Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of Stratford Festival's most loved and longtime members, Mr. Mervyn “Butch” Blake, who passed away recently at the age of 95.
Mr. Blake joined the Stratford Festival in 1957 and remained with the company for 42 consecutive years, during which time he performed in every one of Shakespeare's plays. Butch Blake's talent and commitment to the theatre earned him the respect of his peers, the affection of audiences, and the recognition of his adopted country. He was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1978 and was invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 1995.
I know that the Stratford Festival is proud to have counted Butch Blake as a beloved member of its immensely talented family. I am equally proud to say that Mr. Blake lived for many years in my hometown of Sebringville, Ontario.
I am sure all members of the House will join me in expressing our condolences to Mr. Blake's family and the theatre community across Canada.