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Shawn Silver


Bonnie Mergler
Thank you from Australia
Standing Stones Glen Innes New South Wales Australia
The organizers of the Australian Celtic Festival deserve medals and I'm quite sure everone who attended still has goose bumps. From the pipes, the music, the dancing.!! The dancing!! Shawn you are the young fellow who was responsible for holding the attentionn of thousands, in addition my 4 cute grand children. They were all fidgety and wantd to go on the "flying fox" again. Then "wacko" out you came. Well Shawn they sat on their chairs, eyes agog, mouths open and you and your troupe held their attention from start to finish. Thank you Shawn, as former Jazzz & Ballet girl, I know of the work "beehind the scenes" that goes into a solid performannce. I adored your enthusiasm, your magnificient face shows so much expression and your body and feet follow through to the beat of the heart- rendering music. This dear Shawn is what radiatd out from yyou to myself and my kids and you captivated the audience. To witness this, young "laddie" you are a wonderful performer, true artist and crowd drawing contributor to this world of today. You help make this world a better place. Shawn I wish you well. You are teaching young ones the culture and the art of true celtic dancing. Love Bonnie & Myron Mergler.

notable quotes

'Shawn is one of the reasons why Irish dancing is growing in popularity and professionalism in Newfoundland. My work with his dancers in St. John's really shows this. I'm looking forward to working with Shawn to help build a centre of Irish dance excellence in Atlantic Canada.'

Michael Donnellan
Principal Dancer, Magic of the Dance
Claire, Ireland

'Shawn, your hard work has garnered Newfoundland an international reputation as a "hotbed" of Irish Dancing, music and culture. I look forward to my return this summer to offer master classes at The Newfoundland Centre For Irish Dance Excellence (NICE) '

Don McCarron
Principal Dancer, Lord Of The Dance
Donegal, Ireland

'Shawn is a brilliant dancer and has a strong and and talented pool of traditional dancers and performers in Newfoundland. Together with our friends in Ireland, we are dedicated to fostering, preserving and sharing our traditional dance culture. Newfoundland certainly has the world standing up and taking notice. '

Stephen McAteer
2 Time World Champion, 2 Time All Ireland Champion
Toronto Canada

'As Executive Director of Irish Cultural Centre of New England I am looking forward, especially with Canada our neighbors to the north to create a Celtic corridor in tradition, culture and business. Thanks to our work with Shawn Silver and iDance that work has begun.'

Sean Grant
Executive Director Irish Cultural Center of New England
Boston MA

'The cultural industries are critical to Newfoundland and Labrador's strength both socially, and economically," said Minister Byrne. "The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency recognizes the significant, long-term contributions individuals like Shawn Silver are making to the growth of our economy, and we're very pleased to be able to assist his professional development as an artist, and as an entrepreneur."

Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency ACOA
Government of Canada

'A Key outcome of the trade mission was the considerable appetite that Icelanders have for the province's cultural heritage. This trade mission presented the opportunity to showcase the province's rich culture and the Icelandic community was a thoroughly captivated audience. I am
encouraged by their success and anticipate this to continue as trade
relations strengthen between Iceland and Newfoundland and Labrador. Team iDance's presence on trade missions to Boston and Iceland was an asset, both as a part of promoting trade and cultural objectives, but equally in motivating others on the mission. I wish them all the success.'

Trevor Taylor
Minister of Industry Trade and Rural Development
Newfoundland Labrador

'You are truly a wonderful representative of Canada.

Kristbjorg Ágústsdóttir
Public Affairs and Trade Commissioner
Canadian Embassy
Reykjavík, Iceland'

Kristbjorg Ágústsdóttir
Public Affairs and Trade Commissioner
Reyjkavik Iceland

'What exciting times it seems to be for Newfoundland/Labrador music and culture. WBGH – both TV and Radio – are very committed to celebrating Celtic culture from all around the world and having your region be a part of that would be terrific. I am impressed that your region is ready to heighten its profile in the Celtic world.'

