slideshow 1 slideshow 2 slideshow 3

Save the date | Monday, September 21, 2015

./kh@clep007 WAS HERE

PAL Goes to the Movies! | hosted by Shane Carty

Featuring members of the 2015 Festival Company and Orchestra.
Matt AlfanoCarla Bennett
Alex BlackJacqueline Burtney
Shane CartyRyan Field
Barbara FultonRyan Gifford
Alexis GordonGraham Hargrove
Alexandra HerzogAlana Hibbert
Bonnie JordanEthan Lafleur
Krista LeisAyrin Mackie
Chad McFaddenMelanie McInenly
Yanna McIntoshGeorge McLeary
Andre MorinMarcus Nance
Cory O’BrienKarack Osborn
Lucy PeacockGlynis Ranney
Steve RossJason Sermonia
Cynthia SmithersAlison Wearing
Ian HarperFlute, Sax, Clarinet
Donna-Claire McLeodOboe, Clarinet
Peter ShackletonClarinet
Julie ShierBassoon
Derek ConrodFrench Horn
Larry LarsonTrumpet
Janice OwensTrombone
Julie Seager-ScottHarp
Andrew ChungViolin
Ben Bolt-MartinCello
Eric MaharGuitar
Michael McClennanBass
Dave CampionDrums

Monday, September 21st 2015
8:00 p.m.
Avon Theatre

Song and dance from Hollywood favourites PAL Goes To The Movies | hosted by Shane Carty Featuring members of the 2015 Festival Company and Orchestra. Tickets available at the Stratford Festival Box Office. Tickets are also available on the website. 1 (519) 273-1600 Silent Auction: doors open at 6:30 p.m. Avon Theatre

PAL Stratford's Big Night

Ross Taylor donates bike to PAL Stratford Auction

Posted on Facebook by Richard Fitzpatrick Hey Stratford ! Ross Taylor of Bike Works on Wellington Street has been extremely generous over the years in donating a fabulous bike for the silent auction at our annual PAL fundraiser. This year's show, PAL GOES TO THE MOVIES ! ( SEPT. 21 AT 8PM AT THE AVON THEATRE ) promises to be a wonderful evening and once again Ross has donated a beautiful bike for the auction ! So don't wait ! Get your tickets now at the Stratford Festival Box Office and get ready for a great night and ride home on a great bike from Bike Works when PAL GOES TO THE MOVIES !

Welcome to PAL Stratford

Who Are We?

Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Stratford is a volunteer-based Canadian charitable organization dedicated to the provision of affordable housing, social assistance and other services to local members and associates of Canada’s professional and performing arts community who are in need of assistance by reason of low income, age or disability.

PAL Stratford was established as a non-profit organization in 2002 and in 2005 was registered as a Charitable Organization (86363 2881 RR0001). PAL Stratford is one of eight Chapters of PAL Canada; others are located in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Each Chapter is an independent organization.

The "Places, please" capital fundraising campaign is seeking community support to retire the mortgage on the recently opened affordable housing units at 101 Brunswick Street, Stratford.

What Do We Do?

The principal object of all PAL organizations is to provide affordable housing to those fifty-five years and older who are, or were, associated with Canada’s professional and performing arts communities. PAL’s goal is to assist senior members of our community in living independently and securely.

PAL Stratford is already providing services to the community through Supporting Cast, a volunteer outreach group, which offers confidential support to retirement age or ill members. Services include assistance in dealing with local social and community agencies, as well as offering companionship, check-up phone calls, rides to appointments and running errands. organization. Supporting Cast also organizes group activities, including a weekly coffee and conversation hour at a local restaurant.

Supporting Cast has an email for easy contact, If you would like to join this group, please email us at:

A Brief History

In October 1999, Tom Patterson, Stratford Festival Founder and Herbert Whittaker, Critic Emeritus for the Globe and Mail, spearheaded the inception of PAL Stratford, using the PAL Toronto Lodge as a model.

