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Our Founder – Wayne Nicklas

Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Renée Zellweger and Wayne Nicklas in "New In Town"

Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Renée Zellweger and Wayne Nicklas in “New In Town”


wayne_nicklas Wayne was born in Winnipeg on April 20, 1951 and lived his life mainly in Winnipeg. He grew up in the west end and went to high school at Tec Voc. Wayne is survived by his loving wife, Judy Cook, his mother Iola Nicklas, sisters Sylvia Dalman and Ruth Gledhill (Larry). Also left to remember Wayne are nephews Darcy Dalman (Suzanne), Dale and Kevin Gledhill, Josh Dalman, and niece Nicola Gledhill. Wayne was predeceased by his father Jack Nicklas and nephew Larry Gledhill. Wayne had a very close relationship with his niece and nephews and will be dearly missed by all of them. Family was very important to Wayne and he was especially good at quarterbacking the weekly Sunday dinner at Amma’s house. He loved to cook and always took care of the menu choices. He had a special friendship with the dogs of the family, always remembering to put extra food on his plate for sharing. No Sunday dinner was complete without a lengthy and detailed review of the sports week, particularly the progress of the Bombers. Wayne was also blessed to have a large number of close, lifelong friends. Wayne was a well known member of the arts community in Winnipeg and the rest of Canada.

His love of live theatre began in his teenage years and continued throughout his life. Some of his most memorable roles in theatre and cinema include: The Odyssey , Guys and Dolls , Up Island , Shakespeare’s Dog , Waiting for Godot , Heater , The Saddest Music in the World and New in Town .

Off stage, Wayne was the driving force that established PAL, the Performing Arts Lodges, in Winnipeg. His vision energized a community group that is incorporated as a not for profit charitable organization, whose goal is to build senior housing for members of the performing artists in need. An advocate of Winnipeg actors and the acting community at large led to his position of national council representative for ACTRA in Winnipeg.

Throughout his illness, his spirits were always good and he lived his last few months to the fullest.  He passed away while on vacation with his wife, Judy, on Vancouver Island, on May 25th, 2010. Special thanks to the nurses and staff at CancerCare, to the Manitoba Home Nutrition Program and to the Winnipeg Naturopathic Clinic.

Remembering Wayne

On the evening of Sunday, June 27, a Celebration of the Life and Accomplishments of Wayne Nicklas, well-known and well-loved member of the Winnipeg acting community, was held . Wayne will be remembered for his many performances on stage, in television and in film.

He was a proud member of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association but was especially involved with his dearest organization, ACTRA. He gave many years to ACTRA as a member-at-large of the Manitoba Council becoming eventually Manitoba President, Manitoba’s National Councillor and member of the National Council, serving as Vice-President. He was well respected in all these offices and admired for the work he accomplished for his fellow-members. Wayne carried a lot of ACTRA history with him for having been part of so much of ACTRA’s work and development.

During his last years, Wayne spear-headed the founding of PAL Winnipeg, our local chapter of the Performing Arts Lodge, Canada, and it became his cherished project. PAL Winnipeg is well on its way to establishing a facility for members of the performing arts who are in need of help either through subsidized housing or a day-to-day hand through the volunteers of the PAL
Supporting Cast.

Very soon after the sad loss, a long-time friend of Wayne’s, David King, Vancouver-based playwright and actor, joined with Wayne’s wife, Judy Cook, to organize the tribute evening, immediately deciding that it would be a fund-raiser for PAL Winnipeg.

They enlisted the participation of a group of very talented, close friends and colleagues of Wayne’s for an evening which turned out to be as entertaining as it was touching. Yes, as they say, we cried and we laughed as these terrific entertainers sang, acted, provided musical accompaniment and monologued. The over 200 audience members got an entertainment of the highest quality and refreshing variety. They enthusiastically applauded Brian Richardson, Judy Cook, Rick Burt, Wayne Posnick, Jeff Skinner, Ti Hallas, Nancy Drake, Harry Nelken, David Gillies, Sam Broverman, Ilena Zaramba, Lorne Wheeler, Tusia Toubib, Ron Halldorson, Al Simmons, Fred Penner, and, of course, David King. Dan Donahue was our audio technician.
Just under $8,000 was raised.

Donations to PAL Winnipeg in Memory of Wayne Nicklas

  • ACTRA Manitoba
  • ACTRA National
  • ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society
  • ACTRA Saskatchewan
  • Anniko, Tom & Claudette Novak
  • Bajer, Sharon & Carson Nattrass
  • Beattie, Della & Jim
  • Boyle, Marilyn
  • Broderick, Pauline & Peter Jordan
  • Buck, Diane
  • Carlson, Larry & Roberta
  • Chorney, Garth & Sandra Williamson
  • Cook, Harriet & Raymond
  • Cox, Helene
  • Davidson, James (Jim) A
  • Dorge, Claude
  • Douglas, Joanne
  • Erickson Motors Ltd.
  • Fines, Doreen M
  • Genovese-Cook, Angeline & David Cook
  • Grayson, Patti
  • Gudnason, Henry B
  • Hallas, Ti & Laurie Urban
  • Hodges, Ann
  • Hogue, Muriel
  • Horkoff, Kathleen
  • Howell, Richard & Karen
  • Hume, Kim
  • Hunter, Maureen & Gary
  • Hunter, Pat & Zaz Bajon
  • James, Lorraine
  • Karpyshin, Cherry
  • Keenan, John & Sharon
  • Laing, Phyllis
  • Longfield, Kevin & Diane
  • Macklin, Rob
  • McCormick, Bridget
  • Moore, Lionel & Frances
  • Moriyama, Carol
  • Nelken, Harry
  • O’Neil, Adriana
  • Priolo, Linda
  • Pura, Talia
  • Skene, Jan & Rick
  • Smith, Miriam & Robert Metcalfe
  • Sweatman, Rosemary
  • Taylor, Blake & Mimi Raglan
  • Westdal, V A Mae
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