Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interview with Sandra Lawn (Part One)

Sandra S. Lawn
Festival Chair
St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival

In one of the most beautiful settings along the St. Lawrence River, in the town of Prescott, you can visit the Sandra S. Lawn Harbour & Marina. It hosts a wonderful children’s play area and a 148 slip Harbour. Sometimes in life you may not be curious as to “what’s in a name”. However, the name of this Harbour/Marina was clarified to Gary and me when we had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Sandra S. Lawn at a Gala evening in the Prescott Town Hall. This was right after the season’s opening performance of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. It turns out that Ms. Lawn was not only Chair of the Festival, but had been Mayor of Prescott for 15 years, until she retired in 1991. What an wonderful opportunity for me to get THE INSIDE SCOOP from Sandra about the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. Sandra was generous with her time and shares informative and interesting information that I will now share with you! One of Ms. Lawn’s duties as Mayor of Prescott, was to facilitate the development of the Prescott waterfront into what is now, as I mentioned above, the Sandra S. Lawn Harbour. As chair of the South Grenville Economic Development Commission, she soon became well aware of the importance of tourism. That is where she and I and the Festival Nomad (Gary McWilliams, Ontario Visited), all share a similar passion! It is interesting that Sandra, a mother of three daughters (who just happen to be all musical), helped Sandra become “aware of the importance of the arts in our small rural town”. Sandra is extremely intelligent and has a sense of humor to boot. She holds a BSc in Biology and a Masters in Public Administration, the humor, she tells me “my study of Shakespeare amounted to about 15 minutes in English 2 at Queen’s”. How is it then that Sandra became so involved with the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival? Sandra tells me that she has been involved almost from the beginning. It happened “when my husband, as a Rotarian and mayor of our town came home to describe Deborah Smith’s enthusiastic presentation about the idea of Shakespeare in our Amphitheatre at the Harbour. In the first season I was a volunteer, and immediately after the first AGM was elected to the board of directors. I became chair of the board in January 2008. I have been chair of fundraising since 2004.”
(To Be Continued)

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