They recognized that the Stratford Festival had a substantial legacy: an aging theatre and arts community whose members wished to continue living in and around Stratford. As well, there are others in the professional and performing arts who have also chosen to make their home in Stratford.

True to Tom’s vision, PAL Stratford’s long-term goal is to provide affordable congenial housing for these valued members of the Stratford community. Our primary need is to find a building or a site that can be used to provide this kind of facility.

Over the years we have been involved in a number of different projects: twice with different owners of 500 Ontario Street, the land immediately west of the Arden Park Hotel as well as with the owner of 210 Water Street. We seriously considered Falstaff School when it was available. In 2005 we made an unsuccessful bid for City-owned property on Queensland Drive.

We recently opened an affordable housing unit PAL Place at 101 Brunswick Street, Stratford.

PAL Stratford is governed by an elected Board of Directors.

PAL Stratford Endorsements

The Stratford & Shaw Coalition of
Theatre Professionals & Friends of Pal

Statement of Support for PAL Stratford

A sanctuary, a safety net, a home, a community, PAL Place Stratford will be there for those of our own who find themselves in times of need during and at the end of careers that can be uncertain and insecure.
We the undersigned extend our enthusiastic endorsement to the Stratford Performing Arts Lodge project at 101 Brunswick Street, Stratford, Ontario.
PAL is a proven success story in several other locales nationwide. We heartily endorse and look forward to the same success story becoming reality here in Stratford.

(I authorize PAL to acknowledge my endorsement in its fundraising materials)

Geraint Wyn Davies Peter Hutt Ian D. Clark
Len and Heather Cariou Terri Dans Roberta Maxwell
Frank Moore Lesley Walker-Fitzpatrick Bruce Dow
Barbara Bryne Denny Spence Martha Henry
E. B. Smith Xuan Fraser Juan Chioran
Ben Carlson Tristan Tidswell Nicola Pantin
Tyrone Savage Luke Humphrey Lucy Peacock
Jeff Hughes Victor Ertmanis David Collins
Steven Gartner Keith Dinicol Margret Palmer
Kelsey Rae Shira Ginsler Don Sweete
Alicia Kuntze Nancy Benjamin Art Fortin
Nick Glenn AnthonyGentile Tim J. Hartman
Alec Cooper Angela Marshall Carl Danielson
Michael Barber Barry Gammon Joyce Lange
Margaret Blowes John Hautin Sandy Dunn
Scott Boyce Nicko Giannakos Jordan Till
Karl Wylie Cindy Tousshan Stephen Cota
Zeph Williams Gail Sorensen Jill Merner
Jay T. Schramek Ben Thomas Judy Smith
Brian Counihan Callan Potter Christine Yundt
Patricia Taylor Margret Lamb Ruby Joy
Caroline Yates Kelly McIntosh Lois Zurell
Karen Mills Deborah Howes Josie Muncaster
Dianne Chisholm Leslie Lee Ingrid Schmekies
William Gosling Jason Collier Leslie Wade
Lally Cadeau David Keeley Amanda Ryan
Margaret Ryerson Tina Watson Vic Ryan
Pam Brierley Brenda Keogh John Banks
Kyle Golemba Dan MacDonald Brenda Martin
Ann Swerdfager Richard Fitzpatrick M. K. Bohdanetzky
Roy F. Brown David Spence Brian Reynolds
Gayle Tribick Paul Shilton Robert King
Marie Fewer Renate Hanson Varrick Grimes
Alon Nashman Paul Thompson Vern Good
Sarah Mansikka Gillian Gallow Brenda Pilatzke
Daniel Mac Ivor Jessica Stinson Janine Pearson
Scott Farley Katherine Laing Nigel Bennett
Skye Brandon Christopher Sibbald John Vickery
Robin McCulloch Kristian Truelsen Maria Vacratsis
Stephen Woodjetts Michael Gyapjas Raemond Fletcher
Steve Bayne Barbara Young Kelley Teahen
Angela Smith Linda Mackay Brian Tree
Nora Polley Paul Elliot Aggie Elliot
Iain Paterson Wayne Mahon Dean Gabourie
Karen McCabe Maxine A. Graham John Pennoyer
Kim Foster Kevin Gormley Stacy Smith
Denise Fergusson Alan Laing Rachel Neville-Fox
Patti Muma-Cook Nancy Ferguson Ian Deakin
Jeff Wincott Jeremy Kushnier Michael Roth
Dave Collier Benedict Campbell Lisa Dent-Couturier
Kennedy C. MacKinnon Mark Beckett Ted Dykstra
Brian Crockatt Barbara Ross Carmen Grant
Carol A. Miller Peggy Mahon Chilina Kennedy
Jacob James Carol Zimmerman Andy Mark
Sherri Neeb Annette av Paul Brian Macdonald
John David Sterne Ian White  

