Ontario Drama Festival

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The Ontario Drama Festival widely known as the Sears Drama Festival, founded in 1946 by Ken Watts, is a drama festival in which thousands of high school students compete.[1] Winners of the competition are awarded scholarships to theatre arts schools in Canada. Keanu Reeves, Rachel McAdams, Margot Kidder, R.H. Thomson, Judith Thompson and David Cronenberg are among the festival's alumni.[1][2][3]

The festival, and its sister festivals in British Columbia (founded in 2005) and Atlantic Canada (founded on 2011), involve 400 high schools and 15,000 students each year in drama competitions.[1][2]

Funded for most of its existence by Sears Canada (and previously, by retailer Simpsons), a partnership was arranged in 2017 with the National Theatre School and IATSE after Sears Canada withdrew its funding of $26,000 annually, due to the retailer's financial problems.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d "After losing Sears sponsorship, student drama festival gets its second act". Beta.theglobeandmail.com. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "71-year old youth theatre festival in jeopardy after Sears Canada ends funding". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Canada's oldest youth theatre festival saved after losing Sears sponsorship". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 10 October 2017.