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. Our four seasonal productions consistently receive both critical and audience acclaim and repeatedly play to sold out houses.
In addition to our high quality productions, Bard offers a suite of year-round, youth-oriented education programs including: Bard in the Classroom workshops, which bring trained Teaching Artists into classrooms from kindergarten through grade 12; our on-site summer Young Shakespeareans Workshops, for youth aged 8 through 18; the Riotous Youth career bridging apprenticeship program for young theatre artists; and Bard in Your Neighbourhood, a new fee-less program which brings Bard in the Classroom-style workshops to community groups and alternative schools serving underprivileged youth in Vancouver.
Bard on the Beach offers a suite of Membership benefits to donors who contribute $50 or more. For more information on becoming a Bard Member and other ways of supporting the Festival, please visit our website.
What People Are Saying
"I have been a strong supporter of the arts for over 20 years with my main criteria being excellence, education, and philanthropy. Bard excels in all three! It's easy to support an organization who walks the talk!"
— Darlene Howard, Bard Board Member, Read More
"The bonds between the adults and youth are growing as we work together as peers to complete the exercises you have given us. There are so many smiles and laughs on top of everything. The school feels better, and we have all noticed this change. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift!"
— Murray Grant, TREES Alternative - Bard in Your Neighbourhood Partner
"The Riotous Youth program has absolutely changed me. I’ve grown not only as an actor and member of the theatre community, but as a person as well. It is some of the most fun I've ever had, and I am truly privileged to be working with such an amazing company. "
— Alison Knight, Riotous Youth Apprentice, 2014/2015, Read More
"I first attended a Bard Fireworks performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1994, with Christopher Gaze starring in the role of Falstaff. During the dinner break Christopher, in full costume, wandered through the crowd making everyone feel welcome. I have not missed a summer since."
— Deb Pound, longtime supporter and Volunteer