OUR TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Hilary Blackmore
    A ballet school dropout, Hilary holds a BFA(Dramatic Art) from the University of Windsor.
    Her career as a stage manager took her to the Blyth Festival for ten seasons, Theatre Passe
    Muraille under three artistic directors, Native Earth Theatre under Thomson Highway and
    regional theatres across the country.  She also toured Northern Ontario in January-February,
    twice, and stage-managed a number of dance works. Hilary is gratefully retired.
     

  • David Blandford
    David moved to Stratford from Toronto in 2014 after retiring from Oxford Properties Group
    where he was a Senior Vice President. Over the course of his career, he managed, leased,
    developed and redeveloped commercial properties. Since moving to Stratford, he has served on
    serval non-profit boards including Gallery Stratford as vice chair; board chair of The Local
    Community Food Centre; and was also a member of the Stratford Market Square Committee that
    worked with the city on the redevelopment of Market Square.
     

  • Marian deWever
    Marian is a native of Stratford and owns Home & Company Real Estate Corp Brokerage. Marian
    is very familiar with the local business community and has served as a director of Huron Perth
    Assoc. of Realtors, The Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce, the Zonta Club of Stratford,
    and the Stratford Perth Museum Capital Campaign Committee. She currently serves on the
    United Way Stratford & Area Community Committee. 
     

  • Ron Dodson
    Ron has been a board member of many groups, including Theatre/Théâtre Canada, Theatre
    Ontario, the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators, Off the Wall Stratford Artists
    Alliance and Gallery Stratford. He was the Artistic Director of the 2016 World Festival of
    Children’s Theatre and a member of AITA’s Standing Committee for Children and Youth. 
     

  • Chris Leberg
    Chris has recently retired from over 30 years of working at a local Stratford architectural firm. She
    has worked in both professional and amateur theatre in Toronto and Stratford for over 40 years.
    She was a founding member of Stratford Community Players followed by Perth County Players
    in 2008 as Artistic Director where she has produced and/or directed many productions since
    then. 
     

  • Jennifer Paquette
    Jennifer is a retired theatre educator/business owner who founded CAST — an arts program for
    young people that operated out of the renovated Market Centre Theatre in Woodstock, ON for 20
    years. She now lives and works out of her home studio in Stratford where she writes and operates

  • jpvoiceovers with her partner, Jason. Jennifer has published several nonfiction stories and two
    children’s books. To learn more, visit: www.jenniferpaquette.ca 
     

  • Bruce Pitkin
    Bruce is a performing artist with international experience and a community perspective. With a
    MFA from York University, he has performed, directed, produced, and taught in Japan,
    Germany, the United States, and Canada. He is the current Executive Director at Art Starts, a
    community arts charity providing creative opportunities for underserved neighbourhoods in
    Toronto.
     

  • Geoff Williams
    Stratford has been home for Felicity and Geoff for 23 years. An educator, Geoff was Director of
    Education for the Avon Maitland DSB, and worked provincially with OPSBA as Director of
    Labour Relations and with the Indigenous School Trustees Council. Geoff has volunteered
    overseas, and with the Stratford Public Library, United Way, Festival Hydro Services, The Local, and Stratford Welcomes Refugees.

HONOURARY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

  • Annette av Paul

  • Peter Mansbidge OC

  • Loreena McKennitt CM OM

  • Scott McKowen

  • Leslie Watts

WHO WE ARE

The Stratford Arts and Culture Collective is made up of more than 30 Stratford arts and culture organizations and independent artists that are working together under one umbrella to make the dream of a Stratford Arts and Culture Centre a reality. Over 4,000 Stratford citizens participate onstage and backstage with the SACC member organizations.

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Agora Gallery

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Ballinran Entertainment

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INNERchamber

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Kiwanis Festival of the Performing Arts

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Off The Wall Stratford Artists Alliance

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Perth County Community Players

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Stratford Concert Band

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Stratford Symphony Orchestra

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Alternative Theatre Works

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Festival City Big Band

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Independent Artists

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Mmmm Composers In Concert

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On Stage Dance Studio

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Playmakers Theatre School

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Stratford Concert Choir

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Stratford Writers Festival

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Architectural Conservancy Stratford Perth

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Festival Sounds Chorus

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Infinity Dance

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Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron

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Performing Arts Lodge Stratford

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Queen of the Square Cinema

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Stratford Festival

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Strictly Stratford

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Avon Maitland District School Board

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Gallery Stratford

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Judy's School of Dance

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Music and Opera Appreciation

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Perth Arts Connect

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SpringWorks Festival

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Stratford Summer Music

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World Festival of Children's Theatre

OUR GOVERNING FRAMEWORK

MISSION

The mission of the Stratford Arts and Culture Collective is to be the primary voice and advocate for the Stratford Arts and Culture Centre.

