I wish you best wishes for the Holiday Season; keep well and safe – see you in 2022!

Tribute to Kim Mustill and Paddy Parr

In my time as a member of the Guild’s EC, I have worked with a number of dedicated, hardworking and talented individuals.

Two such individuals, Paddy Parr and Kim Mustill, are leaving EC now that their terms as Chairs have ended. Both personify all that is best in the Guild, dedication to the Shaw, to the Guild and their work, to supporting Volunteers, and being fully involved and valued members of the Executive Committee. Both also have a passion for excellence in all that they do.

When we implemented MVP, perhaps one of the biggest transformational steps we had ever undertaken, we were extremely fortunate to have Kim take on the role of MVP Chair, to make it “real” for the skeptics and for all to benefit from her guidance and advice as we implemented this new way of doing business.  Kim is also an enthusiastic member of the Guild-led, Ambassador program, and in a number of other non-Guild community volunteer activities.

With Paddy, we had the benefit of her long association with the Shaw and her insights on how best we might support them, her no-nonsense “get the job done” approach to both Gardens Management and Garden Tour “Day of” Management role. We will particularly miss the flashes of her wicked sense of humour she regularly shared with us, and which lightened the mood.

It has been my great good fortune to work with them, not only in the good times, but through all the challenges that the past 2 years have brought our way.  To both of them goes my heartfelt gratitude. 


Donation from the Guild presented to the Shaw Festival

For the first time since 2019, we were able to have an in-person Members’ Day event.  The event featured recognition of Guild Volunteers who have reached milestone years of service, as well as those who were awarded Ontario Volunteer Service Awards in 2020 and 2021.

Also at this event, Alan Walker presented Tim Jennings, Executive Director of the Shaw Festival, two cheques totalling $35,000! $25,000 of that was allocated toward supporting the production of A Christmas Carol and $10,000 to the Shaw Festival Resiliency Fund.

The donation comes from proceeds of this year’s Garden Tour and Sip, Savour & Stroll, the Shaw Guild’s two annual fundraising events which were very successful in 2021. This is the third year the Guild has been able to award this donation to the Shaw.   A huge Thank You to all the volunteers who worked so hard on these events.

Jane Catcher, Garden Tour Convenor

A Message from Kim Mustill

Shaw Guild’s Largest Fundraising Effort!

The Garden Tour Team is looking for Volunteers to join us!

We welcome you to consider these roles, and let us know how you would like to get involved. Send email to

Sponsorship: Mary Mizen (VP and Fundraising Chair) is establishing a Sponsorship Team who will recruit local businesses and individuals to sponsor the Guild as a whole, to cover of all fundraising efforts.

Featured Gardens:  Reach out to home owners in town to secure gardens to be part of the Garden Tour. This role will carry on beyond this year’s Garden Tour.

Long Standing Volunteers Deserve Recognition!

As Garden Tour Convenor, it is my pleasure to bring well-deserved recognition and many thanks to individuals for their years spent on the Garden Tour Committee. I will miss working with each of them, and wish them all the best.

Peggy Bell: Since its inception in 2005, Peggy has been part of the Garden Tour, finding the Featured Gardens for patrons to visit and enjoy. Thank you, thank you, thank you! There truly are no words to express my thanks for your years of dedication. The task of coordinating 'Featured Gardens’ had its challenges, but as always you came through year after year. On behalf of the Guild, thanks to your time, many efforts, experience and dedication.

Mary Anne Seppala: For many years, Mary Anne has led the recruitment of the Garden Tour Volunteers. Successful accomplishment of this task involved finding and coordinating over 100 volunteers each year. The role came with many challenges, emails and communications, but Mary Anne pulled it off year after year, always coming through in the end. There truly are no words to express my thanks for all you did and do … a real star performance!

Paddy Parr: Since the first Garden Tour, Paddy has worn many leadership hats in pursuit of the success of the Garden Tour. Her latest accomplishment in managing Day-of-Logistics was no easy feat – COVID kind of got in the way a lot. I like to describe Paddy as the unsung hero, who brought it all together for a flawlessly smooth execution, due to her dedication and meticulous attention to detail. Paddy, you will be greatly missed on the team and I will miss working with you.

I have their WISH LIST and will do the shopping – so now I just need the money to do it with! That’s where YOU come in!! Due to covid still being ‘a thing’, we have been asked to just purchase GIFT CARDS so the family can do the shopping themselves.

Therefore, I invite your participation, and the sooner you can DONATE some money to me, the better. It would be most helpful to know how much money I have to work with!

