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Shaw Festival golden 50th launches tonight with Bernard Shaw’s timeless masterpiece Heartbreak House

Niagara Falls and the CN Tower will glow gold to mark this special evening

Media Release #15

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, May 25, 2011. . .This evening, the Shaw Festival’s landmark 50th season will be celebrated with the opening of Bernard Shaw’s prophetic classic Heartbreak House this evening. The festivities continue for the rest of the week with the openings of four additional productions: Tennessee Williams’ smouldering Pulitzer Prize-winning play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; the Canadian premiere of Lennox Robinson’s Drama at Inish – A Comedy; Shaw’s Candida and the Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady.

Remarking on this week’s events, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell said: “What a delight to be opening our 50th season! The sense of anticipation and excitement has been building as each one of our five opening shows has hit the stage and now we proudly present them as shining examples of the brilliance of the Shaw Festival Company!”

Paying tribute to this auspicious occasion, two major Ontario landmarks, Niagara Falls and the CN Tower, will mark the opening night of the Shaw Festival’s 50th season by taking on a golden hue. Niagara Falls will be lit amber at 9:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., 10:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. and, across the lake in Toronto, the CN Tower will be illuminated in gold throughout the night, beginning at dusk.

The Honourable Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons, along with special guests from all levels of government, colleagues from the cultural sector and generous leading patrons and corporate sponsors will be in attendance. Foreign dignitaries attending will include His Excellency Ray Bassett, Irish Ambassador to Canada. Government of Canada officials attending will include the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, MP for Niagara Falls,; the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; Senator Art Eggleton and Mr. Richard Dykstra, MP St. Catharines. Attending Consuls General will include Mr. Jonathan Dart, British Consul General (Toronto); Mr. Kevin Johnson, U.S. Consul General (Toronto); and Dr. Roy Norton, Canadian Consul General (Detroit). Provincial government officials attending will include the Honourable Monique Smith, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Government House Leader, MPP Nippissing; the Honourable Gerry Phillips, Deputy Government House Leader, MPP Scarborough-Agincourt; the Honourable John Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment, MPP Perth-Wellington; the Honourable Harinder Takhar, Minister of Government Services, MPP Mississauga-Erindale; Ms. Donna Cansfield, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, MPP Etobicoke Centre; Mr. Kim Craitor, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Culture (Tourism), MPP Niagara Falls; and Mr. Monte Kwinter, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, MPP York Centre. Lord Mayor Dave Eke, Mayor of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Gary Burroughs, Regional Chair, Niagara Region, will also be in attendance, as will members of the Arts community including Ms. Martha Durdin, Chair, Ontario Arts Council; Mr. John Brotman, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Council; and Mr. Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation.

The Shaw Festival’s 50th season runs to October 31 and will also feature The President, The Admirable Crichton, On the Rocks, Maria Severa, Topdog/Underdog and When the Rain Stops Falling on its four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages.

Heartbreak House is sponsored by CIBC. 
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is co-sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and ArcelorMittal Dofasco.
Drama at Inish – A Comedy is sponsored by RBC.
Candida is sponsored by Scotiabank Group. 
My Fair Lady is sponsored by TD.

Visa Infinite is the official payment card of the Shaw Festival.


In the spirit of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival provokes the mind and stirs the soul through a theatre experience so compelling that, year after year, ever-broadening groups of artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond.

Please visit our website at www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Festival media releases. For more information, or to download images from our image bank to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck 
Public Relations Director 
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222                   

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224

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