Shelby and Mike met at a production meeting. They were enrolled at Ryerson University in the Theatre Production Program and found themselves assigned to the same show. Quickly, they became an inseparable force. They graduated in 2014, got married in 2016, and immediately started their first company, Red Panda Productions. During their time in Toronto they worked on some of Toronto’s largest events. Their experience spans theatre, dance, concerts, weddings, sports, conferences, and more.
At the same time, they were also booking crews of their fellow skilled technicians for work on events across the entire GTA, taking on interactive electronics projects, and developing, from scratch, an escape room on a moving train for 150 guests.
After a whirlwind few years, Shelby and Mike were bursting out of their tiny downtown condo. Road cases and gear were piled everywhere. Seeking much more space, they looked to Mike’s home province of New Brunswick.
They found Howland Ridge Acres in June of 2020 and immediately fell in love with the property. It fit their vision: a natural oasis upon which to plant their creative roots and grow.
Howland Ridge is named after early settlers Solomon Howland and Alexander Howland.
It was established in 1875 by the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company.
They purchased 589,000 acres of land in York County at very cheap prices with the intention of attracting settlers and development to the area.
Their purchase included everything north of the St John River and west of the Nashwaak and Highway 8, minus what had already been given away.
Hoping to attract settlers to the area, they offered 100 acre parcels of land with a 50 year lease at a cost of 1 shilling per acre.
... 145 years later, we arrived!