2023 Guided Spirit Walks – Gertrude Yale

The annual Guided Spirit Walks are back again this September and we’re excited to share the profiles of the historic people included this year, and our wonderful cast of volunteer performers who will portray them.

For our first character/actor profile, we welcome back Gertrude Yale, played by Amanda Balyk.

The marvelous Amanda Balyk, pictured with the Yale family marker at Victoria Lawn, returns as Gertrude Yale.

A little about Amanda

Character: Gertrude Yale
Seasons performed with Guided Spirit Walks: 3rd year as an actor, but as a summer student, Amanda co-wrote the 2019 walks.
Favourite Tour Year: 2019, since she co-wrote the walks!
Favourite Character: Farmerette from our virtual production of the Spirit Walks in 2020.
Favourite Costume: Mary Burgoyne.
What can our audiences look forward to most? A mix of history lesson and some comedic moments.

Amanda, at right, as one of three Mary Burgoyne (the guides) in 2021, with Rachelle Longtin and Sara Nixon.

A little about Gertrude Yale

This isn’t the first time Gertrude Yale has appeared on the walks. Gertrude was featured in the 2013 walks in a similar role she’ll play in 2023: to help relay what daily life was like in early St. Catharines. She and her husband, early tin smith and later industrialist Chauncey Yale became the stalwarts of the agricultural community. Yale served as a vocal president of the Agricultural Society. They first settled in St. Catharines 1831 and later built a home at the corner of Queen and Church, which still stands today. Yale was quite ill near the end of his life and with Gertrude built a number of properties so that she would have an income after he died. Some of these properties still stand as an important part of the Church Street streetscape.

To find out more about Gertrudes contributions to our local history this time around, come to our Guided Spirit Walks!

The 12th Annual Guided Spirit Walks

This year’s walks take place on September 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 6pm and 7pm. Tickets are $15.50 per person. Tickets go on sale on August 1 via our ActiveNet portal or over the phone (905.984.8880) or in-person at the St. Catharines Museum.

For More…

For more on how we put together the annual walks at Victoria Lawn, check out this run down of crafting the walks, our most popular program.

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