Artistic Director

PSFT Announcement

The Board of Directors of The Port Stanley Festival Theatre is pleased to announce that Liz Gilroy, after an internship as Associate Artistic Director, has been appointed as the theatre’s next Artistic Director. Gilroy an experienced and impressive director and choreographer who has worked across Canada, will assume her new position as of Monday March 4, 2024.


It was Simon Joynes’ wish that Liz be his successor and they worked side by side for the 2023 season, a partnership that was meant to continue for the 2024 season, but it was not meant to be. Simon’s unfortunate and unexpected passing in early 2024 sped up that timeline. Simon Joynes had great confidence in Liz Gilroy as a leader and his stellar mentorship has more than prepared her to take up the torch.


Liz will continue to make new Canadian stories a priority of the PSFT, as that was something near and dear to Simon’s heart. Liz, along with General Manager Tony Sclafani, intend to continue the high standard of professional theatre that patrons have come to expect at PSFT. Liz will also include brand new Canadian musicals as part of the theatre’s line up in the upcoming seasons.


“On behalf of the Board, we are delighted to welcome Liz Gilroy as Artistic Director of Port Stanley Festival Theatre.  Liz brings with her a wealth of theatre experience in a wide range of roles and responsibilities.  This knowledge provides Liz with a strong understanding as well as a unique perspective for her new role as Artistic Director. The board is confident that Liz and her team will continue to broaden, grow and expand the scope of our theatre’s presence within the community and at large.” – Wendy Cowie, PSFT Board Chair


Originally from Toronto, Liz started her artistic journey as a professional performer at the age of 12. That was the start of a robust career as a “triple threat” that included seasons at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, three summers as Diana Barry at The Charlottetown Festival, and Canadian premieres starring in ELF and LEGALLY BLONDE at Neptune Theatre. Other theatres of note include: The Citadel, YPT, Canadian Stage, Magnus Theatre, and Theatre Aquarius to name a few. She also attended Sheridan College’s highly revered Musical Theatre Program. As a Director and Choreographer, she has been fortunate to direct and choreograph plays and musicals from The Charlottetown Festival in P.E.I to Stage West Calgary in Alberta. Liz has also been involved in the creation of many new Canadian works at The Factory Theatre, PSFT, Canadian Stage, Stage West Calgary, and Lighthouse Festival Theatre.


“It is with great humility and honour that I find myself as the new Artistic Director at PSFT. This is truly a dream come true and one that could not have happened without Simon’s belief in me and his mentorship. I look forward to creating inspired and diverse theatre that sparks conversation and joy in our intimate setting. I am also excited to become part of the community here in Port Stanley, a village that I have been coming back to time and time again since 2010. I hope our partnership is a long and prosperous one.” – Liz Gilroy