January 2022 Newsletter

Activities Corner

Brenda Weafer, Activities Chair

Another exciting season of the Shaw Festival and of the Shaw Guild is upon us!  Your activities team is busy planning interesting, educational and fun events for you. Last year our events were virtual for the first part of the season, and this year we had a full slate of in-person events set to go, but we may need to make some adjustments as Provincial health guidelines dictate.

That being said, we have a number of events planned for the upcoming months.  Here is a brief overview.  Details will be communicated before each event.

January 31: 11:00 am via YouTube – “Celebrate 60!” – A kick-off to the upcoming season
Join Guild President Alan Walker, Shaw Festival Executive Director Tim Jennings, Artistic Director Tim Carroll along with incoming Shaw Board Chair Ian Joseph for an informal discussion of the upcoming season. This event will be accessible on YouTube at the following link “Celebrate 60!” - A kick-off to the upcoming season. Please join a few minutes before 11:00 am.  If you have a YouTube account you will be able to ask questions via the chat. If you’d like to send in questions ahead of time, please send them by Jan 30 to info@shawguild.ca

Other events being planned:

  • February – Sneak Peek – a chance to meet the new members of the Shaw Company (on ZOOM)

  • March – a visit to the Scene Shop. If this can’t happen in person, we will have a video overview

  • April – Spring Preview Luncheon and Show & Tell

  • May – a chance to attend a dress rehearsal

  • June – The Annual Guild Garden Tour on June 11th. 

  • July – “Under the Stars” – a cocktail party in conjunction with a pop-up patio on the terrace

  • August – “Sip, Savour and Stroll: An Elegant Garden Party” on August 13th.

  • September – Appreciation Event for volunteers who helped with the two fund-raising events

  • October – Volunteer Recognition Event

  • November – Annual General Meeting

As you can see, there is a lot to look forward to!  Stay tuned for more information about details for each event closer to its date. We are excited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the both the Shaw Festival and the Guild with you!

Everything's coming up roses!

Its not too early to think about the Guild Garden Tour, Saturday, June 11, 2022

Many of us might still be knee-deep in snow, but planning is well underway for this year’s Garden Tour.  (For those lucky volunteers who are south, Niagara had a record snowfall last week.)

There will be eight spectacular properties in and around Old Town for patrons to enjoy this year and some surprises, too. As in the past, volunteers will be needed to make the day a success. One important volunteer role is Garden Manager.

Each property has a Garden Manager (sometimes two people who want to work as a team). Garden Managers are the link between the homeowner of the garden, the master gardeners who are available to answer questions and the volunteers who act as cashiers and greeters during the day.

We are on the lookout NOW for Garden Managers. If you are interested in learning more about the role and the Garden Tour, please contact Susan MacDonald at info@shawguild.ca .


COVID Compliance and Volunteering at the Shaw Festival

Margot Devlin, MVP Chair

In conjunction with the Provincial mandate for theatres and many other public gathering places, all Shaw Festival attendees (including Shaw Guild volunteers) need to provide proof of full vaccination status with either a Health Canada or CDC authorized vaccine.

An official proof of full vaccination receipt must be presented by Shaw Guild volunteers.  This receipt is recorded in both the Shaw Guild MVP system and the Shaw Festival database.  (American vaccination documentation is accepted.)

The Shaw Festival will not allow Guild volunteers to work on Shaw Festival premises without this required documentation. 

Mask wearing remains mandatory for both outdoor and indoor attendances at the Shaw Festival.

UPDATE:  The Shaws COVID Compliance Manager has advised that proof of having received the booster will be mandatory by mid to late February after it has been made more available to everyone.  

As government guidance is rapidly evolving, the Shaw Festival protocols will be amended and updated as necessary and the Shaw Guild will be required to comply with same.

Please forward your proof of vaccination (including the booster) to Margot Devlin, MVP Chair, who will record the proof, update the Shaw Festival COVID Compliance Manager and delete the “proof” after recording. 

Sponsorship of Guild Events

We’ve changed our sponsorship benefits in 2022, so that - depending on sponsorship level - our sponsors will receive promotion for all Guild events and fundraising activities.  This means that sponsor logos will be featured throughout the season in our promotions!

There are three levels of sponsorship in 2022, with benefits to our sponsors at each level:

  • Platinum - $2,000 sponsorship

  • Gold - $1,000 sponsorship

  • Silver - $500 sponsorship

For more info go to the Sponsorship page.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Ambassadors

Cheryl Morris, Communications Chair

Shaw Guild and Ambassadors Help at Candlelight Stroll

In late November, The Chamber of Commerce/ Tourism NOTL asked the Ambassadors if they would help out the ever-popular Candlelight Stroll on December 3. We sent out the call to the Guild and we had a great response from volunteers, many of whom had not participated as Ambassadors before.

Some strolled Queen Street, welcoming people, reminding them to try to maintain distance from others, and some of us sold candles. We found people very generous and there was a cheerful vibe in the air, celebrating this long-standing town event.

A total of $21,000 was taken in from candle sales and donations, all of which went to a deserving young recipient and his family.

NEWS about the Ambassadors!

