Kitchener Rotary


May 31, 2021

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

In recognition of the events in British Columbia re the discovery of the graves of the indigenous children we had a moment of silence.
Information about the discovery is available through this link: - Community Indigenous Resource Committee for Learning & Education (7080 CIRCLE)

Additional information from an article and pod cast are available through the following links:
President Louise informed members of the passing of former club member Mike Warnick.  His obituary is available through this link:
Work on restoring the Rotary Peace Park is continuing through the efforts of the 5-Club Peace Park Committee and some ground maintenance has recently occurred.
President Louise is continuing to have her monthly sessions on the Mike Farwell radio show.  The next will be on June 30.
Our club has made a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary campaign to purchase oxygen generators to be sent to India in response to the COVID-19 crises there.

Visiting Rotarians

Our meeting tonight was a joint effort with the RC of Kitchener Westmount which had the following members in attendance:
Neil Aitchison,
David Barth,
Wilfred Bengnwi,
Dave Forwell,
Graham Gardiner,
Mac Graham,
Jack Kinch (president),
Alexandar Pavlov,
John Thompson,
Karin Voisin,
Andrew Williams,


Alex Mustakas, Guest Speaker
Klaudios Mustakas, guest of Alex Mustakas
Marissa Watkin, Friend of Rotary
Judy Ginsler, Guest of Ernie Ginsler,
Diane Jones, Guest of Martin Jones
Sue Parker, Guest of Gary Parker
Judy Proctor, Guest of Bill Proctor

Happy Jar

President-Elect Adrian DeCoo and Lew Ford were both very happy to have participated in the district conference this past weekend.  They were very impressed with the technical quality of the online event as well as the quality of the speakers who were most informative and inspirational.  They gave a shout out to our Darren Sweeney for all of his efforts behind the scenes to make the event the great success it was.
Adrian was also happy to have been able to attend the recent virtual lobsterfest run by the RC of Kitchener Conestoga.
Paul Rostrup and wife Paula are delighted that their youngest son, Mark, and partner Alexandra will be moving back to Ontario from Vancouver in the near future.

Club Announcements

Catch the Ace is now in week 38 with the progressive pot in excess of $35,000.  Buy your tickets and continue to spread the word.
President-Elect Adrian DeCoo let members know that our efforts to rejuvenate our Car Draw fundraisers have reached a critical point and we have entered into a contract with a fellow Rotarian from the RC of Wasaga Beach.  He has extensive experience on operating online Car Draw events with very positive results.  More information will be forth coming.
Alexandar Pavlov from Kitchener Westmount is happy that his daughter has received acceptance to both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
Mike Morrice is happy and relieved to have received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
President Louise was very pleased that fellow member Lumi Mironescui provided a Romanian cake for Louise’s husband Graham’s birthday and that, in response, she was able to make a contribution to a local Romanian family in need.

