In September 2012, the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society announced that its new charitable beneficiary would be The Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. VanWineFest has energized Vancouver’s wine and food scene since 1979, while also raising more than $8.5 million for the performing arts; we are dedicated to celebrating the inspiring creativity of vintners, chefs and artists.
Vision: To create an enduring contribution to the cultural fabric of the community as an inspiring centre of Shakespeare performance, education and understanding.
Celebrating its 29th season in 2018, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit professional Shakespeare festivals. Bard’s home is a magnificent waterfront setting in Vancouver’s Vanier Park where it offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and special events in two modern performance tents every summer. The 2018 season, running from June 6 to September 22, opens with As You Like It on the BMO Mainstage, directed by Daryl Cloran (Love’s Labour’s Lost, 2015). Playing in repertory with As You Like It will be Macbeth, directed by Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham. On the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, Meg Roe (The Tempest, 2014) directs Timon of Athens, alternating with Lysistrata directed by Lois Anderson (Pericles, 2016) and adapted by Anderson and Jennifer Wise.
In addition to its plays, the Festival offers opera, choral and orchestral concerts, wine tastings and educational events. The tented Bard Village is home to many activities and amenities including informal pre-show In A Nutshell talks, concession and bar services, and the Bard Boutique.
Bard engages a team of exceptional actors, directors, designers and technicians each season, along with year-round administrative staff and teaching artists; it is also supported by more than 250 volunteers each year. Bard’s critically-acclaimed plays repeatedly draw full houses; season attendance reached 100,000 in 2017 and more than 1.6 million patrons have enjoyed the Bard experience since 1990.
Through its constantly expanding community outreach, Bard hosts the popular Young Shakespeareans Workshops for youth and teens at the site during the summer and during the year at the BMO Theatre Centre, as well as Bard in the Classroom workshops for students and teachers during the school term. Its Riotous Youth program provides further Shakespearean theatre education and administrative training to young adults.
Bard on the Beach is extremely proud and honoured to be the Wine Festival’s charitable recipient. The partnership is invaluable, helping Bard maintain its signature high artistic standards and educational programs while at the same time keeping its programming affordable for hundreds of thousands of local residents and city visitors. For more information, visit Bard on the Beach.