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John Ferguson | 1946 - 2017
John Ferguson

  Wake for Johnny

   Join us at the Epicure cafe to celebrate

   John Ferguson | Sunday, April 23, 5:30 onwards

   RSVP Michael Shamata or Shawn Kerwin

Stratford Festival News Item, February 13, 2017

We wanted to share with you sad news of the passing of John Ferguson. John was a brilliant designer with an incredible passion for the theatre. Over 11 seasons at Stratford, between 1972 and 2004, he designed 20 productions for us.

He began at the Festival in the early years of the Tom Patterson Theatre, when it was known as the Third Stage, helping to create some profoundly impactful shows in that new and adaptable space, including Pinocchio, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Exiles, Walsh, The Fool, Le Magicien, Ariadne auf Naxos, Fellowship and Kennedy’s Children.

His memorable work on our other stages included Eve, The Visit, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ah, Wilderness!, One Tiger to a Hill and Quiet in the Land, as well as three Shakespeares: The Tempest, with William Hutt, in 1976; Henry V, with Geraint Wyn Davies, in 1989; and Macbeth, with Graham Abbey, in 2004.

John’s death at just 71 is a great loss to the theatre world and to his family and friends, to whom we extend our sympathy.

You can read John’s full obituary below

Ann Swerdfager

As posted at

FERGUSON, John Eugene - Passed away on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 at the age of 71.

Loving brother of Julie (Doug) Murray. Fondly remembered by his niece Laurie Jean (Robert) Barry and his nephew Jon (Lane) Murray. Will be missed by his great-nieces Kellie-Ann and Tegan, and great-nephew Jesse. John will be deeply missed by his loving aunt, Mary Burrows.

His passing leaves a huge hole in our lives and cousinhood.

John's passion in life was to enhance live theatre in Canada. He had been resident designer for Theatre Calgary, Neptune Theatre, the National Art Centre, and the Canadian Stage Company. He had designed for all the major regional theatres from coast to coast as well as Mirvish Productions, the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Festival, where he had designed twenty productions. He was the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Montreal's la Soiree des Masques Award, Vancouver's Jessie Richardson Award and a Tyrone Guthrie Award.

John's family would like to thank Barry Peters, Michael Shamata, Shawn Kerwin and Mark Richardson for their love and support over the years.

As per John's wishes, no service will be taking place at this time. Arrangements out of Kitchener.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Performing Arts Lodge Toronto would be appreciated by the family.

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