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Ian Watson | 1958 - 2019

Staff Announcement by The Stratford Festival, April 17, 2019.

Message from Antoni Cimolino

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of our dear colleague Ian Watson yesterday. In him, our company has lost a loved mentor, a great ally and a kind friend.

Ian was one of the most passionate theatre artists I've known. His was a profound love for the stage that made him a source of strength to all of us that have chosen this beautiful but sometimes painful way of life.

Ian's insights into Shakespeare, his deep commitment to his fellow artists and his love of the Stratford Festival were extraordinary. I so deeply appreciate his help during my tenure.

Our hearts are broken.

We send our deepest condolences to his devoted wife, Janine, and daughter, Anik.

Antoni Cimolino

Staff Announcement by The Stratford Festival, May 6, 2019.

Ian Watson Celebration of Life
Sunday, May 12, at 2 p.m.
Festival Theatre auditorium

This Sunday the family and many friends of beloved text coach Ian Watson will gather in the Festival Theatre auditorium to celebrate his life and many contributions.

Please join us to honour Ian and to surround his family, particularly our own Janine Pearson and their daughter Anik, with love and support.


As posted by WG Young Funeral Home, April 17, 2019.

IAN MATTHEW WATSON

July 13, 1958 – April 16, 2019

Ian is survived by his wife of 25 years, Janine Pearson; his daughter, Anik; his father, Douglas Watson of Edmonton, his sister Martha (Willie King) of Edmonton; his brother, Alick (Anne Watson) of Boston; his in-laws, Curtis and Elsie Pearson of Kipling, Saskatchewan; his sister-in-law, Ruth Spetz (James) of Calgary and his seven nieces and nephews, Emily (David Clanachan), Christopher, Maxwell, Fiona, Gillian, Joel and Aaron. Born in Vancouver and raised in Winnipeg, the son of Douglas and Janet Watson (nee Ryder), Ian attended Grosvenor Public School and Lakefield College School in Peterborough, Ontario (an institution that his great-grandfather founded). In 1977 he attended Queen's University for a year before beginning his studies at the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School (under the direction of David Latham). After leaving the school he joined the English acting company at the National Arts Centre for four seasons (under the direction of John Wood). He was a member of Quebec's Carbone 14 and participated in the creation of the world-renowned Le Dortoir. In 1986 he was invited by John Hirsch to join the Stratford Festival acting company where he subsequently worked for four seasons. He also enjoyed many other opportunities to work in theatres across the country from Manitoba Theatre Centre to the Centaur.

In 1993 he married Janine Pearson in Kipling, Saskatchewan. Directly afterwards they made their home in Montreal where Ian obtained a B.A. Honours degree from McGill University in English and Mathematics. He was influenced and mentored by the great acting teacher Michael Mawson and his dear friend, Bernard Hopkins. In 1996 Ian began teaching at the National Theatre School of Canada (under the direction of Perry Schneiderman). He spent the remainder of his career guiding young actors in the work of Shakespeare most notably at NTSC, Ryerson University and George Brown College. He also taught for the Stratford Festival's Conservatory Training Program and coached for the company. He felt called to teach and coach and his passion for language was contagious.

In 2002, Ian and Janine moved to Stratford, Ontario. They became parents when they travelled to China to accept their long-wished-for daughter, Anik. These were extraordinary years for Ian as he was immersed in his work and created a life with his wife and daughter.

Janine and Anik send their deepest thanks to all of the family and friends who have supported us throughout Ian's journey with cancer. A family funeral will take place at Christ Lutheran Church in Kipling, Saskatchewan and a Celebration of Life will take place in Stratford at a later date.

As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to The Professional Development Program for Coaching at the Stratford Festival, or The Canadian Cancer Society through the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford, Ontario. 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com


As posted by London Free Press, April 18, 2019.

STRATFORD – The Stratford Festival will be dedicating this season's performances of The Merry Wives of Windsor to the memory of Ian Watson after the longtime acting coach died earlier this week.

Watson was an expert in Shakespearean text and a key member of the Festival's coaching staff, the organization said in a statement. Artistic director Antoni Cimolino said Watson was one of the most passionate theatre artists he's encountered.

"His was a profound love for the stage that made him a source of strength to all of us that have chosen this beautiful but sometimes painful way of life," Cimolino said. "Ian's insights into Shakespeare, his deep commitment to his fellow artists and his love of the Stratford Festival were extraordinary.

"I so deeply appreciate his help during my tenure. Our hearts are broken."

Watson died Tuesday of cancer, according to Festival officials. He was 60.

His career in Stratford began when former artistic director John Hirsch invited him to join as an actor in the mid-1980s, where he appeared in multiple performances, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Titus Andronicus.

Around 2000, he began teaching at the Festival's Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre. He was a "core member" of the coaching team over the past five years, the Festival said, where his "unparalleled expertise in Shakespearean and classical text contributed enormously to the work on stage and to the development of a new generation of classical actors."

He also taught at various universities around the province and joined the faculty at Ryerson University's School of Performance.

According to an online obituary, he was born in Vancouver and raised in Winnipeg and attended the prestigious Lakefield College School in Peterborough, which was founded by his great-grandfather.

Watson, per the obituary, is survived by his wife of 25 years, Janine Pearson, who is the Stratford Festival's head of coaching. They have one daugher, Anik. Watson is also survived father Douglas Watson of Edmonton; two siblings, in-laws and several nieces and nephews.

 
   
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