In Memoriam

Dwight Griffin | 1945-2017

by Pam Chappell

dwightgriffin

Dwight died peacefully on August 22, but his spirit will live on in his family, friends, those he worked with, and those he taught. What a truly wonderful, witty, intelligent and caring man. His slightly warped humour and his interest in everyone and everything will be missed by pretty much everyone with whom he came in contact.

Dwight started in theatre in 1968 as a stage manager. He later moved into production management, then company management working at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Stratford Festival, fitting in summer stock, a season in Banff and the Toronto productions of Phantom, Lion King and The Producers. He spent 10 years teaching at Dalhousie University mentoring and training the next generation of stage managers and technicians. Although semi-retired to look after his health, he still did the occasional new play workshop and worked with me at Sugar's Mascots.

Dwight was a fantastic dad, grandpa and husband. He had so much more life to share, travels to take and books to read. The world has been a better and kinder place with him in it.

 

George Willson Merner | 1939-2017

by Alexandra Merner

georgemerner

Born in Kitchener, Ontario, George was going to study law after he graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, but fate intervened with an audition arranged by his music teacher, Edwin Fergusson, with George Lambert of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

His award-winning performance as Best Actor for Cyrano prompted his study with Gladys Shibley Mitchell. In 1970, George received his A.T.C.L. in speech and drama from Trinity College, University of London, in England.

George then embarked on an illustrious 44-year career as an actor, singer and "Entertainer Extraordinaire." As a multifaceted international artist, he displayed his versatility in over 150 stage performances, featured films, television sitcoms, radio and television dramas, voice for animations, film dubbing, and on-camera and voice-overs for commercials. Known for his mellifluous bass dramatic vocals, he entertained audiences across Canada and the United States. He also appeared before royalty and heads of state, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. His portrayal of Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha prompted a critic to say, "If there ever was a category of voice called dramatic baritone, this man embodies it!"