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Aug. 14, 2020 | Friday
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Shaw Guild instructional videos for residents
Shaw Guild members John and Marg Mather. Sourced

It’s lights, camera, action for the Shaw Guild while creating instructional videos about how to safely enjoy the reopening of Niagara-on-the-Lake businesses. 

The videos aim to inform community members on “how to behave, how to prepare and how to handle new realities,” said Brenda Weafer, activities chair of the guild executive. 

Lord Mayor Betty Disero reached out to the Shaw Guild about preparing the instructional videos. 

“Betty is a member of the Shaw Guild,” Weafer said. “She had seen how some of the people in the guild did some role play and she thought, rather than doing her own videos, and she had done a few before, she thought well maybe you could do something a little more dramatic, a little more interesting and maybe the Shaw Guild could help.” 

“So, she approached us,” Weafer said, “our president, Laurie Harley, our communications director, Cheryl Morris, and myself, and we talked about what that could look like.” 

“I have a background in theatre as well as education,” she said. “I’ve done some amateur theatre directing and some acting and I decided, you know, OK I think I could script this out.” 

This is when she said the Shaw Guild began to pull together some of its resources, to think about a timeline for production and determine what the message would be. 

“We decided to use some guild people as our actors and we knew Rene (Bertschi) who does the videographer role very well could do that.” 

“The Shaw Guild is a volunteer organization that really is strongly committed to the relationship between the Shaw and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” she said, “that wonderful sort of symbiotic relationship.” 

“There’s a very close relationship between the town and the guild, and when they call upon us we say, sure.” 

Weafer said the plan so far is to release three videos over the course of three months. The first one is already online.  

The next two will be released over the next two months as it becomes appropriate to do so. 

The first video is a live action role play of a couple deciding to go out and dine at a local restaurant. Clips of the role play demonstration are accompanied by a voiceover with explanation and informative banners on screen. See the video at https://youtu.be/fJIUkXHPJws

Two future videos with this project will cover the topics of entertaining guests and retail shopping. 

“We are going to do a second one, entertaining with guests not in your immediate social bubble but in your sort of secondary, in your friend group, up to 10 people,” she said. 

“We’re going to do a barbecue in somebody’s backyard with a number of tips on how you can do that safely,” Weafer said. 

“And some suggestions as to how you can manage some of the trickier bits of how to prepare for that properly.” 

Weafer said the second video will not be released until "the state of emergency gets lifted and we’ll see if any guidelines change.” 

“We want to make sure we stay current and relevant to whatever guidelines are posted.” 

The focus of these videos is education, she said.  

“The theme of our three videos is, what’s different out there,” she noted. “So, just helping people negotiate that and in a sort of visual way, if we can be of help, then why not. Let’s do it.” 

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