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 $9.2 million for the performing arts; we are dedicated to celebrating the inspiring creativity of vintners, chefs and artists.


Mission: To perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare.

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 30th season in 2019, 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 2019 season runs from June 5 to September 21. The BMO Mainstage opens with The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Lois Anderson (Lysistrata, 2018), which will play in repertory with Shakespeare in Love, directed by Daryl Cloran (As You Like It, 2018). The Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre offers two plays that will run consecutively. The season begins with All’s Well That Ends Well, co-created and co-directed by Johnna Wright (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2016) and Rohit Chokhani (Artistic Director, Diwali in BC), and closes with Coriolanus, directed by Dean Paul Gibson (The Winter’s Tale, 2017).

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 a record high of 108,000 in 2018 and more than 1.9 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.