Members » Newsletter

February 2019

In this edition:

Message from Laurie Harley, President, Shaw Guild

The 2019 season is underway!

Around the Shaw, February 14 was not just a day for valentines and chocolates, it marked the start of rehearsals as the creative teams and casts for The Horse and His Boy and Rope gathered for First Reads.  Around the Guild, we’ve been busy preparing for the roll-out of My Volunteer Page (MVP), our new web-based scheduling tool.  Over 110 members have attended hands-on training, with more sessions scheduled over the next while.  Hosting and Greeting shifts for April and May performances will be released in March, and you’ll have an opportunity to use MVP and tell us how it worked.

Backstage tours have already started and the Guild’s second event of 2019 is coming up on March 18 with the annual Scene Shop visit.   As well, in March, the distribution of Shaw promotional materials gets underway and I’m sure the Gardeners will be watching the weather forecasts to plan when they can get started with spring cleanup.

You’ll find the results of the December Member Survey attached to the February Newsletter email you received.  I encourage you to read them and learn how the Guild plans to respond.  One of the themes identified in the Survey was the need to improve Two-Way Dialogue between members and the Executive Committee.   One of our action plans will start with the March Newsletter.  We’ll be replacing the “President’s Message” – a one-way communication – with the “President’s Corner” – a two-way communication; you can pose questions and we’ll provide responses.   You’ve already raised a number of questions in the Member Survey and those will be the focus of the President’s Corner over the first few months.

Welcome to a new Guild season!  It promises to be an exciting and rewarding one!  

Renewing Your Shaw Guild Membership

If you have not yet renewed your Shaw Guild membership, Lindsay would like to hear from you! There are so many exciting activities planned that are exclusive to Guild members, you really don’t want to miss out. The annual fee is $20.00 and there are two options for payment:

Mail a cheque payable to The Shaw Guild to:
Shaw Guild
PO Box 83


If you have any comments or concerns regarding your membership, please email Membership Chair, Lindsay Thomson @

My Volunteer Page Hints & Tips

With the 2019 Shaw Festival season nearly here, those of us who host, greet, conduct docent tours, and participate in many of the other Guild activities will be using the My Volunteer Page (MVP) tool to sign up for those activities.

Are you ready??

Starting now and continuing in each newsletter, we will feature some hints & tips on how to use MVP to your best advantage. Here are a couple:

TIP #1: SUBSCRIBING TO SCHEDULE REMINDERS: When you subscribe, you will receive an automated notification of your upcoming activity starting 2 weeks prior, and then one week prior to the date. How to do this:

  1. On your main page select Contact Information from the MY PROFILE link.

2. Under Subscriptions, click on Subscribe to Weekly Schedule Reminders.

3. You will then see that you are subscribed.

TIP #2: ALLOWING OTHER GUILD MEMBERS TO SEE YOUR NAME WHEN YOU ARE CONFIRMED ON A SHIFT:  This is an optional but very helpful aspect of MVP. If you are interested in knowing with whom you’ll be working a shift, then others are equally interested. How to do this:

  1. Also appearing on the Contact Information page, and just above Subscriptions, you will see Privacy Settings. Select any or all of the choices.
  2. If you want to include a photo of yourself – a friendly way to get to know other Guild members – you can do that on the same page by clicking Update Photo and uploading your own photo from your computer.

TRAINING SESSIONS: There are still several openings for hands-on training sessions prior to the 2019 season start in April. For dates and details, please contact Cheryl Morris (

Docent Program Update by Arlene Carson, Docent Convenor

The Docent team saw the retirement of a number of our long-time members:

Jane Calver, Bill Charnetski, Elaine Evans, Ruth-Ann Hagedorn, Keith Mills, Julian Rance, and Kate Verweij have put in many hours for the Shaw Education Department covering a variety of responsibilities from tour guides and workshop leaders to facilitators for Continuing the Conversation.

Auditions for the Docent program were held in November and again in February. The process for becoming a Docent involves both an interview and an audition before a committee that includes the Senior Manager of Education, the co-ordinator of Education, the Docent Convenor and a member of the acting ensemble. We are delighted to welcome the following Guild members to the Docent team: Lois Chapman, Sandy Henderson, Gail E. Kendall, Joy Lambert, and Ellen Wodchis.

