Christopher Newton, former artistic director of Shaw Festival, has died at 85

Christopher Newton, a former creative director of the Shaw Festival, has died.

Organizers of the festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., shared information of the 85-yr-old’s demise on social media.

They credit history Newton with reinvigorating the festival, which does theatre influenced by playwright George Bernard Shaw, all through his tenure as inventive director from 1979 to 2002.

Amid Newton’s contributions were the advancement of unique competition seasons, the institution of a permanent performing ensemble and the generation of an inventive training software now identified as the Slaight Loved ones Academy.

An actor, director and playwright, Newton also served as the creative director of the two Theatre Calgary and the Vancouver Playhouse.

The Shaw Pageant says it will celebrate Newton’s existence at an proper time.

“Thank you Mr. Newton for your countless contributions to the Shaw Festival and Canadian theatre,” the festival tweeted. “Your light and assistance will be skipped.”