As you may be aware, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest scientific report on Monday August 9th, with its key finding being that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying.
The irony of this was not lost on those of us who attended the Guild’s first Coffee Connections session on the same day. At 10 am the temperature was approaching the equivalent of high 30s Centigrade. However, as you will see, from the photograph, we enjoyed a very comfortable, and highly enjoyable experience.
It is with great sadness that we announce the deaths of 2 former members of the Shaw Guild.
Ron Dalgleish, President of the Guild from 2003-2004, died peacefully in his sleep, July 29, 2021, with family at his side, in Orangeville, ON. He is survived by his three daughters, Lynne Dalgleish, Diane Feeley, and Heather Dalgleish, 10 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Ron was born July 7, 1936 in Montreal, PQ. He served as a lieutenant in the Canadian Navy in the late 50s, and he developed a lifelong love of sailing.
Having graduated in commerce from McGill University, he worked as a skilled accountant for several organizations. Many of you will remember Ron’s ownership of a B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where he was both a member of the Guild, the B&B Association, and the Rotary Club which awarded him the Paul Davis Award in 2015 for his commitment to charity and volunteer work.
Friend to so many in our Community, together with his love for sailing, fine wine, the arts, and volunteerism, these shaped much of his "retirement" years in NOTL. Eventually, he settled in a retirement home in Shelburne, closer to family. Any donations in Ron's memory may be made to the Rotary Foundation of Canada.
Leon K. Albrecht passed away on August 6th, 2021 at the age of 94. Preceded in death by his wife Kathleen (1978) and his second wife, Renate (2010). Loving father of Kevin (Diane) and Michael. Proud Popa to Andrew (Taylor) and Victoria (Nolan) and great-grandpa to Oliver.
Leon was born in Piotrkow, Poland. As a young man, he lived through the Uprising of Poland, later becoming a POW.
Leon and wife, Kathleen, immigrated to Canada and eventually settled in Brampton to raise their family. Leon's career took him to the Ford Motor Company, Massey Ferguson, Traders, and Royal Insurance, eventually retiring in 1990.
After Kathleen's passing, Leon welcomed his new life with Renate and her sons, and he became step Popa to Alexandra and the late Myles.
He and Renate retired to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1990. Leon loved to learn, read and travel. After a career that took him around the world, and he and Renate continued to enjoy many travels into their retirement.
In Leon’s memory, donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada would be appreciated by the family.
The Long Road Back…..
Imagine our dismay when April came and went, and Covid blocked spring clean-up in The Shaw gardens for the second year in a row!! Clearly, the decision was Pandemic driven, but the gardens sorely needed us!!!
June 21st marked the day when volunteers were allowed to return to gardening at The Festival Theatre only, after an 11-week delay. The devastation that greeted us, was heartbreaking! Restricted to 2 hours (instead of 3), with zero coffee breaks, we cautiously reached out to our green-thumb volunteers to garner interest, and a dozen hearty souls stepped up! I use the term “hearty” because it takes a special commitment to fill out an online Daily Health Assessment Form within a two-hour window prior to our gardening shift, check-in at Reception and scan our temperature, AND wear a mask (fulltime) while toiling the soil in 38-degree humidex conditions……with nary a complaint! They are all heroes!
Eight weeks and 220 volunteer hours later, the Festival gardens are looking presentable, and the Royal George Gallery garden is madly being ‘rebuilt and groomed’ for our August 28th (sold out) fundraiser, SIP, SAVOUR, and STROLL. Always committed to “putting on our best face” is our gardening group focus!
Message from Alan Walker, President, Shaw Guild
The East Lawn Tent provided us with shade, and we were blessed with the prevailing, and happily cooling breeze from the Commons.
Accordingly, for those of you contemplating attending future sessions you need not be discouraged by our own August heatwave as the facilities allow us to meet in comfort.
The social aspect of meeting up with fellow Guild members added a welcome soupcon of much needed normality in these trying times, as was the opportunity for us to better appreciate just how innovative Shaw has been in using the outdoors to bring theatre back into our lives.
