- Last season’s fiscal and artistic accomplishments celebrated -
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (January 31, 2014) — Shaw Festival Theatre Canada held its Annual General Meeting for the 2013 season on Friday, January 31, 2014 in the lobby of the Festival Theatre. Chair Andrew M. Pringle welcomed members of the Shaw Festival Board of Governors along with staff, supporters and friends who gathered to celebrate the impressive artistic and financial results of the 2013 season.
Mr. Pringle offered thanks and congratulations to Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell, Executive Director Elaine Calder, Management and the Board on achieving an operating surplus of $1.2 million for the 2013 season – a significant rise from last season when Treasurer Hazel Claxton reported a modest surplus. Mr. Pringle also noted that Management and the Board had worked together on a new strategic plan with specific objectives and measurable targets, as well as various other fundraising and advocacy initiatives to ensure the security and vitality of the Shaw Festival and its future.
“The success of the 2013 season was the result of a perfect storm of programming ideas and strategies developed over the past five years,” said Ms. Maxwell. “Brilliant and brave performances from our renowned ensemble in productions that our audience irrefutably responded to made for an exhilarating season of rich theatre.”
In her remarks, Ms. Claxton reviewed the highlights of The Shaw’s financial results as outlined in its 2013 audited statements, and commented on the Festival’s recent history and current position. She noted the surplus of $1.2 million was well in excess of last year’s modest surplus of $19,000. Revenues from all sources were $29 million, up 8% from $26.9 million in 2012, due largely to a $2 million increase in ticket sales. Expense increases were contained to only 3% over the previous year, coming in at $27.8 million; the surplus was achieved as a result of both growth in revenues and tight control of costs.
Ms. Claxton also noted that this success was not achieved through a single year’s decisions and actions, but rather resulted from steps taken by the Board and management in late 2011 to restructure the Shaw’s operations. The long-term goal was to achieve financial sustainability and position the Shaw for the future. Robust plans for increasing ticket sales and fundraising, along with a new strategic plan, will ensure The Shaw’s success.
Ms. Calder remarked that “The very strong sales should be credited to Ms. Maxwell’s programming choices, ten superb productions, all of which found an enthusiastic audience, and the sophisticated marketing programs designed and implemented by the Festival’s Director of Marketing, Communications and Sales, Valerie Taylor.” She went on to add “The Shaw is able to maintain its very high performance and production standards even with tight control over expenses, thanks to the ingenuity and experience of its creative teams and production departments.”
In addition, the company was able to negotiate a new contract with its unionized employees, with modest increases in each of the three years from 2013 through 2015. As a result of the surplus, and with full support of the Board, bonuses were paid to the 461 artists and employees who all contributed so much to the success of the 2013 season.
Tickets are on sale now for the Festival’s 53rd season, which features 10 productions presented from April 4 to October 26: Cabaret, The Philadelphia Story, The Philanderer, The Charity that Began at Home,The Sea, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Arms and The Man, When We Are Married, Juno and the Paycock and The Mountaintop. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-7429.