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Executive Director Elaine Calder to retire from the Shaw Festival in September 2015

- Veteran arts executive to retire after 30-year career –

Media Release #19

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (September 12, 2014) — Executive Director Elaine Calder announced to the Shaw Festival company today that she will be retiring towards the end of the 2015 season and moving to her new home in Victoria, B.C. to be closer to her family.

Ms. Calder has had a long association with The Shaw. She first joined the Festival as Executive Director in January 1990 for a period of four seasons, and returned in September 2012 to the same position. In the intervening years, she enjoyed a highly successful career managing arts organizations in Canada and the U.S., which included orchestras, opera and theatre companies and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Working with the Board of Governors and Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell, Ms. Calder set three ambitious goals: to lead the management team in strengthening the Festival’s financial position, to rebuild The Shaw’s strong development team and programs with a renewed focus on stewardship; and to work through an orderly succession process, in preparation for her anticipated retirement at the end of her contract in September 2015. She will continue her strong focus on positioning The Shaw for future success during the remaining year of her tenure.

Ms. Calder is working closely with the Human Resources Committee of the Board and Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell to identify potential successors for her position. A broader search process will be initiated shortly, to ensure that all qualified and interested individuals are identified and interviewed.

Andy Pringle, Board Chair, commented: “Elaine is an extraordinarily talented Executive Director. She is making an enormous contribution to the overall success of the Shaw Festival, and we look forward to working with her throughout the next year to secure a successor for her position. After more than thirty years in the arts we know that Elaine deserves a wonderful retirement!”

Commenting on their working partnership, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell noted: “Elaine has been a tremendous partner and colleague. Working with her has been inspiring and a true collaboration and I look forward to enjoying the same kind of relationship with her successor until November 2016, during the final year of my tenure.”

“I’m glad that we have sufficient time to plan and execute a seamless transition. The Shaw is embarking on a new era with the search for our next Artistic Director and our work to address the challenges of our two aging legacy theatres,” Ms. Calder said. “The next decade will be an exciting one, with significant decisions, challenges and opportunities, and I think it’s important to have an Executive Director in place early in the process who can see these changes through to fruition. This company is a Canadian treasure and this will be a highly attractive opportunity. I’ve cherished my time here and look forward to watching the next phase in The Shaw’s development with great affection and many happy memories.”


About the Shaw Festival

The Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw. We produce plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society and celebration of humanity.

For more information, or to acquire images, 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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