Board of Directors

OFFICERS

Andrew Marre moved from the UK to Canada in 2007 and to Stirling in 2008. He has been a member of the SFT Board since 2010. Before his retirement he worked in Communications in the UK, both in the private and public sectors, including a period as Deputy Press Secretary to then, the UK Prime Minister, John Major and another as Director of Communications of the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

During the latter period, his Department organized the State Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Andrew and his team were responsible for managing the entire media coverage of this event, watched live by an estimated 40% of the world’s population.

Bob Barlas, is a founding member of the Stirling Festival Theatre Board.

Professionally, he joined Search Associates in 1994 after an overseas career in education beginning in 1971 that led him to counseling, teaching and administering in Singapore, China, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the UK. Also an author, Bob has written the Teaching Overseas Handbook that has sold more than five hundred copies per year to overseas teaching candidates since 1991 as well as twelve cross-cultural travel books. He has specialized in working with children and adults in cross-cultural situations, particularly with those who are living, or wish to live, outside their home countries. Bob re-joined the SFT Board in 2010, served as an ad-hoc member on the Executive Committee and was elected Vice-Chair in 2018.

Debbie Ackers, appointed to Stirling Festival Theatre’s Board of Directors, has lived in Stirling since 1982. A long time supporting member of the SFT, she has frequently billeted actors over the years and attended countless shows.

Debbie recognizes the importance of our theatre in supporting the local economy and offering exposure to the Arts for Stirling and area residents, children and our many visitors.

DIRECTORS

Alan King’s bio to follow.

Nik is delighted to join the Stirling Festival Theatre Board and contribute to the arts, music, and entertainment scene in our local community. Nik and his wife Katherine moved to Stirling a few years ago to raise a family. They recently welcomed their first child, Louise, in April 2020. Nik currently works as an Autism Therapist, where he works with parents and children/youth with autism to develop and teach various life skills. He also works part-time faculty at St. Lawrence College, where he supervises undergraduate psychology students during their community-based clinical placements.

Nik came of age playing in several bands spanning genres from punk rock to jazz and funk. He is an avid bass player, but also plays guitar, drums, and several other instruments. After a few years of friendship with Panto actors, open mics at Cafe23, and playing guitar at home for Louise and Katherine, Nik has decided to expand his horizons, contributing to the arts community in new and creative ways.

John E. Rock was appointed to the Board of SFT after the 2018 municipal election. He is an elected member of the Stirling-Rawdon council and has lived in Stirling-Rawdon for over forty years. He currently lives in the village of Stirling.

John is excited to be a member of the SFT Board and is looking forward to being a part of the future of the “Best Little Theatre in Ontario”.

Amy ter Haar’s bio to follow.

Kim Whiteman’s bio to follow.

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS

Ken MacDougall  I was very excited to be appointed the Artistic Director of the Stirling Festival Theatre in September 2017 and the momentum has built over time. The SFT and the town of Stirling have been a second home to me for over twenty years.

In my professional career outside of the SFT, I have been lucky enough to perform on stages across Ontario – Port Hope Festival, Gaiety Theatre in Collingwood and Georgian Theatre in Barrie to name a few. For twenty years, I performed regularly with the Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre in Toronto. I have had roles in over two dozen commercials and on TV shows such as Murdoch Mysteries, Degrassi: Next Generation, Mayday and King.

Here in Stirling, I performed in five Pantos, including the first ever Naughty Panto in 2000. I am still stopped on the streets of Stirling and reminded of my character Woody by hearing … “Chop, chop, Woody!”  I also appeared in numerous summer shows including Kitchen Witches, Anne of Green Gables and Mini Putt. Since 2010, I have been the Writer and Director of our annual Pantos and have written and performed in the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre events in our upper Eugene Burrell Hall since 2003.

My mantra for SFT, moving forward, is “Making new friends and reconnecting with old.”

Come check us out. It’s always going to be a heck of a ride.

Marilyn Lawrie, or ‘Mare’ as all of her live entertainment colleges know her, has industry experience as an arts administrator, educator and consultant for Sheridan College, Loyalist College, the Living Arts Centre and many Ontario community theatres. She has held senior executive positions with the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, Belleville’s BDIA, Stirling Festival Theatre, Quinte Symphony, Quinte Arts Council and Opera Lyra Ottawa.

Professional stage management opportunities in opera have taken her across Canada and to Vermont. In theatre/musical theatre/special event stage management, she has worked for: our SFT (from the first fundraiser in Dec 1996, to the opening show Top Hat, White Tie & Tails in July 2007 and over 20 shows beyond…), the National Capital Commission, National Arts Centre, Theatre Collingwood and Drayton Entertainment.

The Stirling Festival Theatre Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and oversight of the Stirling Festival Theatre and meets in Stirling 9-10 times per year. The Annual General Meeting will be held in May or June of each year.

Individuals must become SFT Members to serve on the Board.

To inquire about joining the SFT Board or serving on a Board committee, please email Chair, Andrew Marre or call 613-395-2100 / 1-877-312-1162, ext 205 for more information.