IAN MATTHEW WATSON
July 13, 1958 – April 16, 2019
Ian is survived by his wife of 25 years, Janine Pearson; his daughter, Anik; his father, Douglas Watson of Edmonton, his sister Martha (Willie King) of Edmonton; his brother, Alick (Anne Watson) of Boston; his in-laws, Curtis and Elsie Pearson of Kipling, Saskatchewan; his sister-in-law, Ruth Spetz (James) of Calgary and his seven nieces and nephews, Emily (David Clanachan), Christopher, Maxwell, Fiona, Gillian, Joel and Aaron.
Born in Vancouver and raised in Winnipeg, the son of Douglas and Janet Watson (nee Ryder), Ian attended Grosvenor Public School and Lakefield College School in Peterborough, Ontario (an institution that his great-grandfather founded). In 1977 he attended Queen’s University for a year before beginning his studies at the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School (under the direction of David Latham). After leaving the school he joined the English acting company at the National Arts Centre for four seasons (under the direction of John Wood). He was a member of Quebec’s Carbone 14 and participated in the creation of the world-renowned Le Dortoir. In 1986 he was invited by John Hirsch to join the Stratford Festival acting company where he subsequently worked for four seasons. He also enjoyed many other opportunities to work in theatres across the country from Manitoba Theatre Centre to the Centaur.
In 1993 he married Janine Pearson in Kipling, Saskatchewan. Directly afterwards they made their home in Montreal where Ian obtained a B.A. Honours degree from McGill University in English and Mathematics. He was influenced and mentored by the great acting teacher Michael Mawson and his dear friend, Bernard Hopkins. In 1996 Ian began teaching at the National Theatre School of Canada (under the direction of Perry Schneiderman). He spent the remainder of his career guiding young actors in the work of Shakespeare most notably at NTSC, Ryerson University and George Brown College. He also taught for the Stratford Festival’s Conservatory Training Program and coached for the company. He felt called to teach and coach and his passion for language was contagious.
In 2002, Ian and Janine moved to Stratford, Ontario. They became parents when they travelled to China to accept their long-wished-for daughter, Anik. These were extraordinary years for Ian as he was immersed in his work and created a life with his wife and daughter.
Janine and Anik send their deepest thanks to all of the family and friends who have supported us throughout Ian’s journey with cancer. A family funeral will take place at Christ Lutheran Church in Kipling, Saskatchewan and a Celebration of Life will take place at the Festival Theatre, 55 Queen St, Stratford on Sunday, May 12th at 2:00 p.m.
As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to The Professional Development Program for Coaching at the Stratford Festival, or The Canadian Cancer Society through the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford, Ontario. 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
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