With the holiday season now past and many snowbirds flying south for the remainder
of winter, the Port Stanley Festival Theatre continues to see the generosity of
the community through support of their expansion campaign. Going on the third year
of construction, a variety of spaces in the theatre have been completed and several
are still on the horizon.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors, our thanks to Gore Mutual Foundation of Cambridge
and Preferred Insurance of London for their generous donation. 100% of their contribution
goes to our 'Expand the Experience' program, which will have a positive impact on
actors, designers, playwrights, technical crew, volunteers and patrons. We thank
all of our generous donors for their contributions to Canadian theatre arts," reports
President of the theatre, Brian Welsh. Representatives from both Gore Mutual Foundation
as well as Preferred Insurance were present to make the donation to Port Stanley
Festival Theatre this month. Peter Carr, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for
Preferred Insurance shares, "We are always proud to partner with and support organizations
that enhance our communities, and make movements of positive change for the future."
With the goal of strengthening Canadian communities Mark Young of Gore Mutual adds,
"What an amazing project! We are excited to play a part in making it happen."
The joint donation of $3,000 will "definitely assist the theatre in the re-tooling
of our new shop space," announces Vice President of the theatre, Scott Shakir, as
the funding has been provided to Work-The-Workshop. In just a few months, production
crews will return for the season to outfit the new workshop with the tools, safety
and organizational equipment required to create the outstanding sets coming to the
stage this summer.
Shakir is not only the theatre's newly appointed Vice President, but also a contributor
to 'Expand the Experience' through his family's recent sponsorship of the future
rooftop patio. Welsh was joined by Artistic Director, Simon Joynes to accept the
combined donations of $20,000 and $15,000 from Shakir and his sister Kim Ferris,
children of Ali and the late Pat Shakir. Pat and Ali Shakir were patrons of the
theatre and Pat a former volunteer usher. Ferris shares, "Our mom and dad would
be thrilled with this donation in celebration of their many years as dedicated volunteers
and avid supporters of the Port Stanley Festival Theatre."
A well-known member of the community, Pat was the retired Volunteer Director at
the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, and also a lifelong volunteer for numerous
local agencies and charities. Her husband, Ali, served as a navigator in the Royal
Canadian Air Force and was a meteorologist with the Department of Transport. After
retiring as Assistant Department Head of Science at Arthur Voaden Secondary School
in 1986, he too became heavily involved in community volunteering. The legacy of
their support will forever be remembered and honoured by the staff, the board of
directors and all future patrons enjoying the 'Pat and Ali Shakir Patron Patio'
upon its anticipated completion in 2017.
All members of this year's board of directors are very proud of the community outreach
for the expansion. From corporate donations, foundations, seat sponsorship and personal
planned giving the theatre is getting closer and closer to their renovation goals.
Join Brian Welsh (President), Scott Shakir (Vice President), Robert Halle (Past
President), Sharon Herrin (Secretary), Richard Haddow, Gary McLeod, Lillian Addley-Darel,
Glenys Lafrance, Cynthia DeWit, and Joe Preston (directors) along with their campaign
team members Suzi LaPorta, Nancy Moore, Sharon Larmour and Tony Rea this May for
the grand re-opening of the remodeled theatre auditorium.
Interested donors to the 'Expand the Experience' campaign, please visit www.playbythelake.ca or call theatre
administration staff at 519-782-3914.
Season Subscriptions available until June 4th or while quantities last. To reserve
your seats today contact our Box Office at 519-782-4353, Open Tues-Thurs 10:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. or order online 24/7 at