Endorsement List

Note to Stratford & Shaw Theatre
Professionals & Friends of PAL:
You can add your endorsement by clicking the link
below to send us an email. We will add your name
as soon as possible after we receive your email.

 I endorse PAL Stratford 


Coco San

Robin Phillips | 1940 - 2015

A memorial service for former Artistic Director Robin Phillips will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 6 p.m. at St. James Anglican Church, 41 Mornington Street, Stratford. For more information or to make a memorial donation visit the WG Young Funeral Home website.


Festival mourns the death of Robin Phillips

July 26, 2015… The Stratford Festival is in mourning today for Robin Phillips, who served as its artistic director for six seasons. Besides bringing to the Festival such celebrities as Maggie Smith and Peter Ustinov, as well as one of its most beloved long-time stars, Brian Bedford, Mr. Phillips galvanized the company – and enthralled audiences – with his own extraordinary talent and energy. His tenure, which lasted from 1975 to 1980, is still fondly remembered by many as a “golden age.” “Robin Phillips was inspirational,” said current Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “Like so many people at the Stratford Festival, I was profoundly influenced by him. He seemed to make the impossible not only achievable but beautiful. His productions were crystal clear, emotionally honest and elegant in their simplicity. Every movement, sound or visual element was carefully considered, and yet they had a sense of freedom and vibrant life not often experienced in the theatre. “Robin was a brilliant artistic director ‎who raised the standards of acting and physical production at the Stratford Festival. We owe him a great debt of gratitude for his care, leadership and generosity to all.” Born in Haslemere in Surrey, England, on February 28, 1942, Mr. Phillips made his professional stage debut in 1959 at the Bristol Old Vic, where he had trained as an actor. In 1962, he joined the inaugural company of the Chichester Festival Theatre, under the artistic directorship of Laurence Olivier, and in 1965 he became an assistant director with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His 1970 production of Roland Miller’s Heloise and Abelard was a hit both in London and on Broadway, and in 1973 he became artistic director of the Company Theatre in Greenwich. Appointed in 1974 to succeed Jean Gascon as artistic leader of the Stratford Festival, Mr. Phillips presented his first season in 1975. It included his highly acclaimed production of Measure for Measure with Brian Bedford – then a newcomer to the company – as Angelo and a Third Stage production of The Importance of Being Earnest (remounted at the Avon Theatre in 1976 and 1979) with William Hutt as Lady Bracknell. In that first season too, with his productions of The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Comedy of Errors, he brought Shakespeare into the Avon Theatre repertoire for the first time in the Festival’s history. His second season included his production of Hamlet, in which Richard Monette and Nicholas Pennell alternated in the title role, and a Three Sisters directed by John Hirsch, starring Marti Maraden, Martha Henry and Maggie Smith. In 1977, Mr. Phillips cast Ms Smith and Mr. Bedford opposite each other in his production of Ferenc Molnár’s The Guardsman; the following season, he teamed them again in Noël Coward’s Private Lives. Peter Ustinov joined the company in 1979 to play the title role in King Lear, a production that was revived in 1980. During his tenure, Mr. Philips significantly increased the number of productions each season and enhanced the Festival’s international profile. He also introduced key innovations, making the balcony on the Festival Theatre stage removable in order to dramatically increase the flexibility of the playing area, and founding the Young Company to provide the Festival’s artists with opportunities to enhance their skills. After completing his tenure, Mr. Phillips went on to direct many acclaimed productions in Canada, the United States and his native England, and also directed the 1983 feature film The Wars, based on the novel by Timothy Findley. He served as artistic director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, for its 1983–84 season, and returned to Stratford in 1986 to direct that season’s Cymbeline at the Festival Theatre. He then served a two-year term as Director of the Young Company and directed several more Festival productions, culminating with Shakespeare’s King John in 1993. From 1990 to 1995, he was Director General of the Citadel Theatre, during which time his production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love toured Canada and the U.S. His production of the musical Jekyll & Hyde opened on Broadway in 1997, and the following year he directed the two inaugural productions of the newly formed Soulpepper company in Toronto. His West End productions included Long Day’s Journey into Night, starring Jessica Lange, in 2000 and Ghosts in 2001. His last Stratford season was in 2013, when he rehearsed Twelfth Night with participants in the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre. Among other honours, Mr. Phillips received an honorary degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1983, the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. An exhibition of photographs documenting his work at Stratford, entitled “Robin Phillips Directs: A Visual Record,” is currently on display in the Festival Archives. Mr. Phillips participated in the compiling of the exhibition, and visited it in June. It is open to the public on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Festival extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Phillips’s partner, Jo Mandel.

