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Stratford Festival balancing the books

The Stratford Festival grew from humble beginnings in a leaky tent into a revered institution. The drama festival has continued to attract actors, critics and theatre-goers from around the globe. Paradoxically, this almost proved to be its undoing. With international directors at the helm in the early years, frustrated Canadians sat on the sidelines. Financial problems almost shut the festival down. But the curtain would rise again on a new golden era.

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Despite a loyal audience who return season after season, the Festival is finding itself competing against blockbuster shows in Toronto. Artistic director Richard Monette has turned the festival into a profitable institution but he still feels the financial pressure of supporting the town, attracting new actors and balancing the budget. CBC Television interviews Monette on maintaining the financial fine balance.
• By 2001 the festival had grown immensely, employing more than 840 people. Over its 29-week season, theatre-goers attended more than 650 performances and brought $169 million to the region.
• A total of 3,511 jobs directly related to the Festival were created in 2002. The economic benefit of all goods and services is estimated to be over $63,000,000.

• In 2002, the Festival had an operating budget of $41,538,000. Ticket sales account for 65 per cent of the budget, grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council make up 4 per cent, and the rest is made up in fundraising and ancillary revenues. It is estimated that 41 per cent of box-office dollar volume comes from the United States.
Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: May 20, 1994
Guest(s): Maria Lamont, Daniel MacIvor, Richard Monette, Barbara Pourie, Barbara Quarry, Murial Sherrin
Interviewer: Carol Off
Reporter: Carol Off
Duration: 4:36
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Last updated: January 18, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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