Brian O'Donovan
Producer WGBH TV and ICONS Festival
Boston MA

'Shawn, you are truly an Ambassador for Culture in this province. I am receiving very favourable reports regarding the successful international trade missions you attended, representing NL. We are proud of all your successes and initiatives. If there were another 100 just like you, it would make all our jobs that much easier. '

Honourable Danny Williams
Premier Newfoundland Labrador

'THANKS!! On behalf of Stella Burry Community Services I want you to know there were people at our April 30th 2008 event who NEVER have or probably ever will get to experience such grace, beauty and enjoyment as that you brought to the event. So many people were moved in so many ways by your dancing. I find it hard to say in words, but let me tell you, paycheques of the heart are what life and living are all about and everyone there that night got a bonus on their cheque.

Matthew G. Cave
Personal Development
Stella Burry Community Services

Stella Burry Community Services
St. John's NL

'Australia and St John's.
Shawn, Thank you so much. We were so lucky to have someone as talented and gifted as you come and share your talents with us at Ashdale. We look forward to developing a full time program with you in 2012.
Keep on dancing and see you again very soon.
Your Aussie friends in Perth. '

Terry Pirlo
Fine Arts Programmer
Perth, Western Australia

'Dear Shawn,

I've been asked by our Chairman to write to you on behalf of the 2011 Australian Celtic Festival Committee to thank you for your contribution to the success of our Festival.

It was wonderful to have a Newfoundlander as our only international artist this year. A comment from one member of our committee was that he was most impressed watching you teaching young dancers during your breaks. He (and others have made the same comment to me) feels that you were worth far more to our dance program than just the appearances on stage.

Karen Armstrong, from Cape Byron Celtic Dancers, who you danced with during the Irish Dance Spectacular on Saturday and Sunday, tells me that you performed 37 times during your four days with us. Wow - that's some work load! And your "dance-off" with Dougie McFarland from Down Under the Kilt was a highlight for many people, who came up to me at various times and said what a brilliant performance it was. I don't know if you realise that we had the biggest dance stage audience we have ever had in 2011- and we've been going nineteen years. There was an actual count done by one committee member and there were 27 rows of people on two sides of the stage. I can't even begin to work out how many people that was. Well done!

Thank you also for being willing to appear at the Thursday night Welcome Concert, at the Opening Ceremony on Friday and at the New England Club on Saturday night. You certainly contributed to the ambience of the Festival in the town over the whole period of the Festival.

We are most grateful to the Newfoundland Labrador Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for their assistance. They obviously support, foster, preserve and promote Newfoundland culture and its Celtic base. By paying your air fares, they made it possible for a small town in northern New South Wales to be able to have a dancer of your talent and stature appear at our Festival, underlining its growing reputation within the Australian and International Celtic communities.

Once again, Shawn, our thanks and best wishes.


Wendy Watts
Chairman, 2011 Australian Celtic Festival Committee

Barbara McLennan
Dance Coordinator, 2011 Australian Celtic Festival Committee


Glen Innes Irish Festial, Australia

'Dear Shawn, I would like to thank you so much for your generous involvement with the launch of the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay. You and your dance troupe added ann incrediby unique and exciting local flare to our festivities.
Again, thank you for joining us in launching this meaningful and important Canadian event and helping us to inspire individuals across the country to make a difference.

