Joseph Schocter

Joseph Shocter was active in many fields and was best known for his contribution to theatre in Edmonton. He and partner Norman Twain were producing theatre in New York in the early sixties. At the same time in 1965, with several friends, he established The Citadel Theatre, the first professional theatre in Edmonton. Shoctor was the driving force behind the growth and development of the Citadel. It became internationally renowned with developers of new art centres frequently requesting site visits.

Joseph Schoctor played football for the University of Alberta and watched Calgary win the Grey Cup in 1948. Edmonton did not have a team. He organized an application and obtained a CFL franchise for Edmonton - the beginning of The Edmonton Eskimos.

Born 1922, Edmonton, Alberta
Died 2001

  • Early 1900s - Joseph?s father fled persecution in Russia and came to Edmonton. The family lived in a house on 95 Street near 103 Avenue. Joseph went to Alex Taylor, McCauley and Victoria Composite schools. His father had a junk business where the Edmonton Art Gallery now stands.
  • 1946 - Graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. While studying law he was active in the University Drama Department?s Studio Theatre. Following graduation he went to Hollywood to try out as an actor. He decided not to ?starve for his art? and returned to Edmonton.
  • 1949 - Joseph recounts that he and his father went to search for oil on land they had bought mineral rights to, in the Leduc field. With no seismic knowledge they had faith. Joseph and his friends found oil in more than a dozen wells and income from it helped him build an empire in real estate and business.
  • In addition Joseph had a law career, life as an entrepreneur and builder and family. He raised millions of dollars for the new Citadel Theatre that opened in 1976 and earned the reputation as the most persuasive fundraiser in the history of Canadian theatre.
  • He was well known for his volunteer work in a variety of civic causes including the United Way, chairman of the mayor?s Task Force on the Heart of the City in 1984. Served as Chairman as Edmonton?s Downtown Development Corporation 1986 ? 1990.

Honours Include

  • Was made Queen?s Councilor
  • 1978 - Province Of Alberta Achievement Award for Outstanding Service in the Theatre Arts and also the Queen?s Silver Jubilee Medal
  • 1985 - Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of Alberta
  • 1985 - City of Edmonton, Silver Ribbon Award
  • 1987 ? Office of the Order of Canada
  • 1990 ? The Alberta Order of Excellence