I have lived to see inherited my very wishes, and the buildings of my fancy.”

-- William Shakespeare

Joseph H. Shoctor (1941-2001)

1998 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts

Joseph Shoctor's energy has been fondly described as that of a "whirling Tasmanian devil." Every aspect of his community's life, from sports to the law to community service, has benefited from his efforts.

Yet it's in the arts that he has made his deepest mark. As founder and chief benefactor of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, hailed as the greatest fundraiser in Canadian theatrical history, he has been key in shaping professional theatre in Alberta and throughout Canada.

With a stint in Los Angeles after finishing law school, Shoctor might have been an actor himself, but he decided, perhaps for the only time in his life, that "this job is too tough." Returning to Alberta and legal practice, he pledged to stay connected to theatre, directing, producing, serving as impresario for "The Happy Gang" on their first Western Canadian tour, and presenting shows on and off Broadway. All culminated in his involvement with the Citadel where he spearheaded its rise to one of Canada's foremost theatres. "I fought to bring the best here. I knew we could learn."

Wisely, he's structured his legacy so others can take it forward, but theatre remains an integral part of his everyday life. LL.D. from the University of Alberta, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Life Governor of the National Theatre School are among his literally countless awards and honours.