Stage Door News

St. Catharines: Patricia Vanstone to step down as Artistic Director of the Foster Festival

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Board of Directors of The Norm Foster Theatre Festival have special news to share with our dear friends and patrons. Patricia Vanstone, Artistic Director of The Foster Festival has decided to step down at the end of the 2020 summer season. 

As Founding Artistic Director, Patricia has worked tirelessly building upon a shared dream to celebrate the work of her friend and colleague Norm Foster.  Vanstone says: “I hosted our first ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ in November 2014 and I promised to dedicate 5 years creating this Festival. I have loved every minute, but after that first intense year of planning and 5 tremendously successful seasons, I am ready to leave the QEW behind and travel down new roads.” 

“On behalf of everyone at The Foster Festival, we wish Trish the very best as she embarks on her next adventure,” said Board Chair Glen McCann. “Our 2020 season will be a celebration of Trish’s time at The Foster Festival. Please join us in congratulating and celebrating Trish all season long!” he said.

Vanstone’s accomplishments with the Foster Festival include, directing all 10 World Premieres of Foster’s work and the creation of The Drama Club outreach which resulted in ground-breaking partnerships with the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre and the Niagara Children’s Centre among others.  In 2018, she was honored to receive the St. Catharines Arts Award for Established Artist.  While stepping away from The Foster Festival, she looks forward to future work as a director, performer, and to travel adventures and family time.  

“I’ve known Patricia Vanstone longer than I’ve known any other theatre professional,” said playwright Norm Foster. “We met in 1984 when Patricia starred in my play The Melville Boys. Over the years we’ve acted together and toured together many, many times from Bermuda to Fort MacMurray and all points in between. Trish has become more than just a colleague to me. She’s like a sister who loves to make fun of me.  Her work directing my world premieres at the Foster Festival, since the festival’s inception, has been second to none. That work has made those plays better, and the Foster Festival and I will miss her terribly.”

Don’t miss a minute of The Foster Festival’s 2020 season – come celebrate with us all season long!  For tickets and further information please visit

Photo: Patricia Vanstone and Norm Foster. © 2014 Mike Wakefield.