ST. JACOBS – A St. Jacobs cultural landmark is changing hands from one charitable organization to another.
Mersynergy Charitable Foundation, founded by the Milo Shantz and Ross Shantz families, donated the historic 1867 schoolhouse, located on 11 Albert St. W. in St. Jacobs, to Drayton Entertainment.
“The Schoolhouse is an integral part of the fabric of this community,” said Mersynergy spokesperson Jenny Shantz.
“It is wonderful to see that its legacy as a home for arts, culture, and community events will continue for many years to come.”
“We are fortunate to be the beneficiary of such visionary donors and their generous approach to philanthropy,” said Alex Mustakas, artistic director and CEO of Drayton Entertainment. “We are honoured to build on the Shantz family’s commitment of serving both residents and tourists visiting this vibrant community.”
The award-winning theatre organization arrived in St. Jacobs in 1997, in what would become the first of multiple expansions following the success of its first venue, the Drayton Festival Theatre.
Under Mustakas, Drayton Entertainment launched its second stage at the schoolhouse with a seven-month run of Forever Plaid – which promptly sold all 25,000 available seats.
“The St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre is a very special venue in our family of theatres,” said Brent Ravelle, president of Drayton Entertainment’s board of directors.
“With only 100 seats, there is a charm and intimacy that can’t be matched.”
In addition to Drayton Entertainment’s live theatre programming, the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre will continue to be made available to the community as a charming rental space for meetings, concerts, exhibitions, weddings, and more, with preferred catering services provided by St. Jacobs Catering.