Shaw Guild 2018 Snapshot

Report to the Shaw Board of Trustees, February 2019, presented by Laurie Harley:

Recap of Newbie Secret Theatre Event by Brenda Weafer, Activities Chair

On a chilly February evening, 25 Shaw Guild members were treated to a wonderful evening with the newest ensemble members from the upcoming season, as well as a few alumni!

As a culmination of the workshops in which the actors participated as part of the Slaight Family Intensive, a short ensemble piece on love and relationships was shared.  The group gathered in the NOTL Public Library and made creative use of the space to share vignettes they had created during the week.  It was a privilege to see their fine work and a pleasure to meet them in such an informal setting.

We look forward to seeing each of these fine performers on a regular basis as the season unfolds.  Many thanks to Tim Jennings, Tim Carroll and Janet Hanna for making this opportunity available to us.

You are invited: Scene Shop Visit, Monday, March 18 – THIS EVENT IS FULL! CHECK BACK LATER IF WE GET CANCELLATIONS.

Learn about set design, planning and construction for the 2019 Shaw Festival season during this interesting and informative evening with key Shaw Festival staff.

There is NO COST for this event but registration is required. Coffee and cookies will be provided.

Date and Time: Monday March 18, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Location: Scene Shop, 12 Walker Road, Virgil Industrial Park, Virgil. Please note: there are several stairs up to the Scene Shop venue, in case accessibility is an issue for you.

Please register for this event in one of 2 ways:

  1. In MVP, go to Opportunities, look under Activities, click on Scene Shop Visit, and then click on Sign-up. You will be automatically accepted and will see this on your MVP home page and in your MVP schedule.


  1. Send email to Brenda at before March 11.

Needed: Education Department Workshop Volunteers for The Horse and His Boy

Working in conjunction with the Education Department, Workshop Volunteers will assist with assigned duties during public and educational group workshops. Workshop topics and duties vary from year to year.

Training is provided by the Shaw’s Education Department, and must be completed before volunteers are able to work with the public. 

To apply, please contact Suzanne Merriam, Senior Manager, Education at or 905-468-2153 x2265.

Bravo HondaGo!!! Update by Paddy Parr, Gardens Chair

Guild Gardeners Craig and Debbie Steley recently confirmed that SHAW FESTIVAL will receive a $500 grant from HONDA CANADA MANUFACTURING!

This “DOLLARS for DOERS” grant for Honda retirees (and their spouse or partner) recognizes community volunteer hours.

Does your former employer support your invaluable volunteer hours with Shaw Festival? RBC does! IBM does! Check it out!

Bravo Craig, Debbie and HONDA for this tangible gift which has been earmarked for garden enhancement in season 2019.


Hosting Update by Greg Fedoryn, Host Chair

FedorynThe 2019 Shaw Festival Theatre opening on Saturday April 6 with the first Guild Hosting on April 10, will soon be upon us.  In preparation for the start of the Season, a full update of the Shaw Guild Host Handbook is now being finalized.   Once completed by early March, the updated Host Handbook will be posted to the Shaw Guild website under Resources.

In order for Hosts to be able to see the volunteer opportunities they will need to have:

  1. Paid their annual $20.00 Guild registration fee and attended orientation.
  2. Completed their individual profile in MVP and have completed AODA training.
  3. If you want to Host this season, make sure to check off Hosting in your General Interests in MVP.

We have divided the season into periods and on March 10, Period One (April 10 to May 24) Hosting Opportunities will be posted in MVP.  Once the opportunities are posted, volunteers will have one week to Sign Up for shifts.  Sign up for as many dates as you are available and willing to volunteer.  After one week, the Host Captain will confirm the host assignments and send email notices to all volunteers as to whether they have been selected for their chosen host opportunity or not.  All shows will be assigned within the week so Hosts can block their calendars for the shows they have been assigned to in the coming month.

The Host Captain for Period One is Sue Henry who can be reached at or 905 468 8964.

If Hosts have not yet completed their MVP personal profile and training, I would strongly urge them to contact Cheryl Morris to book an MVP training session.  Volunteers are welcome to learn the MVP platform on their own.

More information is to follow in the February 2019 Host Communique.    

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