Assistant Costume Designer

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

3 positions available


Bard on the Beach is Western Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare Festival. The Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and special events from June to September, in two modern theatre tents in a magnificent setting on the waterfront in Vanier Park. The Festival also offers year-round educational programming at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village, and throughout the Lower Mainland.

POSITION SUMMARY – Assistant Costume Designer (ACD)

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is committed to the cultivation of local talent by providing opportunities for early career designers to refine and strengthen their craft. Through our Assistant Design Program, successful applicants will work with established theatre artists to broaden their skills and obtain professional experience on a larger scale. There are three ACD positions available, and each will assist one Costume Designer  in the conception and execution of their design.


The Head of Wardrobe, in conjunction with the production Costume Designer(s).


  • Assisting, as required, in all aspects of costume design for one BMO Mainstage production and/or one Howard Family Stage production, from initial design meetings, through the building of the costumes, up to and including the opening of both shows. Duties may include, but are not limited to, collecting reference images, pulling costumes from stock, and sourcing and constructing design elements.
  • Purchasing of costume elements, fabrics and construction materials, as required by the Designer and the Head of Wardrobe.
  • Participating in all costume fittings, including preparing and striking the fitting room for each fitting.
  • Tracking, in conjunction with the Designer and the Head of Wardrobe, of all costume pieces and the development of costume paperwork.
  • Sourcing and providing of all rehearsal costumes and monitoring rehearsal reports for additional costume requests and additions.
  • Attending design meetings and weekly production meetings, as required by the Designer and the Head of Wardrobe.
  • Participating in the technical rehearsal process, including support for the backstage wardrobe crew.
  • Attending dress rehearsals and previews, as needed, to support the execution of the Designer’s vision.
  • Managing schedule, with Head of Wardrobe and Designer(s), to fulfill daily departmental needs, including the flexibility to work evenings and weekends, when required by tech schedules and production needs.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Professional or semi-professional experience as a Costume Designer or Assistant Costume Designer and a demonstrated desire to pursue a career in professional theatrical design.
  • A University or Technical College Degree/Certificate in Technical Theatre or Theatrical Design is preferred.
  • A working knowledge of costume construction techniques/equipment is required, and a strong foundation in sewing and fabrication skills is an asset.
  • Experience with generating theatrical paperwork, managing budgets and creating expense reports is strongly preferred.
  • Excellent communication skills in person and through technology.
  • A strong work ethic, an ability to self-direct, reliability, an attention to detail and good organizational skills.
  • A professional and friendly demeanor and a capacity for positive working relationships with colleagues as a member of a large and diverse organization.
  • A Class 5 driver’s license and access to a personal vehicle, insured for business use. Mileage and increased insurance cost will be reimbursed.


The ACD will have varying time commitments. The expectation of weekly hours will fluctuate from occasional meetings early in the process, to an average of 30-40 hours per week during the build, load in and tech period.


Occasional meetings and consultations may begin as early at March 1, 2020 for all three positions. The bulk of each ACD contract will be worked over an approximately 10 week long build and tech period, which will end on the opening night of the associated production (June 13, June 24 or July 16.)

Each ACD will be paid a fee of $5500.00.


Please upload your resume and a cover letter together in one PDF named “[First & Last Name] Assistant Costume Designer,” summarizing your qualifications and experience.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, January 27th, 2020

We thank all applicants in advance for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Bard on the Beach is committed to promoting an accessible, safe, inclusive and diverse environment. We respect, value and celebrate the diverse experiences of each person and actively encourage everyone to consider joining our team.

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