Bard on the Beach raises the curtain on season 2017

Bard on the Beach is back under the white tents at Vanier Park, continuing it’s legacy as Western Canada’s Largest Shakespeare Festival for another year.

Summer evenings at Bard on the Beach

Over the years Bard on the Beach has sought to bring the works of Shakespeare, and related material, to its stages while keeping the adaptations fresh and innovative.  The BMO Mainstage has been home to some of The Bard’s best known works, in recent years including; Romeo & Juliet, Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Taming of the  Shrew, Hamlet and more. While the intimate Howard Family Stage and Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent has brought to life some of Shakespeare’s lesser known works; Pericles, Cymbeline, Measure for Measure to name a few.  As well, the Howard Family Stage also provides a proving ground for new and creative works that exist within the Shakespearean universe. This year, Shylock by Mark Leiren-Young takes a look into a production of The Merchant of Venice, following the title character behind and in front of the stage.

The 2017 is in previews now with a BMO Mainstage opening night of Much Ado About Nothing on June 15th followed by The Winter’s Tale opening night, June 22nd.  For the Howard Family Stage, The Merchant of Venice opens on July 6th and The Two Gentlemen of Verona opening on July 12th. Later in the season, Shylock has its limited run, starting September 7th. The whole season wraps September 23, 2017.

Throughout the season, a host of special events add even more entertainment to the Bard Village tents.  Bard-B-Q & Fireworks – a night of food, a performance and the Celebration of Light fireworks festival, Chor Leoni Manely/Fun – the men’s choir bring two nights of music, Opera & Arias : The Barber of Seville performed by the UBC Opera Ensemble with Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Talkback Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays and more.

For more information about the 2017 Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, visit

Bard On The Beach 2016 Season on Now

Bard_IMG_9517A sure sign of Summer in the City is when the tents pop up at Vanier Park signalling the start of the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival season. Always on the of the best ways to spend a summer evening, Bard on the Beach brings world class Shakespeare performance to the Vancouver waterfront.   The 2016 season is now on with previews of Romeo and Juliet, leading to Opening Night on Friday June 10.

Since 1990 countless performers have taken to the Bard stage and this year will see another troupe of players bringing four more Shakespeare plays to life on the Festival’s two stages; BMO Mainstage and the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre.

Each stage features two plays in rotation.  Plus throughout the year, Bard On The Beach presents special events and performances.
The 2016 Bard On The Beach Season includes:

BMO Mainstage : 

Romeo & Juliet: directed by Kim Collier, opens June 3
The classic Shakespearian tale of star-crossed lovers from feuding families opens the 2016 Festival

The Merry Wives of Windsor : directed by Johnna Wright, opens June 17
First staged in 2012, The Merry Wives of Windsor returns to the Mainstage bigger and better.  Set in the 1960’s Windsor, Ontario Sir John Falstaff sets out to seduce the Merry Wives to the tune of 60’s popular music.

Howard Family Stage :

Othello : directed by Bob Frazer, opens June 24
Othello tells of battle, betrayal, love and jealousy set amidst the violent upheaval and race relations of the American Civil War.

Pericles : directed by Lois Anderson, opens July 2
The ancient world’s pagan culture finds a tale of family secrets, lost love, new loves and redemption

Special Performances: just some of the special events taking place throughout the season

Talk Back Tuesdays – each Tuesday
Popular free post-performance question and answer sessions with the players

Wine Wednesdays – July 13, August 10, September 7
Intimate pre-show tastings in the Bard Village with a different winemaker each night along with special guests.

Bard-B-Q & Fireworks – July 23, 27 & 30
Enjoy an early performance followed by a salmon bbq and an exclusive view of the Celebration of Lights Fireworks Festival

Choir Leoni – Mane Stages – June 20 & 27 (2 shows each day)
Vancouver’s famed men’s choir takes over the BMO Mainstage on this popular event

Vancouver Symphony at The Bard – July 11 & 18
Enjoy the classic sounds of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the Bard tents.

Opera and Arias : The Magic Flute – August 29 & September 5 (2 shows each day)
UBC Opera Ensemble bring Mozart’s classic to the Bard stage

Even on regular nights, arrive early and take in all the Bard Village has to offer, browse the shop, grab a glass of wine, explore the history of Bard and enjoy the Vanier Park setting.