Ainsley Kowal and the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay team. '

Rick Hansen's Man in Motion World Tour, August 24t
Cape Spear Newfoundland Labrador

'"Shawn Silver is a spectacular individual, passionate and genuine - a true gem in today's world. I guarantee if you met him you would be smiling for days. You should be most happy and proud of what you have accomplished for this town. People are thrilled..I can't tell you enough how much I personally admire and respect you and I know that is spilling over in the entire community. Pat yourself on the back"'

Sara Sheehan
Admin Clerk, College of North Atlantic

'Shawn Silver is Newfoundland's answer to Riverdance. Brilliant. '

Breandán de Gallaí
Lead Dancer, Riverdance
Dublin, Ireland

'While most of the arts groups the Cultural Economic Development Program supports are
not-for-profit, we look at supporting for-profit cultural enterprises
for capacity building purposes, and we believe that in the case of
iDance this investment has been entirely worthwhile. iDance's
activities, such as enrollment, engagements, tuition revenues, community
outreach and international profile, have all seen exciting growth over
the past few years. '

Libby Creeleman
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
Newfoundland Labrador

'Shawn Silver is THE Irish Canadian the world of Irish dancing should get to know.'

Irish Dance, Music and Culture Magazine
London UK

'Newfoundland Labrador: A hotbed of Irish Dance thanks to Shawn Silver's dedication.'

Hornpipe Magazine
Thomas Miner
Texas, USA

'I am particularly excited that your plansfor Celtic Roots
contain a significant academic component : it is the integration of dance, music, the visual arts, and literature
that makes our program so successful.
Now is an opportune time to pursue these goals. The increasing move towards understanding the Atlantic as
an interactive space of exchange rather than a space of cultural separation has produced a willingness on
the part of Irish historiography and literary studies to escape from the narrow inward-looking paradigms of
the past and embrace a more outward-looking co-operative mode of cultural investigation. Newfoundland
scholarship is particularly well placed, one would imagine, to contribute to this advance.
with best

Finbar Nugent
Boston Center of Irish Studies
Boston College'

Celtic Roots Summer Irish Language, Dance, Music &

'Shawn, I want to thank you personally for establishing The Exploits River Dance Company in Grand Falls Windsor. I consider your work as a great example of traditional NL culture. You are a fantastic performer. Thank you for the successful opening to The 23rd annual Salmon Festival which draws up to 30,000 each year. By all accounts this year's opening event was the most attended and most successful kick off event in the festivals history. On behalf of the town of Grand Falls Windsor and central NL my thanks to iDance and Shawn Silver Irish Dancers for making that happen. We look forward to having you as our headliner again at next year's festival.'

Rex Barnes
Grand Falls-Windsor

'Sara and Shawn
On behalf of the town of Grand Falls-Winsor I thank you both. Your performance troupe brings considerable profile to our community and makes my job that much easier. I forsee great things for Irish Dance here in Grand Falls-Windsor. Keep up the great work and if you need anything else from the Town for your trip to Boston, let me know. We're here for you.

Gary Hennessey
Economic Development Officer Grand Falls-Windsor
Grand Falls-Windsor

'Shawn and Sara,
Thank you for all the hard work you are doing with regards to Irish dance, music and culture here in Newfoundland Labrador. If there is anything you need with regards to your Boston Trade Mission, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the festival. We were delighted by your performance this year. I will look forward to your return from Boston, where you will be sharing and fostering the Celtic links with the thriving Irish American community. I think we should get together and start planning next year ASAP. Our community and our festival committee are really looking forward to your particiaption in our 2008 Flying Boat International Festival.
Take Care
Karen Dunphy
Festival Coordinator

Karen Dunphy
Festival Coordinator, Flying Boat International Festival
Norris Arm Newfoundland Labrador

'Your talents, passion, and energies are boundless and the effect they have on our school is beyond measure. The excitement and spirit which pervades our school at the present time will be with us well into the future...'

Aubrey Dawe
Assistant Principal Matthew Elementary School
Bonavista, NL

'Thank you for all the effort you expend and the passion for this medium you obviously have. If the primary objective of an entertainment form is to please the audience then The Shawn Silver Dancers have certainly succeeded.'

Fred Searle
Instructor Compu College, NL
St. John's NL

'You gave us a beautiful evening that will be talked about for many weeks. Hats off to you for your gift of sharing with residents in the community.'

