Presenting Q - Short Stories and Conversations

Value and Benefits of Presenting: Why presenting matters to you and your community? Short Stories and Conversations with Ontario’s presenters and performing arts professionals.

Our Manager of Member Services and Communications, Mila Ovchinnikova, sat down with one of CCI’s long-time members, Ray Marshall, to discuss his views on presenting.

Ray Marshall, General Manager, Showplace Performance Centre, Peterborough, ON

After working as a Technician and Stage Manager in Calgary, Toronto and Thunder Bay, Ray Marshall moved to Ontario’s beautiful Kawartha Lakes in 1985.  Ray is married and has five children, all of whom have danced, played or performed on the Academy Theatre stage in Lindsay, a venue that Ray managed for twenty-one years. In 2006, Ray made the switch to Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough. He now enjoys the 40 minute drive past farms, fields and creeks.  When not presenting, Ray goes straight up north to his place on the lake just south of Bancroft, a short drive from Peterborough.  His partner Sandy says that it is very good for him and Ray agrees.

From your experience, what do you see as your role in presenting performing artists?

My role is to offer a variety of talent for our audience, and to assist those who are presenting other performances.

Who/what inspired you to get involved in the arts?

 I was inspired in High School, and once in theatre school. It was Live Theatre that held me in.

What do you consider your proudest moment as a performing arts presenter?

Whenever a young person nails a song, a dance or a theatre role on the stage, you can see the magic on their face and the connection from them to the audience.  Whenever there is a sell-out, people standing cheering, asking for more. That makes us all want to see more on all of the stages.

What are the biggest challenges facing you as an arts presenter in Canada?

Economics/money, so much friendly competition. People staying home, and some sponsors over used by other presenters/arts events.

What are the main benefits of your work to your community?

They know this theatre is for them, their families, their businesses and that it’s part of their future.  I like to think that I’ve reminded them of that.

If a sudden crisis caused your organization to disappear from your community, what would be missed?

 It would be like you have lost one of your senses. The community would be numb.


This is such a nice initiative. I look forward to reading more Presenter Q interviews!