The Government of Canada has pledged more than $11 million to support the Stratford Festival and various tourism and community infrastructure projects in the Stratford, Ontario area.

The Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada, also known as the Stratford Festival, is an annual multi-stage festival that runs from April to November and features classic and contemporary works with an emphasis on Shakespeare.

Due to COVID-19, their 2020 season was canceled and their 2021 season was shortened.

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In a statement, the Government of Canada announced $11.3 million in funding to support the recovery and future growth of the Stratford Festival, as well as seven tourism and community infrastructure projects in the region.

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As a result, the statement says the festival will operate in four indoor venues, extend its season and produce a total of 10 plays, five of which are funded.

“The Stratford Festival is grateful for this much-needed financial support,” said Carol Stephenson, former chair of the Stratford Festival board of directors. “This funding enabled a limited outdoor season in 2021, which brought 34,000 people to Stratford. This year allows us to double the number of performances which will bring nearly 320,000 people to Stratford”.

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One of the tourism and community infrastructure projects receiving funding is The Little Prince Cinema to establish a new micro-cinema facility, which will include two screening rooms.

“This funding (couldn’t have) come at a better time,” said Leigh Cooney, founder of The Little Prince Cinema. “This financial support (means) that we can hope to not only survive, but expand our little project.”

According to the release, the Stratford Festival was founded in 1953 and generates more than $140 million in economic activity each year for Stratford and surrounding areas.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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