Thousands Experience the Joy of Live Stories

four scenes in a collage from 'Let's do Munsch' showTo the thrill of 5400 schoolchildren, the Foundation for Education, by way of the volunteer-based theatre company McGregor & Friends, presented ‘Let’s Do Munsch’ adapted for the stage from the stories of Robert Munsch.

From April 18-29, 2016 the new stage adaptation of 5 of Robert Munsch’s stories was presented at the Blyth Memorial Hall for school matinee audiences. The producer/director was Duncan McGregor who has presented young audience productions for the Foundation before including ‘Charlotte’s Web’ (2015), ‘Peter And The Wolf” (2014) and ‘A Bunch of Munsch’ (2013). Those performances were attended by over 15,000 schoolchildren and their teachers.

This year’s play brought to life five of children’s author Robert Munsch’s unforgettable stories:?Murmel, Murmel, Murmel the tale of a mysterious hole leading to a surprise adoption; 50 Below Zero, a tale about braving the cold; Mud Puddle, the story about an anthropomorphic mud puddle that makes children dirty; Millicent and the Wind, a tale about a little girl and her relationship with the wind and Mortimer, an ultimately relatable tale for children who don’t like to go to bed.

Thirteen production members and nine actors (including young people from local schools) volunteered their time to tell these well-loved stories.

The production began development last Fall and clocked 94 hours of rehearsal time in total.

The company included:
Ross Barnett, Caitlin Carr, Steve Cook, Arlene Darnbrough, Curran Forster, Suzanne MacVicar, Duncan McGregor, Sherri Milburn, Caileigh Russelo, Dave Siebert, Izzy Siebert, Jane Smyth, Leigh Anne Van Aaken, Nigel Van Aaken, Isaac Van Aaken, Scott Ramsay, Adam Smyth, Chris Armour, George Blackwell, Dana Phillips and Lynda McGregor.

“We sincerely thank the company for giving of their time and, in some cases, even their vacation days,” states Foundation Executive Director Wes MacVicar. “They, like us, know without a doubt that there is growing-power for a child through experiences like this – beyond the classroom and in the company of peers.”

Please see a gallery of pictures from the production.

‘Let’s Do Munsch’, like all McGregor & Friends shows over the past 4 years, was produced in support of student enrichment through the Foundation for Education Huron Perth.

An example of what the proceeds will go toward can be seen in the following 2-minute video:

The World’s Children are Coming (and they’re bringing stories!)

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 12.26.32 PMThis June, for the first time in North America, 300 children from 6 continents and 20 countries will flood our region for the 14th World Festival of Children’s Theatre (WFCT).

The WFCT is one-of-a-kind event that brings the world’s children together to share each other’s stories and culture through theatre and from June 5-14, 2016, Stratford, Ontario will be at the center of it all.

Ensuring that local students are a part of this global experience, the Digital Human Library (dHL), the Foundation for Education Perth Huron and the Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) will be connecting classrooms and WFCT performers daily via live video chats and live streaming performances from June 5th – June 14th, 2016.

Scheduling information and the links to watch the live streaming of events will be shared in the coming months.

The World Festival of Children’s Theatre originated in Lingen (Ems), Germany, as the brainchild of Norbert Radermacher. In 1990, children, ages 7 – 15, from 20 countries came to Lingen under the theme ‘Children play and dance for Children’. The result was a huge success!

“The festival is for children, by children,” says Ron Dodson, the Festival’s Artistic Director. “Its varied performances will give us a window on how children see their world and we know that they will inspire and challenge theatregoers with their fresh and thoughtful perspectives.”

Traditionally, each country’s festival reflects its own culture, and allows its children to show each other how they work in theatre, and to share both their ideas and their views of the world.

The 2016 Festival includes:

Uganda – Wakayima Stories, Ushindi Children
Zimbabwe – Children’s Dreams and Fears, Chipawo – Harare Junior Theatre
Bangladesh – The Scarecrow, Kids Cultural Institute
China – Seven Coloured Flower, Guangzhou Happy Man Cultural Arts Education Company Limited
Indonesia – Spectacle ZERO – A Visual Theater Performance, Teater Tanah Air
Indonesia – Cindelaras – JACCO, Jakarta Children Community
Palestine – Forget the Border, Diyar Dance Theatre
Australia – A Kid Like Me, True North Youth Theatre Ensemble
Czech Republic – Jednou v Chelmu – Once in Chelm, Divadlo Vydýcháno
Estonia – Exploring the World, Eksperiment
Germany – Pinocchio, Theatre Group of the TPZ Lingen/Germany Continue reading

Students Flipping Over Themselves

Flipping“You cannot be anything you want to be but you can be everything you were designed to be.” Gregory C N Smith

Listowel Central’s Grade 7/8 class recently experienced a Foundation workshop that delved into who they are.

Facilitated by Gregory C N Smith, ‘Flipping the Iceberg’ is an interactive and informative workshop designed to help students discover their true potential with the skills they already have. Through understanding personality styles, talents and particular ‘operating systems’; the workshop highlights what each student needs to be successful and shows them how they can implement this knowledge into their everyday activities.

The aim of the workshop is to bring clarity, direction and purpose into the lives of students.

“This workshop deserves all the praise that my colleagues in the Board have given it over the years,” says Listowel Central Grade 7/8 teacher Tyler Schaefer. “I was inspired and I know the kids were as well”.

Please see a gallery of pictures from this recent workshop.

The Listowel Central session was made possible through a sponsorship at our annual Gala by Terry Marklevitz and Susan Gardiner Marklevitz.

‘Flipping the Iceberg’ has been part of the Foundation’s offerings since 2012 and this Spring, as a result of a substantial sponsorship from an anonymous donor, over 30 more workshops will be offered to classrooms across the Avon Maitland school district.

About the Facilitator

Gregory C N Smith is a personality and human behavior specialist, award winning speaker, author, personal power coach and radio personality. He believes everyone has the ability to do the things they know deep inside they can do.  This belief drives his commitment to personal excellence.  He continues to work with youth in corrections facilities inspiring them to raise their standards and achieve what they believe is possible. Gregory is the 2010 Toastmaster District International Speech Champion and the 2010 Toastmasters District Humourous Speech Champion. Gregory also works extensively with adults and youth on First Nations Communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario, teaching and coaching on his ‘Flipping the Iceberg’ program.

For more information about the ‘Flipping the Iceberg’ workshop please contact Gregory C N Smith at

To sponsor a workshop like this or others please contact Wes MacVicar at