For a full line-up of events, showtimes and tickets visit



Shakespeare’s Rebel at Bard on the Beach


The 26th season of Bard on the Beach is in full swing under the tents at Vanier Park.  This year’s season includes the new play, Shakespeare’s Rebel by CC Humphrey. Based on his historical fiction novel of the same name, Humphrey crafted the book into a fast paced, action adventure with the balance of humour, swordplay, family and romantic entanglements that would make The Bard himself happy.

Centred on a member of Shakespeare’s company of actors at The Globe Theatre. John Lawley, charismatically played by Benedict Campbell, is a premier swordsman, actor and drinker who must muddle through a tumultuous time in English history.  Elizabeth I is on the throne and sends her champion Robert, Earl of Essex (John Murphy) to quell the uprising in Ireland while at home the sinister Sir Robert Cecil (Robert Klein) plots against him.  Amongst it all he juggles keeping his friend Shakespeare (Anousha Alamain) on track to produce a play that will keep The Globe afloat, his son’s desire to be in the company of actors, his ex’s new fiance and his loyalty to Essex.  Colleen Wheeler’s Queen Elizabeth I and Jennifer Lines’ Tess manage to keep the men in check and command the attention of their paramours. All of the company are engaging as they whip through the plays quick changes and action.

Shakespeare’s Rebel, alternates with Love’s Labours Lost in the Howard Family Stage at Bard on the Beach until September 19th.

Bard On The Beach – Macbeth

Western Canada’s largest Shakespeare Festival, now in its 23rd season, presents four rotating shows this season; Macbeth, Taming Of The Shrew, Merry Wives Of Windsor and King John. Ashamedly, I’ve never attended Bard On The Beach before, so I remedied that recently with a performance of Macbeth.

Although the ground was wet and soggy from a deluge of afternoon rain, amongst the tented stages in the ‘Bard Village’ it was quite comfortable, a gift shop, two efficient concessions and ample washroom facilities make the pre-show/intermissions go by quickly. Seated in the Main Stage seats you’d be forgiven for forgetting you were in a temporary theatre, except for the open air behind the stage, there’s little evidence of the elements outside.  However, the audience was reminded of the open air a couple moments when an air ambulance helicopter quickly passed overhead and then a party boat playing thumping beats drifted by on the water.

The classic tale of deceit, power and murder that is Macbeth was well interpreted, while sticking true to the original bloody and violent work.  The great cast was powerfully lead by, Bard regular, Bob Frazer as Macbeth and Colleen Wheeler as Lady Macbeth.  Both portrayed the anger, angst and anguish of the title characters with full force. While there was a couple of occasions that certain actors voices got a bit lost in the open air, the overall production was spot on.

Bard On The Beach Shakespeare Festival is located under the tents at Vanier Park on Kits Point. Parking is available at the nearby Museum of Vancouver/Science Centre, Boat Launch and gravel parking lot across the street. Regular evening tickets are just $40.

Celebration of Light / Shorefest 2011

Hard to believe that our little fireworks festival is all grown up and turning 21 years old!

The flashes and booms over English Bay followed by ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs”will fill the air of Vancouver as the Celebration of Light takes off for another year. This year’s “Battle Of Champions” edition kicks off Saturday July 30th with China followed by Spain on Wednesday August 3rd and finally Canada on Saturday August 6th. Listen to the simulcast music on Shore 104.3 FM.

In addition to the excitement of the spectacular fireworks, Shorefest, returns for a third year. This music festival features three stages; English Bay, Kits Beach and Vanier Park.  Kits and Vanier Park stages are free for all to enjoy with the English Bay stage by-invitation-only performances for listeners of Shore 104.3.

This year’s performers include: former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page, Wide Mouth Mason, Jim Byrnes, Jeremy Fisher, Leeroy Stagger, Grapes of Wrath’s Kevin Kane and The Sojourners.
Performances begin at 7pm each night of the Celebration of Light. So head down to the water’s edge early and get your seat, listen to some good tunes and enjoy an unique specactle each evening.