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker to day was Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director and CEO of Drayton Entertainment.  Alex was introduced by Neil Atichson.
Alex Mustakas is the founding Artistic Director and CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer as he likes to refer to it) of Drayton Entertainment, one of Canada’s most successful arts organizations operating seven stages across Ontario: the original Drayton Festival Theatre in Drayton, Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, Huron Country Playhouse (Mainstage and South Huron Stage) in Grand Bend, King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene, and the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse and Schoolhouse Theatre in St. Jacobs.
Over the past 30 years, he has produced and directed hundreds of productions for Drayton Entertainment and other theatre companies across Canada including Rocky, Rock of Ages, Million Dollar Quartet, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the world premiere of Marathon of Hope: The Musical, Monty Python’s SpamalotLes Misérables, 9 To 5: The Musical, Blood Brothers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (and the North American Tour), and many others.
Alex has been involved in theatre since his formative years as an arts student at Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener. His involvement with community groups in Waterloo Region led to a long-time association with revered Canadian director and choreographer Alan Lund, who was the Artistic Director of the Charlottetown Festival.
After majoring in economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Alex chose to pursue the performing arts, ultimately spending several years as a professional actor. He then became interested in theatre administration and pursued a master’s degree in Arts Administration at City University in London, England.
When he returned to Canada, he launched the Drayton Festival Theatre in 1991 out of a virtually unused theatre in the crossroads community of Drayton. Eventually, his connection to Alan Lund would come full circle as Lund then directed Vaudeville!, the first production in the inaugural season at the Drayton Festival Theatre.
Alex manages all facets of Drayton Entertainment’s business – including the artistic product, budgets, administration, and technical departments. Under his astute leadership, Drayton Entertainment has become one of the largest and most respected theatre companies in Canada. This accomplishment is particularly noteable given that Drayton Entertainment is a registered, not-for-profit charitable organization.
Drayton Entertainment maintains an enviable reputation for consistently sold-out performances, creative marketing initiatives, and exceptional private-sector and community support. Over 300,000 patrons attend Drayton Entertainment’s professional theatre series and other presentations annually. For his impact on the arts in Canada, Alex is the recipient of several awards and professional distinctions.
Alex spoke passionately about the history and development of the Drayton Theater organization.  It began through the efforts of local citizens in Drayton in the mid 1980’s and has grown significantly though the years but has always maintained its local connections and has been financially responsible.  Throughout its existence it has shown a profit every year and has never received any government subsidies.
Some more interesting facts:
  • In its first year of operation the budget was $99,000 and there were 50 performances of 3 shows with a total of 14,500 seats sold.
  • In 2019 the budget was $13 million with over 250,000 seats being sold for 800 performances.
  • In its early years Alex was the only paid employee but they now have a full time staff of 60 with about 400 employees at peak season.
  • Since their 3rd season they have sold out every year.
  • The Drayton organization is now the third largest theatre company in Canada and sells more tickets annually than the Shaw Festival.
  • It is estimated that the festival has an economic impact on the communities it serves of $82 million annually.
Alex indicated that he is often asked for the reasons why the organization is so successful and he puts it down to:
  • Great show at great prices.
  • Shows that are light, humorous and/or musical.
  • Flexible show and venue packages.
  • Venus that are historic and intimate.
  • Staff that are warm, friendly and welcoming.
  • Strong relationships with partners and all stake holders.
  • Using a solid business approach with proven principles and processes.
As with all arts organizations, the pandemic has been extremely harmful with their 2020 losses exceeding $20 million.  However, Alex is very optimistic and hopeful for the future.  He knows they will be back in the very near future with more great performances and is looking forward to welcoming all of us back into the theatres.

Closing Remarks & Reminders

Shawky Fahel extended a thank you to Alex for his entertaining and informative presentation. 
President Louise provided reminders about upcoming dates.
Jun 07, 2021 12:00 PM
VP Communitech - Rethinking the Future of Cities, Today
Jun 14, 2021 12:00 PM
Director Kitchener Waterloo Perth Humane Society
Jun 21, 2021 12:00 PM
Our chance to meet some new members
Jun 23, 2021 4:00 PM
Volunteer opportunity for Members and Friends of Rotary - Registration Required
Jun 28, 2021 12:00 PM
Celebrating Canada Day
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Candi Harrington
June 1
Bill Krohn
June 10
Louise Gardiner
June 17
Cheryl Ewing
June 18
Angela Olano
June 22
Betty Bax
June 24
Darren Sweeney
June 26
Ray Taylor
June 30
Join Date
Bill Proctor
June 1, 2002
19 years
Gary Parker
June 1, 1994
27 years
Louise Gardiner
June 1, 1994
27 years
Martin Jones
June 1, 2009
12 years
Rohit Kumar
June 13, 2016
5 years
Neil Swayze
June 22, 2015
6 years
Ernie Ginsler
June 30, 2002
19 years
Ray Taylor
June 30, 2002
19 years