There’s no need to drink, dance and party until the early hours of the morning in order to enjoy a great summer. Sometimes with the heat and humidity, all we need is some relaxation time, or to spend some quality time taking part in all the fun daytime activities that Vancouver has to offer. The Bard on the Beach is just one thing to see out of a long list of cultural programs running throughout the city during the summer months. Bard on the Beach, created in 1990 as an Equity Co-op, is Western Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare festival. Every summer, under open-ended tents on the waterfront in Vanier Park, people gather to watch Shakespeare’s plays being performed.
The Mainstage tent has 520 seats and offers two productions staged in repertory from the end of May through to September. The Douglas Campbell Studio Stage was added in 1999 and has 240 seats. Over the years, Bard on the Beach has become more and more popular, going from 6,000 spectators in 1990 to 90,000 in 2009!
Alongside scheduling Shakespeare’s plays, the festival also organizes Young Shakespeareans Summer Workshops; kids and teens from 8 to 13 learn more about Shakespeare, led by professional theatre artists from the company. Young Shakespeareans then have a presentation at the end of the workshop.
The annual event presents four different plays each year, and you can find the latest schedule on the Bard on the Beach official website. It’s possible to buy a season pack so that you can see all four, as well as individual play tickets, called flex pack vouchers. You can find more information about ticketing on their website.
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