Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

  • Vanier Park
  • Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3
  • Phone: 604.737.0625

Every June through September, Bard on the Beach professional Shakespeare Festival brings to life the magic of Shakespeare’s great plays. The Festival site is located on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, adjacent to the downtown core.

The 28th Bard season, running from June 1 to September 23, 2017, features four Shakespeare plays plus a short-run contemporary drama; together they will take audiences from ancient Greece to modern-day Venice and Vancouver.

Opening the Festival on the BMO Mainstage is a new production of an audience favourite, Much Ado About Nothing, set in 1959 Italy and inspired by the era’s extravagantly entertaining Italian films, with John Murphy (Measure For Measure, 2013) directing. Alternating with Much Ado is The Winter’s Tale, a magical and poignant family drama, set in ancient Greece and Bohemia and directed by Bard’s Associate Artistic Director Dean Paul Gibson (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014).

On the Howard Family Stage, award-winning Canadian actor-director Nigel Shawn Williams will direct a provocative new staging of The Merchant of Venice, set in contemporary Italy; it will alternate with a new production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Bard Artistic Associate Scott Bellis (The Comedy of Errors, 2015). Rounding out the 2017 lineup is a short-run production in September directed by Sherry J. Yoon to complement The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a single-hander written by BC’s Mark Leiren-Young; first produced at Bard in 1996, it’s the story of a modern-day actor playing Shylock who wrestles with the timely issues of censorship and political correctness.

As well as the plays, Bard on the Beach offers a vibrant, on-site Village where patrons can gather for one full hour before performances begin. With concession services, picnic packages, insightful free talks and the Bard Boutique, there's always lots to do in the Village! Updates on Bard on the Beach’s festival are posted regularly at

Season packs for the 2017 season of Bard on the Beach are currently on sale. They can be ordered by phone at 604-739-0559 (1-877-739-0559 toll free) or online at Regular tickets will go on sale in April.