With just over a week to go until we open our 26th Season, things are in full swing down in Vanier Park. If you’ve been in the area lately, you’ve likely seen our signature red and white tents popping up in preparation. It takes a whole team of people to put the Festival together, and many months of work are involved to create the finished product that you see when you come to enjoy our productions.

From April 1, our site crew is in the park getting ready for the season, with digging, building, putting in seating decks, rigging lights and of course, erecting all of the tents. Our crew of just over 75 people is hard at work seven days a week building the Bard site. They also plant the beautiful gardens you see, and build the boardwalks (among many other things). Many of our administration employees also make the move to Vanier Park once the season starts, which means putting up the walls of our offices. The Bard Boutique is created, along with our concessions, bar, dressing rooms and backstage infrastructure.

A wide range of people make up our crew, including skilled electricians, carpenters, plumbers and painters. All of them work for other festivals, on film sets and for theatre companies. Many of our crew members have been working for us for over 10 seasons now. Year after year, the entire Bard site is built from scratch for our summer season. It’s like building a town from the studs up, using people power to bring it all together. This year has been exciting for us, as our crew has been installing new seats in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent! Complete with cup holders, the new seats will provide an even more comfortable experience for those seeing a production on the Howard Family Stage.

We were also lucky this year to work with Mark Anson of FPInnovations on a log-inspired design proposal.. They have generously offered to donate the materials from their proposal to Bard on the Beach for our boardwalk, helping to reduce the new materials we buy.

As you stroll through the Village this summer, take a moment to look at all of the details around you, and all of the work our fantastic team has put in. We’re so appreciative of our crews, who give so much to the Bard family. Thank you!