Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival announced that it has repurposed its mission for this summer to focus on creating new digitally delivered content and experiences, available to local Festival followers as well as to new audiences around the world through digital access.

The Festival’s 2020 virtual focus is represented by a refashioned Bard logo, featuring the phrase BARD BEYOND THE BEACH and the tag line “Hearts remote, yet not asunder” (William Shakespeare).

The move comes after Western Canada’s largest Shakespeare theatre festival cancelled its traditional 2020 Season in April, the first break in a 30-year-long annual run in Vancouver’s Vanier Park (Sen’ákw) that has drawn a total of almost 2 million attendees since 1990.

Festival Artistic Director Christopher Gaze explains: “We decided to adopt a proactive new approach once we’d made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Season. Our focus must be to keep the Festival’s stories and spirit alive in the hearts and minds of Festival followers during this ‘gap year’– and also reach new people who are able to visit our virtual spaces more easily than a physical location. We are truly excited about what we’re creating, and the new opportunities it offers for growth, relevance and inclusion”.

Bard’s new online programming ranges from virtual interactive gatherings that take attendees behind the scenes to discover how production elements and venue spaces are built, to on-demand content showcasing Festival artists and their work in innovative new ways, as well as a range of interactive digital resources for educators and families.

Last modified: July 31, 2020

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