Bard on the Beach

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Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Bard on the Beach Entrance.jpg
Address 1695 Whyte Ave,Vanier Park, under the red and white tents (May–Sept)
City Vancouver, BC
Country Canada
Opened 1990

Bard on the Beach is Western Canada's largest professional Shakespeare festival, which is held every year in open-ended tents on the waterfront in Vanier Park in Kitsilano, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival’s 25th season runs June 11 to September 20, 2014.[1]


Bard on the Beach began as an Equity Co-op in the summer of 1990, funded primarily by a Canada Council Explorations grant awarded to Artistic Director Christopher Gaze. With this funding, and with generous help from many supporters in the community, Christopher and a passionate company of actors whom he had directed in Under Milk Wood at the 1989 Vancouver Fringe Festival, staged A Midsummer Night’s Dream as an Equity Co-op production in a rented tent in Vanier Park. More than 6,000 people came and the city was suddenly in love with Shakespeare. This success flagged the need for a more formal not-for-profit theatre company structure, and in the fall of 1990 Bard on the Beach Theatre Society was born.[2]

The site[edit]

Bard is located in Vanier Park just at the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver. It consists of two stages: The BMO Mainstage and The Douglas Campbell Studio Stage. There is also a group of tents known as the Bard Village which contains the box office, a gift shop, a marquee, and a concession.


In 2011, Bard on the Beach designed a custom-built Mainstage tent which offers expanded seating of 742 seats, a redesigned stage and more comfortable seating for patrons. It is open-ended with a backdrop of False Creek, the Coast Mountains and city skyline. The set itself changes year to year to accommodate the performance.

Douglas Campbell Studio Stage[edit]

The Douglas Campbell Studio Stage was added in 1999 and is named after the Canadian stage actor, Douglas Campbell. The studio stage now presents two of Shakespeare's plays and plays relating to Shakespeare each year. The tent itself seats 240 people. The stage configuration and set for the studio stage, like the mainstage, changes every year.

Bard education[edit]

Bard on the Beach provides opportunities for students, teachers, and lifelong learners to enhance their experience of Shakespeare's plays through:

  • Bard in the Classroom (interactive workshops for students in their classrooms)
  • Young Shakespeareans
  • Bard Unbound (one- to three-day workshops for classroom teachers)
  • Bard Explored (public lecture series)
  • Student Matinees

Young Shakepearean Workshops[edit]

The Young Shakespearean Workshops are workshops for youth aged 8 to 18, put on at the festival throughout the summer. They include junior groups and senior groups which last for two weeks at a time, as well as a one week intensive for more experienced actors. The workshop culminates in a presentation of a Shakespearean play. The current coordinator of the program is Luisa Jojic.

Other events[edit]

In addition to the four plays, there are a number of events throughout the summer:

Chronology of plays[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wright and Palmer, Katey and Morgan. "Bard on the Beach". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 

External links[edit]