Bard Village

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival has pivoted its mission for the remainder of the 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.

The Festival’s 2020 virtual focus includes 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 two million attendees since 1990.

According to Festival Artistic Director Christopher Gaze, “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 on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

The new Bard Beyond the Beach logo was designed by Carter Hales Design Lab, the architect of Bard’s major visual rebrand three years ago. The agency’s brief this time was to invent a visual symbol of the short-term refocus of the Festival’s business model, while still reinforcing the organization’s core visual brand which needs to continue over time.

The new design merges the two concepts with a twist in both text and framing to demonstrate that the Festival’s 2020 programming isn’t bound by either physical location or infrastructure.

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.

This month, Bard’s new online boutique launches, offering Festival-branded merchandise and more. Free access to Bard’s digital content is possible thanks to generous contributions from a range of corporate sponsors and foundations and the three levels of government. Some content is exclusive to Festival Members in recognition of their vital support, but most is available to the general public at no charge.

We’ve been touched and inspired by the commitment these organizations have made to stay with us this year, despite our Season cancellation and the change in how we are able to acknowledge and celebrate our partnerships. We are proud and grateful to be associated with them. — Claire Sakaki, Executive Director, Bard on the Beach

And to all those who value and love the Festival, Bard on the Beach is working to bring you a vibrant and exciting season in 2021, as Bard’s tents will return to Vanier Park next summer (and beyond).

Visit Bard on the Beach online for details and updates.

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