Status Update – The 2021 Season

May 28, 2021: We are heartened by the good news in the province’s May 24 update on the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. However we will not be able to stage a 2021 Season in Vanier Park/Sen̓áḵw, in spite of those changes.

Our unique theatre-tent model requires a fixed block of time for us to build our facilities safely and well, and enough time following that to have a reasonable run before we disassemble the site in the fall. The costs, timing and safety factors ruled out any site start-up after May 1 – and those factors haven’t changed. So, we are continuing to build a 2021 Digital Season with a range of entertaining content, including the world premiere of the new Shakespeare-themed play Done/Undone.

Watch our channels for further details and for tickets on sale in June!

April 6, 2021: With regret, we have made the decision not to proceed with an in-person Festival in Vanier Park/Sen̓áḵw this summer, because of the impact of the pandemic’s third wave on our unique production and presentation model.

Three core principles guided our decision:

  • the physical safety of our teams, patrons, program participants and partners
  • our commitment to creating high quality artistic work
  • protecting our financial health and ongoing sustainability

After a thorough assessment, we realize we cannot fully meet and honour those principles if we move forward with a physical Festival model this year. And for a number of reasons, we cannot delay the start of our site construction any longer – while current external conditions won’t allow us to confidently go ahead with that work. For more context for the decision, see our press release.

Season Update – Executive Director Claire Sakaki and Artistic Director Christopher Gaze

What’s New: We are designing a digital 32nd Season that will offer online events and activities throughout the summer. The centrepiece will be a new full-length play, Done/Undone, written by Kate Besworth and commissioned for Bard’s 2021 season. Done/Undone is deeply rooted in Shakespearean themes and it poses provocative, engaging questions about the role of Shakespeare in today’s world. It will be available for digital viewing later this summer and we’ll share further details soon about the production, special events, education programming and more.

What Hasn’t Changed: We remain committed to our essential mandate, which is to present theatre on stage for live audiences in a spectacular space. We are looking ahead to 2022 when we will be together again in the Village, watch plays in our beloved Bard tents, and when young people will come to our site again to learn and be inspired through our summer camp and workshop programs. Note: our youth Education programs will be offered online this year.

In the meantime, we remain a Bard Family. And we will stay strong because we know that you – our patrons, donors, sponsors and partners, volunteers and more – will continue to support us and lift us up. We are so grateful to you all and we look forward to seeing you in our digital spaces!

Stay up to date with our evolving summer plans through our timely E-News updates and be first to get alerts about our new content.



When will tickets for your digital productions and events go on sale?

We will announce the tickets on-sale date as soon as we can. Make sure to sign up for our Bard E-Newsletter to get the announcement directly in your inbox! 

How can I watch the digital productions?

Once you’ve purchased tickets to a digital performance, you will be emailed the steps to access the performance. We will announce more details once tickets go on sale, so make sure to sign up for our Bard E-Newsletter to get updates directly in your inbox!

Will there be in-person performances later in the summer if in-person gathering restrictions are eased?

Due to our Festival’s production model and our construction deadlines and costs, we won’t be holding any in-person performances in Vanier Park/Sen̓ákw this summerHowever, we may be able to consider some small informal in-person events once it is safe to do so. Make sure to sign up for our Bard E-Newsletter to be notified of these events first! 

I have a gift certificate – can I use this for the digital season?

Yes, of course! You can use your gift certificate as a payment method in the checkout process on our website.

What does this mean for the Education camps and workshops that happen in the summer?

Our Education team is excited about the online programming we can offer this summer. To find out more, please email Bard’s Education Manager Katie Johnstone, and watch our Summer Camps webpage.

I was hoping to get something from your Boutique this summer. Will you still be selling Boutique items?

Yesyou’re in luck! We have an online version of our Boutique, so you can show your support for Bard with one of our t-shirts or any of our other merchandise. Make sure to check out the online Boutique – and if you would like to see an item we don’t currently stocklet us know by emailing with your suggestion.