Donna Moore
Recreational Director
Meadow Creek

'...I wanted to write you to say thank you for finally bringing a standardized form of Irish dancing to Newfoundland! I admire what you are doing since I agree that Newfoundland, with all it's Irish culture, should definately have structured Irish Dance.'

Sheila Pomroy
New York NY

'iDANCE is Newfoundland and Labrador's premiere centre of Irish dance excellence. Shawn Silver has an energy level hard to match, and the kind of confidence that comes from following a path you seem destined to travel.'

Joy Mix
Chicago American News May 2005

'Irish Dancing Classes with Shawn Silver is the ultimate souvenir of a visit to Newfoundland and Labrador'

Shirley Newhook
The Telegram
St. John's

'Your performance at our Grand Opening with 420 attendees for Exit Realty On the Rock was superb...
My associates from outside the province were totally impressed with the level of talent. I am sure our paths will cross again in the near term.'

Anne Squires
St. John's

'Your performance at our Conference in St. John's reaffirmed my thoughts that we definitely had the best talent lineup of ANY conference!!. The Shawn Silver Irish Dancers are outstanding!'

The Canadian Association for Supported Employment

'...The energy with your group along with the professionalism is inspiring at the very least, even mesmerizing!. You deserve the thanks and appreciation for your passion.'

Neal Oram
Former NL Provincial Ski and Canada Winter Games Team Member

'...Better than Riverdance I tell you, the dancing. My God weren’t they something – I never seen the like. His wife was some beautiful, imagine the dancing when they goes to the times. Sure everyone must just sit back and watch.'

Bernie Costello
Ferryland, NL

'Shawn,Thanks again for such a fabulous performance at our conference last week. It was definitely one of the highlights of the entire event for me!

Once again, many thanks'

Jaie Skalin
Community Economic Development Conference Coordinator
Vancouver, Canada

'Shawn, Just wanted to thank you again for the incredible performance you gave at the National Community Economic Development Conference in St. John's held April 19th 2007......the crowd is still raving about it!

Kindest regards,'

Ryan McLean
Vice President McCarthy's Party
St. John's, Canada

'Shawn You're the talk of the St. Anne's School in Dunneville,Placentia today. The students you had on stage were really thrilled. Thank You. Take care.'

William Houlihan
Teacher, St. Anne's Scool
St. Anne's School, Dunneville, Placentia NL

'Just wanted to congratulate you on a your first Exploits River Dance production! It was wonderful! The kids were so well prepared. You could see the discipline in their body alignment and line formation. And the costumes looked great! Great Job!

Hilary Blackwood
Salmon Festival 2007
Grand Falls Windsor

'Dear Shawn,

I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation for your performances during this past year for the Canadian Red Cross and St. Lukes Concert.

I am continually amazed at your talent, your energy and your enthusiasm. You and your dance team are truly a credit to the province . I hope I have the pleasure of seeing you perform again in the near future.

Myrle Vokey'

Merle Vokey
Newfoundland Labrador Provincial Government

'Dear Shawn:
It has been exactly one month today since you contributed your time for the “Tribute To An Irish Gentleman…Craig L. Dobbin”. It was very emotional for me, yet most enjoyable. I know he was watching with “Irish Eyes Smiling” upon us.
Your contribution to the evening was great. Your choice of music and presentation were perfect. Thank you, for being a part of this Tribute and the honour bestowed upon my Craig.

Yours truly,
Elaine Dobbin'

Elaine Dobbin
Autism Society Newfoundland Labrador
Arts & Culture

I am having the most fun ever. I must be a tap dancer at heart.

Kathryn '

Kathryn Taylor Grand Falls Windsor
You are amazing!

'You are indeed an entertainer with a vibrant personality and certainly a Fabulous Irish Dancer. I always knew it would be great exercise... but you have enhanced my desire for Irish Step Dancing by letting me see how much fun is to be had as well. I'll be signing up for sure!'

Linda Hickey
St. John's NL

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