Blyth Festival

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Blyth Festival, located in Blyth, Ontario, Canada, specializes in the production and promotion of Canadian plays.


The organization was started by James Roy, playwright Anne Chislett and local newspaper editor Keith Roulston in 1975. Its primary mandate is to produce and develop local Canadian plays.[1]

In 1975, few scripts that fit the festival's mandate were being written so we jumped into the creation of new work. At that time, the Festival was the only summer theatre producing original Canadian plays, and one of the very few, if not the only "500-seat" theatre in Canada producing Canadian plays exclusively.

Today, located in a village of 1000 in rural Huron County, Blyth Centre for the Arts is a year-round centre of cultural activity for southwestern Ontario. In addition to Blyth Festival, the Centre includes an Art Gallery that showcases three professional exhibits, one non-juried community show and co-ordinates a student exhibit each season. Choristers participate in the professionally led Blyth Festival singers and musicians from three counties form the Blyth Festival Orchestra. The theatre brings many outstanding Canadian artists to its stage throughout the off-season.

In addition, the Festival acts as a resource for local groups and makes its outstanding facilities available for community use. The Festival plays a major role in the business life of the village and the tourism industry in Huron County.

Artistic directors[edit]

  • James Roy (1975-1979)
  • Janet Amos (1979–1984)
  • Katherine Kaszas (1984–1991)
  • Peter Smith (1991–1994)
  • Janet Amos (1994–1997)
  • Anne Chislett (1997–2003)
  • Eric Coates (2003–2013)
  • Peter Smith (Interim 2013)
  • Marion de Vries (2014)
  • Gil Garratt (2014-present)

Season summary[edit]

A list of past productions can be found at Blyth Festival production history

2015 Season | Original Canadian Theatre

  • Seeds by Annabel Soutar | Directed by Kim Collier | June 24-Aug 8

A Saskatchewan farmer is sued by a transnational for growing a crop he claims he never planted. The case that went all the way to the supreme court: Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto.

1830s. Middlesex County. Two unsuspecting travelling minstrels, who have spent their showbiz careers painting their faces, check into a hotel owned by Austin Steward, the black president of the Wilberforce colony.

  • Fury Book and Lyrics by Peter Smith; Music by Samuel Sholdice | Directed by Micheline Chevrier | July 29-Sept 12

In the Great Storm of 1913, the mighty SS Wexford went down with all her hands. A young woman and her forbidden love stand poised on the brink of destiny and destruction.

  • Mary's Wedding by Stephen Massicotte | Directed by Gil Garratt | Aug 5-Sept 12

From Mary and Charlie's first encounter, through the blossoming of their young love, to Charlie's charge with the cavalry into battle, Mary's Wedding captures a time of innocence, courage, and self-sacrifice.

Award-winning, world-renowned, Master Puppeteer Ronnie Burkett brings a cast of his incomparable characters for their inaugural excursion to Blyth and Huron County. An improvised tour-de-force. *Adults Only!


External links[edit]