Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival was established in 1990 with a mandate to provide Vancouver residents and tourists with affordable, accessible Shakespearean productions of the finest quality. The Festival began as an Equity Co-op, funded primarily by a Canada Council Explorations grant awarded to Artistic Director and Founder, Christopher Gaze. A fully professional, not-for-profit theatre company, Bard on the Beach now engages thirty actors each season as well as a team of exceptional directors, designers, and technicians; it is also supported by more than 250 volunteers. The productions consistently receive both critical and audience acclaim and repeatedly play to sold out houses.
Attendance at Bard on the Beach has grown dramatically over the years, from 6,000 in 1990 to over 100,000 in 2014. More than 1.4 million patrons have enjoyed the Bard experience over its 25 seasons. Its operating budget has grown from $35,000 in 1990 to over $5 million in 2014. The programming has expanded from one play to four each season, and from 34 performances in its inaugural year to over 200 in 2014.
Bard on the Beach offers a suite of Membership benefits to donors who contribute $25 or more. For more information on our Memberships and other ways of supporting the Festival, please visit our website.