Bard on the Beach Launches 2020 Virtual Programming and New Logo

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival announced today that it has repurposed its mission for this 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 through digital access.

The Festival’s 2020 virtual focus is represented by 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 2 million attendees since 1990.

Festival Artistic Director Christopher Gaze explains: “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”.

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 elegantly merges the two ideas, using a twist in the text and the framing to demonstrate that the Festival’s 2020 programming isn’t bound by physical locations and 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. And in August the doors to Bard’s new Online Boutique will open, offering Festival-branded merchandise and more.

All Bard’s virtual content can be found at; new elements will be added regularly throughout the summer and fall. Some content is exclusive to Festival Members in recognition of their vital support, but most is available to the general public at no charge. That free access is possible thanks to generous contributions from a range of corporate sponsors and foundations and the three levels of government. Says Claire Sakaki, Bard’s Executive Director, “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. They have stepped up with both financial and moral support. We are proud and grateful to be associated with them.”


For more information or to arrange for materials or interviews, please contact Cynnamon Schreinert | Tel: 604-802-2733; email: [email protected] 

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is located on the unceded ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) people.