LSM Newswire

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shaw Festival Set to Open 47th Season

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, May 21, 2008 . . . The Shaw Festivals 47th season officially opens tonight with J.B. Priestleys compelling and mysterious drama An Inspector Calls at the Festival Theatre. Four other productions also open this week: Bernard Shaws provocative comedy Getting Married; the North American premiere of Githa Sowerbys undiscovered gem The Stepmother; Lillian Hellmans timeless tale of family and greed, The Little Foxes; and Leonard Bernsteins musical adventure Wonderful Town.

The Shaw Festivals Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell, who joins The Shaws Board of Governors Chair Richard D. Falconer and the rest of the Company in celebrating the launch of the season, says of the weeks events: We head into Opening week with a sense of celebration and pride. The five fine productions were about to present are a testament to the talent and spirit of The Shaws artists, both on and off the stage. Ive been thrilled with the audience response to these shows during the preview period and thank everyone involved for their dedication and enthusiasm in bringing these stories to life on stage. In commemoration of the achievements of The Shaws creative team, gala dinners attended by dignitaries from all levels of government and Canadas artistic and business communities, and by Shaw supporters, are held throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake prior to the opening night performances.

Government of Canada officials attending will include: The Honourable Jose Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage; The Honourable Art Eggleton P.C., Senator; Mr. Stephen Brereton, Canadian Consul General Buffalo; Mr. Robert Noble, Canadian Consul General Detroit; Dr. Carolyn Bennett P.C., MP St. Pauls; and Mr. John Maloney, MP Welland. Foreign dignitaries attending will include: His Excellency H.E. William Fisher, Australian High Commissioner and Mr. Nicholas Armour, British Consul General Toronto. Provincial government officials attending will include: The Honourable David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture; Ms. Marguerite Rappolt, Deputy Minister of Culture; The Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources, MPP Etobicoke Centre; The Honourable John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation; Ms. Julia Munro, MPP North York, PC Culture Critic; Ms. Joyce Savoline, MPP Burlington; and Mr. Greg Sorbara, MPP Vaughan. Municipal government officials attending will include: Lord Mayor Gary Burroughs, Mayor of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake; Mr. Dennis Parass, Chair, Niagara Economic Development Corporation; Mr. Patrick Gedge, CEO, Niagara Economic Development Corporation; and Mr. Peter Partington, Regional Chair, Regional Municipality of Niagara.

Arts community members attending will include: Martin Bragg, Executive Producer, The Canadian Stage Company; John Brotman, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Council; Antoni Cimolino, General Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival; Martha Durdin, Chair, Ontario Arts Council; Julia Foster, Chair, Board of Trustees, National Arts Centre; John Goddard, Executive Director, Theatre Ontario; Peter Herrndorf, President & CEO, National Arts Centre; Jack Lightstone, President, Brock University; Dan Patterson, President, Niagara College; Richard Rose, Artistic Director, Tarragon Theatre; Robert Sirman, Director, Canada Council; Janet Stubbs, Director, Ontario Arts Foundation; and Nancy Webster, President, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.

The 2008 season is proudly presented by HSBC Bank Canada/HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

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