Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival at Vancouver’s Vanier Park

Event Details

Vanier Park

Celebrating its 28th Season in 2017, Bard on the Beach is Western Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festival. Presented in a magnificent setting on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, the Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas, and several special events in two performance tents from June through September.

A custom-built Mainstage Theatre tent offers modern, comfortable reserved seating (733-seat capacity) and a custom-built sound system. The Mainstage tent is open-ended, so the actors perform against a spectacular backdrop of mountains, sea and sky – a highlight of the unique Bard experience. Two large-scale productions are performed in repertory on the BMO Mainstage from early June through late September.

The Douglas Campbell Theatre tent holds 240 in reserved seats and its two repertory productions run from the end of June through September on the Howard Family Stage, named in 2014 in honour of Vancouver arts philanthropists Darlene and Paul Howard. This intimate performance space hosts a mix of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, his classics presented with less traditional staging and in recent years, contemporary plays with stories and themes that link to the Festival’s Shakespeare mandate.

Both tents are located in the Bard Village, a lively gathering space for Bard theatre patrons where they can meet and chat with fellow event-goers, take in a range of educational events, enjoy full concession and bar services and browse the Bard boutique. The Village is open to patrons for one full hour prior to curtain.

Bard is constantly expanding its educational programs and community outreach. It hosts the immensely popular Young Shakespeareans Workshops for 8-18 year-olds at its Vanier Park site during the summer and has added the Riotous Youth program for 19 to 24-year-olds, which is a paid internship during the summer season. During the school term, the Festival also offers Bard in the Classroom workshops throughout BC’s Lower Mainland for students and teachers. Since January 2016, year-round education and training programs have been offered in Bard’s new administrative home, the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Avenue). Bard Artistic Director and Founder Christopher Gaze spreads enthusiasm for the magic of Shakespeare’s plays through frequent guest appearances at corporate, scholastic and private events.

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