When you see Ambassadors this spring, you’ll notice they are wearing a new look! Thanks to a successful grant application by the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake from My Main Street, Ambassadors will be well-equipped with tools and collateral to enable them to share information about NOTL with visitors and residents alike.

The program has expanded from its beginnings in the summer of 2020, when they were asked to encourage visitors to wear masks and keep to social-distancing protocols, to now help support economic recovery for Queen Street merchants. Volunteers stroll Queen Street and surrounding parks to proactively engage visitors and residents, answer their questions, and encourage exploration of iconic and 'hidden gems' in Town. “It is anticipated the funding provided for the Ambassadors Program will result in boosted revenues for local shops, restaurants, and businesses along Queen Street due to the volunteers' recommendations of local merchants.”

What was begun as a Shaw Guild pilot project is now a core program under the umbrella of Tourism NOTLLaurie Harley, the lead on the program, and organizing team members Cheryl Morris, Vlad Haltigin, Marie Gillespie, Lynne Hanna, Margret Walker and Margot Devlin, are now engaged in organizing recruitment and training pieces, and welcome anyone who is interested in finding out more  – whether they are Guild volunteers or not – to send an email to info@notl-ambassadors.ca.

The Shaw Guild is a partner in the program, having many years of experience as a volunteer-managed group, with tools and best practices which have added to its reputation as a world-class organization.

A Lot O' NOTL is a big success

Laurie Harley, Past President

In October 2021, an organizing team of 10 volunteers met to start planning for a Christmas A Lot O NOTL box.  The idea originated in 2020 when Emily Lukasik, then a member of the Shaw Ensemble, approached the Guild to help curate boxes filled with products from local merchants, sell them and return the proceeds to merchants who were experiencing challenges due to Covid restrictions.

Although Emily was not able to lead the project in 2021, the team was determined to carry on the tradition.  And the Lukasik family continued to contribute by printing the boxes at no charge.   The plan was to sell 100 boxes, each priced at $125 and deliver them to customers’ doorsteps on December 10th.  The Shaw provided the Market Room at the Court House for packing the boxes – a significant improvement over the cramped basement quarters used in 2020.   All Christmas boxes were sold and, combined with the sale of A lot O NOTL boxes last year, returned over $22,500 to Old Town merchants!

What people had to say . . .


  • “ I loved it.”

  • “I received my box yesterday.  It was delivered by my festive friend, Brenda Weafer.  I was overwhelmed and surprised by its contents. It was a perfect balance between practical and decadent gifts.  You nailed it! Well done everyone.”

  • “I just want to say that I love, love, love everything in the box!  Thanks for organizing such a successful event.”

  • “Thank you to all the elves that made this happen.  We are very pleased with our box.”

  • “What a surprise! The package just arrived – what a wonderful selection.  Will certainly enjoy all the goodies! It was a great idea!”


  • “The boxes look fantastic!”

  • “Thanks for including us.”

  • “Thanks so much for all your support. We appreciate it so much.  I’m going to post the photos on our social media.”

A Lot ONOTL TeamJoe Allevato, Linda Baines, Glenna Collins, Marie Gillespie, Cindy Grant, Valerie Hancock, Laurie Harley, Caroline Kindness, Linda Mooney, Cheryl Morris, Kim Mustill, Margret Walker, Brenda Weafer.

Shaw Guild and Social Media

Jo Ann Ely, Marketing Convenor

We are using Instagram and Facebook to talk about the Shaw Guild’s news, activities and events.  Please follow us and post/share with others.

Do you know why 2022 is an Extra Special Year for All of Us at SHAW?

Marg (and John Mather, Greeting Chair

Yes, we will hopefully be over this crazy Pandemic that has been with us for 2 years. Yes, our jobs may be a little different, we may be at other locations, BUT we will be together


We ALL will be celebrating……A Milestone Anniversary - SHAW’S  60th!!

What else was happening 60 years ago?
  • Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup!

  • Decca Records turned down a band auditioning for them as they felt Guitar Groups Were On Their Way Out…..the band was The Beatles!

  • The Funny Guys were the Smothers Brothers

  • The Movies to watch were Lawrence of Arabia and The Manchurian Candidate

  • John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth

  • The first computer video game, Spacewar, was invented

  • In New York City, James Earl Jones was in the first production of Shakespeare in the Park

  • Best film Oscar Winner was West Side Story

  • O’Keefe Centre, Toronto, premiered a new musical “No Strings”.  It subsequently went on to Broadway where it won the Tony for Best Original Score by  Richard Rodgers. This was his first musical composed after the death of his long-time collaborator, Oscar Hammerstein. Diahann Carroll won the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Lady in a Musical, a first for an African-American

  • Neptune Theatre Foundation was set up in Halifax and the following year would open its first Repertory Season

And on June 29, 1962, Shaw’s inaugural Season was held in the Assembly Room of the Court House and featured 4 performances each of Don Juan in Hell and Candida.

And here we are now . . . READY to CELEBRATE 60 AMAZING YEARS OF SHAW!!!

We are so looking forward to seeing you, greeting with you and, above all, having fun once again!!