 

VISION

Our vision is for the Stratford Arts and Culture Centre to be an additional venue to serve the arts and culture needs of Stratford and area citizens.

 

VALUES

  • Honouring and enhancing the city’s artistic and cultural life;

  • Collaboration with other like-minded organizations;

  • Inclusion of all Stratford citizens in our planning, regardless of their age, income, religious or ethnic origins, or any other visible or invisible identifier.

ARTISTIC VISION

The artistic vision of the Centre is founded in four main areas:

  • Meeting community arts and culture needs;

  • Being multi-faceted;

  • Being a strong partner; and

  • Being self-sustaining.

 

ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY

The Stratford Arts and Culture Centre will serve many community needs.

  • As a venue, it will be a host and home for local performing arts groups;

  • As a cultural and community developer, it will provide a venue for a wide range of demographics to come together in mutual understanding;

  • As a presenter, it will showcase artists and performing arts companies from across Canada and the world;

  • As an educator, it will be an incubator and catalyst in arts learning by bring artists and audiences closer through meaningful experiences, while ensuring the Centre remains healthy, sustainable and dynamic.

REMEMBERING . . .

Two members of our Steering Committee passed away during our journey. Our work continues to be guided by their commitment, inspiration and wisdom. Their enthusiastic involvement in this endeavour is very much missed.

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With extremely heavy hearts, we address the passing of our dear friend John David Sterne at his home in PAL Place on August 23, 2020. He was a well-known and well-loved figure in the arts community of Stratford, a kind beacon of perpetual hope who believed, not only in art, but in artists and their worth.

 

A driving force in the creation of INNERchamber, he served as President of the Board as it prepared to enter its 11th season. As a long-time member of PAL Stratford (Professional Arts Lodge) and a past President of the Board, he worked tirelessly for the benefit of artists in their later years who needed access to affordable housing and community support.  He also served on the Executive of the Stratford Arts and Culture Collective working to find the arts and artists of Stratford a permanent home. His past work as Executive Director of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra brought him into our community and we are so thankful it did.

 

His life was a song of dedication across Canada, from Edmonton to Montreal. The wealth of experience and compassion he brought to our organizations was rich, and he shared his wisdom generously. It is not sufficient to say he will be much missed. We send our love for him and our profound gratitude to him out into the world as we strive to have as true a course and as open a heart as he did.

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Judy Tye (nee Patterson) was born and raised in St. Catharines Ontario. The daughter of a Norwegian immigrant, Judy learned from a young age the value of hard work and education.

It was in high school that she met the love of her life, Allan Tye. Together they attended the University of Toronto where she pursued her interest in language and education. This led Judy to a career in teaching. Judy taught in the St. Catharines area for 6 years as an enthusiastic teacher/librarian who engaged all in literacy and the arts.

 

Engaging students and adults in literacy and the arts was the hallmark of Judy‘s life. In the early 80’s Judy worked at the Children’s Book Centre in Toronto. The focus of the Book Centre is to promote Canadian children’s writers throughout the country. When Judy headed back into education, she was a teacher librarian who created a strong program where the library was always open and classes, teachers and students were always welcome. The library was a beehive of activity.

 

Even with all of these activities, she and Allan also had two children, who were involved in the performing arts. Emily was involved in ballet and Tristan is a trumpet player. Her daughter’s interest in ballet led Judy to sit on the board of the Quinte Ballet School. She was also involved in bringing performances by well known Canadian artists to places like Roy Thompson Hall.

 

During the 90s, each fall, Judy organized workshops led by a troupe of Shakespearean actors for the Grade 9 students. Afterward, she arranged bus trips for the students to attend the play they studied at the Festival Theatre here in Stratford Ontario. Judy and Allan often came to Stratford as part of their summer vacation staying in their favourite B&B and taking in a week at the Festival Theatre. When it was time for Judy and Allan to retire, they moved to Stratford to be closer to the Festival Theatre and other performing arts events.

 

Judy was often seen at various activities talking with artists, tourists and locals about the various opportunities the arts could provide for careers, personal growth and enjoyment. She began an arts performance company where she promoted artists helping them get noticed locally and throughout the country.

 

Judy was also involved with in the Stratford Symphony. She became a board member and led in the area of strategic planning which led her to interaction with others who were also interested in the performing arts in Stratford. From these chats, Judy became involved in SACC. Her great ideas, willingness to do what it took to get things done and the passion for the Performing Arts made her an invaluable member of the team.

 

Surrounded by her family after a battle with cancer, Judy passed away on August 9, 2019.