PAL Stratford's Back Garden

Below are some shots that Lesley Walker-Fitzpatrick took of PAL's back garden after it was loveingly spruced up by Vic and Amanda Ryan with the help of our tenant Grindle. Kudos and thanks for all their hard work and special credit to Vic for the fine benches he made.

Margaret Carol Ryerson | 1925 - 2015

After a great long run, in a life filled with loving friendships and the company of the Stratford artists for whom she had such respect and admiration, we sadly bring down the final curtain for Margaret Carol Ryerson (nee Ellicott), our mother, sister and Gran. Margaret is survived by her beloved son John, his wife Lori and the shining lights of the last 20-some years, grandsons Spencer and Adrian, along with her adored sister Lloy and husband Grant. An extensive cast list of nephews, nieces and cousins also mourn her passing, and toast a life well lived. Margaret leaves a hard act to follow with her many, many volunteer activities, most notably at St. John’s United Church, PAL (the Performing Arts Lodge) and SAWA, the Stratford and Area World Aid group with whom she spent so much time with for so many years. As the “right hand” to four of the Stratford Festival’s Artistic Directors (and their first archivist), she was a tireless cheerleader for the hundreds of actors, stagehands and technical artists who passed through those doors in her 20-ish years there. When she moved on from the Festival, she became part of the start up team of the original Stratford Music Festival, bringing her experience and wisdom to the administrative team there. It’s a testament to an actors’ skill to leave the audience wanting just a little more, and Marg’s final act is no different. We expect that Egerton and Ken, her husband and brother who predeceased her, will be waiting at the great cosmic CN station somewhere, with a rye ‘n’ ginger waiting for her, preparing for a train to the next station. In the words of the Robert Munsch book that she loved, which she quoted every time we headed home to Toronto: love you forever. Thank you to the staff of People Care and Golden Years Nursing Home for their care and love. A Memorial service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s United Church, 175 Waterloo Street, followed by internment (Avondale Cemetery) and a reception. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to PAL Stratford, P.O. Box 21045, Stratford, ON N5A 7V4,, or a charity of your choice, through the James A. Rutherford Funeral Home, 156 Albert St., Stratford at 519-271-5062.