The flurry of recent Shaw Openings, including those in-theatre, or transfer from outdoor facilities to in-theatre, has understandably prompted a number of you to wonder when we might be back doing what we love, volunteering at the Shaw. I truly wish that I could provide you with a definitive answer, but I cannot.
I can assure you all that I am in regular contact with Shaw, and we have agreed that whenever we are called upon, we will do so in a phased, and controlled manner. Until that time, I do appreciate you staying connected with us, and for your kind words on how we in the EC are reaching out to you.
Shaw Guild Docents had the opportunity to re-connect this week at the Guild's August 16 Coffee Connections. From left: Brenda Weafer, Arlene Carson, Lois Chapman, Maureen Dalgleish, Carol Reid, Peter Barwell.
In the Festival Theatre for the Raven’s Curse, seating was limited to the front 1/3 of the orchestra area. It was like having an intimate private theatre surrounded by the foreboding Isle of Skye landscape. It was wonderful to again have the full theatre experience and marvel at the performances, plus amazing scenery, lighting and sounds that we remember in Shaw performances. It was also wonderful to observe the outstanding creativity of the Shaw Company.
I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy some of these great Shaw theatre performances in this year’s unique venues.
As things unfold at the Shaw Festival and, if future COVID-19 protocols allow for Shaw Guild Host Volunteers to return to active service, I will send out a Host Communique to advise you of the next steps to be taken in Shaw Hosting.
In the interim, 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
Check the Cheque
The Guild recently received and deposited a cheque which was not honoured, that is, it was an NSF, a not sufficient funds, cheque.
Although NSF cheques are rare in Canada, a US funds check issued by a US resident is even more rare. If you have travelled in the US, you may have seen that grocery stores readily accept checks for payment. This practice occurs because in the US it is a “Federal” offence to issue an NSF check, and no one wants the Feds at their door.
When I worked for Prudential Insurance of America in Toronto in the late 1960s, the Canadian office, which was 1/10th the size of the US operation had more NSF cheques than all the 10 US offices combined. In Canada, there is no similar “Federal” offence regarding the issuance of NSF cheques hence NSF cheques are more prevalent in Canada.
I will happily accept a US dollar check (no matter how they spell “cheque”!) issued by a US resident and I acknowledge the US and Canadian spelling difference. Money is money.
Joe Allevato, Shaw Guild Treasurer
Have you filled out your Skills Survey?
It’s been a while since most of us have used MVP, but it’s a good idea to keep your list of skills updated in your MVP profile. Just log into your MVP account and click on the Additional Info tab found under My Profile to check off your list of skills. There is also an area near the bottom of the list where you can add any additional skills.
We have been using this skills information to help us find candidates for committees and other positions within the Shaw Guild.
Remember you can add or update your skills information in MVP at any time. If you need help logging into MVP or have forgotten your password, contact Kim Mustill.
Message from Shaw Hosting
Hello fellow Shaw Guild Members. In the May 2021 Shaw Guild Newsletter, I wrote the
following: “It has been a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World over the past 14 months”. Despite our best collective efforts, we are still largely out there in the Mad Covid-19 world.
In July 2021 our spirits lifted, as the Shaw Festival launched its 2021 Season under significantly reduced audience capacity limits. The Shaw implemented very careful COVID-19 protocols ( i.e. mandatory personal mask wearing at all Shaw performances) to best protect patrons and Shaw staff. To date, the Shaw has exclusively engaged its hired staff to assist patrons to personally scan their own tickets and to locate their seats at the various Shaw venues, including 3 new outdoor stages.
If you have been fortunate enough to attend any of the Shaw productions then you have been treated to some marvellous theatre experiences. For the outdoor venues, they have incorporated Shaw grounds for some unique theatre entrances and exits. Sitting under the beautiful trees at the BMO Stage we literally came home with ants in our pants! Although we could not be sure that any of them were actually named Charlie. After a beautiful sunny afternoon performance of Flush, we came home flushed with the radiance of the sun. (But no ants – or fleas!) It truly is a dog’s life!
