UTM pays tribute to outgoing mayor with theatrical production

Mayor McCallion at tribute
Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 8:18am
Blake Eligh

U of T Mississauga last night celebrated the legacy of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion with a musical play based on her life and times.

The original play, “She Shoots! She Scores!”, was commissioned to honour the mayor as she prepares to retire after nearly five decades in municipal and regional politics. It chronicles her life from her youth in Gaspé, Quebec through to her remarkable political career.

After the performance, vice-president and principal Deep Saini presented McCallion with a special bound edition of the script. He thanked the mayor for her service to the city and her long-standing support of the university.

“Mayor McCallion has been the greatest of friends, a booster and a champion of this campus,” he said. “She advocated for the establishment of the Mississauga Academy of Medicine, encouraged her councillors to support our expansion, and always said “yes” to the hundreds of requests to visit our campus.”

“Madam Mayor, thank you for your leadership, your support and, most of all, for your friendship.”

Saini also praised the production, saying, “I feel incredibly proud to see this premiere that showcases both our legendary mayor and the creative gifts of our faculty, staff and students.”

McCallion was visibly moved by the tribute. “This was a fantastic presentation that showcased the talent that exists within the walls of this university,” McCallion said. “I have always said that if you give the best with whatever you do, the best comes back to you. The best came back to me tonight.

“As I near the end of my journey as mayor of Mississauga, I can’t think of another event that was as touching as this,” she continued. “This is just a beautiful ending to my 36 years as mayor.”

The mayor mingled with the audience afterwards, cheerfully posing for “selfies” with fans and performers. Her last day in office is Nov. 30.

Directed by alumna Melissa Jane Shaw, “She Shoots! She Scores!” debuted as part of a special evening of entertainment for Mayor McCallion. The play was performed by students from the joint theatre and drama studies programs of U of T Mississauga and Sheridan College. Theatre Erindale’s founding artistic director, Patrick Young, wrote the play, which features original musical numbers, including “She Shoots! She Scores!” and “Oh, Hazel!”