This obituary is protected by copyright by James A. Rutherford Funeral Home Ltd.. Proudly Serving the Communities of Stratford, Perth, Mitchell, Sebringville, and Shakespeare in the province of Ontario, Canada All rights reserved. This obituary is also archived at

James A. Rutherford Funeral Home Ltd.
Online at

Legendary director/choreographer Brian Macdonald celebrated during tribute at the Festival Theatre

As posted on the Stratford Beacon Herald website, May 4, 2015 By Laura Cudworth, The Beacon Herald
Brian Macdonald could fill a theatre. The musicals he produced at the Stratford Festival are legendary and perhaps that is why fans streamed into the Festival Theatre to pay tribute to his extraordinary talent on Sunday afternoon. Macdonald died at his Stratford home in December at the age of 86. During his illustrious career he had an undeniable impact on the arts. He was a prolific director and choreographer and unforgettable teacher. His accomplishments and awards are far too numerous to list. He created about 100 ballets and directed 24 in operas in Canada and abroad. For Stratford audiences though he will be best remembered for his musicals. His Tony-nominated production of The Mikado (1982) toured Canada and went to the United States and England. He was behind 19 productions at the Stratford Festival, and the Gilbert and Sullivans, among others, are still fondly remembered. “Brian Mcdonald lived the life he wanted to live. He only ever wanted to be an artist and what an artist he was,” said Peter Herrndorf, CEO of the National Arts Centre. The celebration of his life was almost as spectacular as the plays he directed and choreographed. The tribute was called Brian's Greatest Hits and included numbers from The Mikado, Madama Butterfly and a bring-the-house-down version of You Gotta Get a Gimmick from Gypsy performed by the original Stratford cast. His wife and collaborator of 50 years, Annette av Paul, stood up at the end of the celebration and gave her heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated. “I'm overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of love and memories and joy,” she said. Among those who shared their memories was actor/director Martha Henry. She first met Macdonald when she was a young actor at the National Theatre School. He was tall, glamourous, charismatic and terrifying, she said. “He had discipline unlike anything we had experienced before. We were scared to death of him,” she said. But in six weeks he had transformed the class and got the best out of the students including Henry who saw her non-speaking role expand into a lead cameo. Macdonald was a founding member of the National Ballet of Canada and worked with Karen Kain when she was a young ballerina. She lauded his ability to show a too-serious ballerina how to express her silly side. For Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino, Macdonald was a kind mentor. Cimolino remembered Macdonald's generosity toward him when he was a young actor. “I had just been soundly panned by critics and I didn't know how I was going to get through the rest of the run,” he recalled. “Brian gave me a generous compliment. It meant so much to me.” Macdonald urged him to take the criticism as an opportunity to go further with his work. Cimolino said it changed the way he saw criticism after that. Had it not been for Macdonald, it's possible a young dancer named Donna Feore would never have found herself at the Festival. He brought her in as a dancer to work under his direction on Guys and Dolls. He promised her great things to do, with great piles of fruit on her head, she said. She later worked with him in other capacities, including choreography, which she likened to working as an apprentice to a magician. “An occasion like today is a terrific opportunity to acknowledge a debt, a debt that can't be repaid,” she said. Macdonald spent many years at the Banff Centre of the Performing Arts with av Paul. During a video presentation, many of the dancers he worked with there spoke of the influence Macdonald had on their lives and careers. Dancer Johnny Wright said he was a father figure. “How do you thank someone for that? You just keep dancing.” The tribute ended with a standing ovation as photos of Macdonald were projected on a screen and a spotlight shone down on an empty stage.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Sunday, April 26, 2015

At this afternoon’s 2015 Annual General Meeting, PAL Stratford’s membership were informed, that as of this morning, having been donated to PAL Stratford by the Stratford Public Library, physical transfer had taken place of the Floyd S. Chalmers Theatre Resource Collection and the Richard J. Monette Archives, and are now domiciled at PAL Place Stratford. A panel of theatre historians, librarians, authors, publishers and editors are being formed to curate, grow and cull the collections. In the fullness of time, professional practitioners and scholars of dramaturgy will have access to electronic catalogues, and most physical material of this distinguished and important international theatre-study resource.