Vollans Theater Scenery

The late Richard Vollans was a remarkable man. His sudden death in 2011 shocked us all. Richard sat on my back deck one summer and never once alluded to the fact that I was facing some extremely difficult financial times but instead chose to offer me some scenery painting work that he claimed he needed for his summer theatre camp that year. With just a few topics and giving me full reign he insisted on paying top dollar including materials and labour, fronting me the cash to purchase these large ready primed canvas sheets.

I had only my tiny sitting room wall to hang them in, so I covered the furniture with drop sheets, hammered a few nails into the stone walls, and proceeded to paint from cartooned thumbnails. It was a little hairy but fun. And he was delighted with them, declaring they were “the BEST!” in his usual enthusiastic voice.

Richard was this honest, sensitive and supportive with so many of his University of Waterloo students and his arts associates and colleagues. He put his money AND his speech into full support mode. All the time. What a guy. I still find it hard to believe he is gone. We so need more of his type.