In the spring of 1981 the late Alasdair Wallace, an English teacher at the local highschool, contacted Ontario Arts Council about the possibility of a community of 2200 people sponsoring a season of touring professional artists. With the encouragement and help of Larry Taylor from OAC, meetings began, questionnaires went out to the community, and unbelievably, even for those of us involved, our first board was formed and our first season began that December.
The First Board:
- Alasdair Wallace, Chairman
- Hubert Meeker, Secretary
- Michael Townsend, Treasurer
- Lynda Andrew, Elizabeth Buddle, Lenore Crawley, Programme
- Bryan Jones, Alex Robertson, Hall management, LCS liason
- Kate Krenz Hospitality
That first year also had a ticket- selling team managed by Del Facey. Each team member was responsible for selling a number of tickets, and we began with a sold out series of three concerts. A season's ticket was $12.00, and our other income was $2000.00 from Ontario Arts Council.
The Tapestry Singers opened our series on Wed. Dec. 9 dedicating their second half to Christmas music. The local trio Tanglefoot entertained a full house on a blustery Sat. Jan 16. and our third concert was The Wonderfull World of Sarah Binks, performed by the late Stratford actor, Eric Donkin. On Fri. Apr 30 we offered a bonus concert to ticket holders, The Chisholm Trio, a trio of young, local musicians for an evening of chamber music.
Lakefield College School was our venue, with much support from headmaster Terry Guest. There was no fee then, but PAL always made a contribution to their theatre programme.
Heady with the success of our first season, PAL thereafter offered four concerts and later added a fifth.
We have presented mime, dance, story telling, comedy, theatre, choirs, all genres and combinations of instrumental and vocal music from all periods, illusionists, and some concerts beyond classification!
Milestones for PAL:
- 1st decade: Incorporation and charitable status
- 2nd decade: Operating without the OAC grant
- 3rd decade: Purchase of piano
Past Performers Include:
- Music; Anton Kuerti, Mary Lou Fallis, Loreena McKennitt, Valdy, Nancy White, Colleen Peterson, Joe sealy, Anagnoson and Kinton, Michael Kaeshammer, Quartetto Gelato, John Allan Cameron, Murray Mclauchlan, Guido Basso
- Theatre; Rod Beattie in 2 of the Wingfield trilogie series, Martha Henry with Rod Beattie in Love Letters, Julia Mackey presenting Jake's Gift
- Dance; Ontario Ballet Theatre, Formolo and Urban, Ballet Jorgen
- Comedy; Lorne Elliot, Wingfield Farm, Wingfield Unbound, Tomas Kubinek