For your convenience, there are TWO methods for GUILD members to donate:

  • There is a Christmas-themed collection box for the family at Stage Door RECEPTION, or
  • Donate via e-transfer to - there is no password required, but please write “Christmas Family” in the note section

THANKS TO EVERYONE, and wishing all our GUILD FRIENDS a most joyous holiday season!

In support of this, the Shaw Guild has donated $500 to Adopt A Family!

The Guild has New Opportunities for You to Explore!

Openings for New Docents – Deadline for application is November 30

The Docent Chair will be looking for a few new docents to start training in January for the 2022 season. The intake process will be held in early January. If you are interested in learning more about the intake process, the requirements and time commitments for the docent program, please contact Arlene Carson at by November 30th to arrange an interview. Interviews will be scheduled during the first 2 weeks of December.

Playing This Week Coordinator

Guild Volunteers help to distribute Shaw Festival booklets and brochures to the merchants on Queen Street during the season.  We’re anticipating that this help will be needed once again for the 2022 season, and so we’re looking for a volunteer to coordinate this activity.

Distribution of material begins before the first performances to ensure it’s available to visitors to the Shaw.  A team of Guild Volunteers make the deliveries.  The total time commitment over the season is approximately 10 hours.

If you would like to head up this team, send an email to Mary Mizen at for more information.

Sip, Savour & Stroll 2022

Save the date for Sip, Savour & Stroll!  This elegant garden party will be held Saturday, August 13, 2022, and tickets will be available on in the new year.

Planning is already underway for another fantastic event.  Our team would like to thank Keith Mills and Lois Chapman for all their hard work in helping to make Sip, Savour & Stroll a big success in 2021.  Both Lois and Keith have decided to step down from the SS&S planning team for next year.

If you are interested in joining the event planning team, send an email to Mary Mizen at

SAVE THE DATE: 16th Annual Shaw Guild Garden Tour, Saturday, June 11, 2022

Be a Santa to a Senior!  From Tina Schmidt at the Shaw Festival

Once again, we will be participating in Be A Santa to a Senior this year!  I am thrilled that Shaw will once again be involved in such a wonderful program from NOVEMBER 15 to DECEMBER 10.

WHAT IS IT? On Monday November 15, paper bulbs will be placed on a tree at Stage Door and they will have items requested from vulnerable seniors in the Niagara area written on them (and sadly these are often basic necessities that they simply can't afford).  You select an ornament, purchase what is on the ornament (and extra if you choose) and return the items, unwrapped to under the tree (I suggest putting them in a gift bag with the tag attached, it will help them in the end distributing the gifts). Home Instead Senior Care (the program administrators) will collect gifts periodically and the Niagara Region's Senior Community Outreach Team will distribute for Christmas.


WHY IS THIS AMAZING? The thought of these lonely and vulnerable seniors needing such basic items and being alone for the holidays breaks my little heart.  We have run this program successfully for several years now and I have been so touched at how many people in our company have participated.  The generosity of this company is so incredible that we have managed to support the Christmas family through Bea AND these elderly folks with great success. 

ANYTHING ELSE, TINA? Yes. Please feel free to write a card to go with your gift. Unfortunately, due to privacy issues they can't give us names (trust me, I keep trying to get it out of them) but a hand-written card from a stranger who is thinking about them goes a long way.  Maybe get your kids/grandkids to make a card - seniors love kids!

We are not the only location for this program, but we are the only NOTL organization participating.  The public is also invited in to get ornaments and return gifts but obviously are expected to mask up and sanitize to set foot in the building.  

THANK YOU SO MUCH in advance for making another holiday special for seniors who may not see it as something to celebrate.  Any questions?  Let Tina know!

Adopt a Family for Christmas! From Bea Campbell at the Shaw Festival

For several years we at the Shaw have adopted a family at Christmas through Community Care St. Catharines. With the continued generosity of both our Company and Volunteers in mind, I have adopted a family of SIX comprising of TWO adults, THREE girls, (ages 9, 6, and 2) and ONE boy, (age 6 months). I look to you to join me in providing a HAPPY CHRISTMAS for our family!

Two Opportunities to Help Others at Christmas

Message from Alan Walker, President, Shaw Guild

I’ve had a great time this year, communicating to you about (and participating in!) all the excellent projects and activities the wonderful Guild and Shaw Festival have offered! I’m looking forward to an even more exciting 2022.

All the best for a fantastic new year!