As you will have noticed from Alan’s article this month, Coffee Connections are well underway on Monday Mornings. Two dates in September (20th and 27th) will be reserved for new members who joined the Guild after October 2019). If you haven’t joined us yet, please go to MVP and sign up! If you need help logging into MVP or have forgotten your password, contact Kim Mustill. It’s easy and you will be glad you did!
The Activities team has also been busy organizing Special Attractions that will be featured on the year’s Guild Garden Tour on September 11th. Make sure you have your tickets, and join us for an amazing day in the gardens of NOTL!
We will have some special features such as former Shaw Company member Emily Lukasik, who will play violin and sing for the tour patrons in one of the gardens. Other fun activities include local Plein Air painters in two gardens, local guitar duo The Two Djangos, as well as demonstrations of how to create the perfect Fall Planter and how to paint rocks (see photo below) to enhance your gardens and containers.
We are excited about these events and know you will enjoy being a part of this great day in support of the Shaw Festival!
Brenda Weafer, Activities Chair
Sip, Savour & Stroll is coming up August 28!
Shaw Guild Garden Tour – HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN, BE SURE TO GET YOURS!!
It seems everyone from near and far is excited to spend a day touring the 8 fabulous private gardens we are featuring this year.
More than 500 tickets have been sold to date!!
If you have not purchased your tickets yet, it’s easy to do. Just click here.
Invite your friends and family, and even newcomers to NOTL!
They will enjoy the day and thank you for making them aware of this great event.
We know rebuilding the gardens back to their pre-Covid splendor, is going to take time, but our core group of 12 gardeners, will never let us down, and for that, we are most grateful.
Gardeners in photos include Paul Madeley, Ken O’Malley, Peggy Bell, Mary Mizen, Brian Parr, Craig Steley, and Debbie Steley.
Photos and article by Paddy Parr, Shaw Gardens Chair
Land Acknowledgement Statement
The Shaw Festival’s land acknowledgement statement reads as follows:
“We acknowledge and honour the land upon which we gather as the historic and traditional territory of First nations peoples. In particular we recognize and thank the Neutral Nation, the Mississauga and the Haudenosaunee for their stewardship of these lands over millennia.”
This statement appears on a plaque outside the stage door, is published in the annual Playbill, is acknowledged at production performances, and is read aloud by the Chair of the Board of Directors, as the first item at the Shaw’s Annual meeting.
The connection between place, First Nations peoples, with the Shaw as storyteller, is stronger than we may have previously appreciated. In staging its shows outdoors, Shaw has made that connection even more tangible and meaningful.
In July, EC agreed that the Guild should also acknowledge the stewardship of the land, and took the opportunity, with Shaw’s approval, to add words, in particular to make the storytelling link clearer.
What follows is the approved statement;
“Niagara-on-the-Lake is situated on the historical land of the First Nations people. In fact, there is evidence that the area around the Shaw Festival Theatre was once an ancient site for indigenous rituals, ceremonies and storytelling. Theatre is based on gathering people for a communal experience.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the first peoples of this land and especially thank the Neutral Nation, Mississauga, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe for their continued stewardship over the millennia.”
This statement will be published on our website, will be included in our Annual Report, and will be read aloud, by the President of the Guild, as the first item at each Annual General Meeting.
Finally, this is to express our gratitude to EC members, Arlene Carson, for bringing this to our attention, and to Susan MacDonald for crafting the original statement which enabled us to reach this successful outcome.
Our elegant garden party, Sip, Savour & Stroll will take place Saturday, August 28th. Tickets sold out quickly to this event and our team has been working diligently to put on a terrific event. Guests will visit 3 gardens in Old Town NOTL, and have a chance to enjoy refreshments in each one.
We will have live music, door prizes, take-home gifts, a silent auction of original art and much more!
Thanks to all the Guild volunteers who will be helping us at this event! We will post pictures in our next newsletter!