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Vancouver's Bard on the Beach launches fundraiser to secure festival's future

Last Updated Nov 21, 2020 at 6:27 pm PST

(Image Credit: CityNews)
Summary

Bard on the Beach is campaigning to raise $600,000 to get the festival back on its feet, fund 2021 season

The festival has run every summer since 1990, but the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The founder of Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach is hoping those who love the annual summer festival will help them meet a fundraising goal that will save the 2021 season.

And as Shakespeare himself wrote, “Who can sever love from charity?”

The festival has run every summer since 1990, but the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season.

RELATED: 2020 Bard on the Beach season called off

Artistic Director Christopher Gaze says because ticket sales are 70 per cent of annual revenue, a major campaign is launching to make up the shortfall and to make sure there can be a 2021 season.

“For those that love us, if they can give us a hand at this time it will make a huge difference,” he says.

“We’ve had an outpouring of affection over the last eight or nine months. This has continued until now, and we’re asking for that little extra help to push us over the line.”

He explains $300,000 has already been committed to the “Back on the Beach” fundraiser by philanthropists and the organization’s board of directors. Another $300,000 is needed to meet the campaign’s goal.

“We look towards 2021, as everyone’s aware there are many, many challenges. The arts, in particular, the pandemic has hit very, very hard. We want to produce next summer, we want to be there in one way or another,” he says.

“We believe that everyone wants us back and we will find a way of getting back, obviously in a healthy and probably limited way.”

In a typical year, about 100,000 people typically head to Vanier Park for the festival.

“It’s a tradition for so many British Columbians and their guests and friends from abroad or across the country. It’s become such a part of people’s lives, such an affectionate part. People are missing it a lot, and I know will want to help us get back next summer, and then hopefully in 2022 — full throttle.”

With files from Jonathan Szekeres