Cheryl Morris, Communications Chair

Happy Holidays from Margot Devlin, Incoming MVP Chair

I coordinated the Ambassador Program in the summer and the Ambassador volunteers were wonderful!  They were out there greeting visitors to Town in the blazing heat of our summer – amazing!  

I would like to send a special shout out to Marie Gillespie who rescued me from a soccer ball and then provided me with a wig (see picture) which will ward off any future head injuries. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that 2022 brings you health and happiness.

Wishing you all those things that make this time of year so beautiful and meaningful. May the gift of good health, peace and joy be yours this holiday and through the year ahead.


Deborah Williams, Secretary

May you all enjoy the magic of this holiday season - feel it, know it, believe it!


Laurie Harley, Past President

Holiday Greetings from Everyone Else on the Executive Committee!

With the Shaw Theatres now to run at full capacity during this Holiday season, Guild Hosting is back in the volunteering business full time! 

Thanks to all of our Guild Volunteers who are able to provide their service to the Shaw Festival during this busy holiday season.  To those Volunteers who are not able to Volunteer this year, thank you so much for your past service to the Shaw and we are greatly looking forward to seeing you back in the spring. We have missed you.

To all our Volunteers I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. Continue to look after yourself, your family and friends and try to assist all those people you can in their personal Covid-19 challenges. We are all in this together.

Greg Fedoryn, Host Chair 

A big shout-out to everyone in the Guild who persevered this year, without knowing what exactly to expect, and to the 27 new volunteers who weathered Zoom orientations with an unknown future so they could start to become involved.

We’re all looking forward to another unique year in 2022, but this one will be full of celebration, as the Shaw commemorates its 60th anniversary.

We hope you will want to continue to be part of The Shaw family!

Susan MacDonald, Membership Chair

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - but Intermission is Over for Hosting!

To our Greeters who worked with us using this ever-changing COVID-style Greeting, A Huge Thank You So Very Much. It certainly was an ADVENTURE!!

To those Greeters who chose to wait until next year, we hope to see you again in 2022.

And to everyone, wishing you a healthy, happy and safe Holiday Season and all the very best for 2022 when, hopefully, we will be together with all our Shaw friends once again.

Marg and John Mather

Celebrating the Strength of 300

Why is 300 so powerful? Well…

In bowling, it’s a perfect score.

It’s also the maximum legal speed (feet-per-second) of a paintball.

In ancient times, it was the number of Spartans who resisted one million Persian invaders.

But most important of all, it’s the number of volunteers who have shown their support for The Shaw and the Guild during a very — ahem — different year. (Actually, there are over 320 volunteers, and more expected in December!)


Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday Season!


Arlene Carson, Docent Chair

A Message from the Greeters Chair

Well, here we are, almost to the end of 2021, and what a year it has continued to be!!

Having been “called back” in September to help with the Vacc cert/photo ID/ticket process, Greeters continued our Adventure with the Fall and Holiday Shows

The Fall Season, at the Studio with Desire Under the Elms, began October 16th and will run until Dec 12th.

And then . . . A Christmas Carol (or as it’s lovingly called ACC - if you’re at the Shaw you know what that means, and it’s NOT Air Canada Centre!) began Nov 13th with the Guild being invited to the Final Dress Rehearsals on November 10th and 11th. How wonderful to, once again, be back in the Royal George with a family favorite and getting in the mood for the Holiday Season!!!

And then . . . Holiday Inn began Nov 14th, again with the Guild’s invitation to the Final Dress on November 12 and 13. Yes, in the BIG Theatre with everyone happily enjoying the singing and dancing which we haven’t seen for such a long time.

Once we got back to “working”, we have been VERY busy!

A big Thank you to everyone at Shaw for their support and caring during these past two years. And it’s a wonderful feeling to be back and together once again.

We are already planning new events for the coming year and are excited to see what 2022 will bring!  Never a dull moment in the Guild! 

I wish you comfort and joy this holiday season.  Savour every moment!  See you in the new year.


Brenda Weafer, Activites Chair

News From Backstage

While there have been no tours this year, the Docents were able to keep up with the season and attend (by Zoom) the insightful Meet the Shaw Directors and Designers events. Several members of the group were able to participate as conversation facilitators in Marla McLean’s play reading series, What Happens Next, that was “Zoomed” to Friends of the Shaw. It has been truly wonderful to get back to the theatres, both inside and outside, to see the amazing productions of the 2021 season.

Sadly, a few Docents have decided to retire. I would like to thank Alan Bown, Elaine Evans, Keith Mills, and Lindsay Thomson for their many volunteer hours as Docents.

