Lifetime Achievement Alumni 2001 Christopher Newton

Join us as we a look back at our Lifetime Achievement Award alumni of the past 25 years. These outstanding individuals have truly left an indelible mark on Niagara and have inspired countless other entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Niagara.

Over the last 24 years, NEYA has inducted 33 entrepreneurs into our Hall of Fame by bestowing them with this prestigious recognition. Click here to see a complete list of our Lifetime Achievement Alumni and join us on March 1, 2019 as we bestow a new group of deserving entrepreneurs with this honour at our 25th Anniversary Awards Gala at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Tickets for the 25th annual Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala to be held March 1, 2019 at the Fallsview Casino Resort are now on sale. Tickets are limited, so order early!


At the time of award, Christopher Newton had been the Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival for 22 seasons, the longest such tenure at any major theatre company in Canadian history. This tenure represented a period of stability, prosperity and sustained artistic achievement that is without precedent in Canadian theatre.

Under his leadership The Shaw became an internationally respected company and “home to one of the finest acting ensembles in North America” (Cambridge Guide to Theatre). The success of the Shaw Festival under Christopher Newton has contributed to its economic growth and to the success of many local industries.

Christopher’s career as an artistic director began in 1968 when he was appointed the Founding Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary. In 1972 he became Artistic Director of the Vancouver Playhouse, and later founded the Playhouse Acting School. It was in 1979 he became Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival.

Among his major initiatives at The Shaw was the creation in 1985 of The Academy, the company’s professional development and public education wing. He also created The Shaw’s “Toronto Project” enabling the company to work on new plays as well as classic ones, and established alliances with other leading theatre companies in Russia, Poland and Australia.

In addition to being Canada’s leading Artistic Director, Christopher is also a playwright, dramaturge, actor and historian, a gifted teacher, a nurturer of emerging talent, a mentor to many leading Canadian artists, and a tireless promoter of the arts in Canada. His achievements at the Shaw Festival have already brought him seven honorary degrees, the Order of Canada, the Chalmers Award for Artistic Direction, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to enterprising entrepreneurs in our community who have significantly impacted the development of economic ventures in Niagara. Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients are individuals who have spent several decades of their lives shaping Niagara, building a legacy, and contributing positively to our community. Save the date and join us on March 1, 2019 for NEYA’s 25th Anniversary Awards Gala.