Ironically, Tim Carroll decided in 2019 that he wanted patrons to spend more time enjoying the gardens. Company members were invited to submit their favourite “garden poems”, and POETRY IN THE TREES was created.  Partnering with the Shaw Marketing Department, twenty-four (committee-chosen) poems were etched onto plaques and mounted throughout the gardens “to be discovered”.  Little did we know that our lovingly developed Shaw gardens would become such an integral part of the 2021 OUTDOORS @ THE SHAW!

No need to dwell on 2020.  This was our downhill roller-coaster ride for sure, and we had no idea that we would have to wait 21 months to return to our pandemic devastated Shaw gardens, ironically on June 21st, 2021!  The positive side is that we are in full recovery mode, and WILL continue to rebuild the gardens lost, happily returning to TUESDAY mornings in 2022.

And now, it is time for me to pass the torch on to our new Shaw Gardens Chair, JANE CATCHER, who will bring, not only her vast garden knowledge and leadership skills to the position, but will be a great addition to the Executive Committee.  I have promised Jane that Brian and I shall continue to show up weekly, cookies in hand, to get our knees dirty with the rest of the gang!   

Cheers, Jane, and enjoy the EC ride as much as I did.

Wishing you the blessings of the season, from our home to yours!


Activities . . . a lot of them!

This past year has been interesting, to say the least! Faced with the prospect of not being able to get together in person, we wondered how we were going to maintain contact with our volunteers. Well, necessity being the mother of invention, we decided it was time to (yes that dreaded word) pivot!

We have had an amazing time this past year connecting with Shaw company members through the power of technology and re=imagining how to get together safely.  Far from being a year where nothing happened, 2021 has been full of new opportunities to stay connected -  Zoom meetings, Coffee Connections, Sip, Savour & Stroll, the Garden Tour and the Ambassador Program, not to mention the A Lot O’ NOTL project - have kept us busy and engaged. 


To coin a long-ago phrase: Thanks for the memories....

As I step down from the MVP Chair position at the end of my term, I look back on an extraordinary 2 and a half years of learning, exploring and engaging with volunteers, in all kinds of different forms. 

I don't think I have ever come across a more entertaining and knowledgeable group of people. The Guild EC team, along with the Shaw executives are just brilliance in action. They work tirelessly to provide an enriching experience, both in front and behind the stage. 

When I go to plays now, what I see before me is just a fraction of the skills and talent that make this magic happen. While I am stepping down, I am not stepping away from the Shaw. I look forward to seeing and working with the volunteers for many more years to come.  Thank you all for making my time on the EC so rewarding. It has been an absolute privilege and honour to work with you and beside you.

Now having said all that, the Guild could not be in better hands than with Margot Devlin taking on the MVP Chair responsibilities. She is bright, energetic and has a compassionate way with people, as she demonstrated with the Ambassador program.  The 2022 season and beyond could not be any brighter.

Paddy Parr: Passing the Torch

As my third and final term as the Shaw Gardens Chair comes to a close, many memories come to mind.  Being part of the Guild Executive Committee has been a roller-coaster ride with periods of joyful highs, and some frightening lows, especially with the two COVID-19 seasons looming large.  

Highlights over my EC years have included the 2016 completion of the Secret Garden on the east lawn.   This lovely donor project brought new life to the old overgrown Secret Garden, included preserving the original ‘lower pond’ and its tranquil beauty.

In 2017, our team took on the gardens behind the Royal George Theatre, dubbed the Gallery Garden.  Creating two gardening teams working simultaneously under Taskmaster Peggy Bell’s direction, we always gathered for coffee and cookies at the Festival.  Copious hours were spent using mostly donated plant materials from local gardeners, with great results.

Having Stephen Fry in season 2018 caused great excitement, and the Studio Theatre was in full swing.  Our accomplishments included the creation of a “crew terrace” opposite the Studio loading dock, much to the delight of our Shaw partners.  Anytime we can do something nice for the Shaw staffers, is a good day!

May each of you enjoy a wonderful holiday season, filled with peace, happiness and good health!


Mary Mizen, VP and Fundraising Chair






Greeters and Hosts are needed NOW to help at Shaw Holiday Performances!!

A great way to get into the swing of things if you haven't done Hosting or Greeting in while OR if you have never done Hosting or Greeting before!

A fast-track training session for each of these roles will be provided.

Send an email to for information.

Friendship is like a Christmas tree,

Decorated with warm memories and shared joys.


Joe Allevato, Treasurer

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