Government of Canada

Government of Canada

April 27, 2009 13:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Stratford Shakespeare Festival

STRATFORD, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of $3 million to support the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

"Today's announcement is another positive step toward strengthening Canada's visitor economy," said Minister Finley. "The Marquee Tourism Events Program will allow marquee events such as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to continue to draw the international visitors that make our great country a must-see destination. Businesses throughout Stratford, Ontario, will reap the benefits of this funding, and we are thrilled to be able to extend this support."

The Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP) is a Government of Canada initiative under Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to provide $100 million in funding over two years for marquee tourism events in support of the visitor economy. This program will help events that attract a large number of international visitors to maintain and enhance their appeal. It will also help events that are established nationally to gain an international presence.

The program is divided into several funding streams - beginning with the Summer 2009 one-time injection of funds. A call for proposals with a deadline of May 8, 2009, has been issued for tourism events that meet the eligibility criteria for the next phase of the program. An additional call for proposals will be announced in fall 2009.

"We are deeply gratified that our government has chosen to make such a significant investment in the work of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival," said General Director Antoni Cimolino. "This is a tremendous affirmation of the importance of the cultural and tourism industries to the economy of our country. Those industries not only enrich people's lives spiritually, emotionally and intellectually, they generate an enormous economic return that benefits us in tangible, material ways as well."

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival will be stepping up its marketing activities to promote the festival in Canada and the U.S. Additional activities involve television commercials and newspaper ads, as well as direct marketing and some new e-marketing tactics. The funding also enables the Festival to proceed with its original plans for the production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, reinstating the performances suspended at the time of its application to the MTEP and providing opportunities particularly for the next generation of theatre-goers to experience this production.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival projects this year's attendance at its 600 performances to reach 500 000 visitors from North America and abroad.

The recipients of this funding stream put forth proposals to the Government of Canada that met the eligibility criteria and objectives of the program. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is just one of Canada's annual, world-class marquee tourism events that have been granted funding under the Summer 2009 MTEP funding stream. Today's other recipients of the Summer 2009 MTEP funding stream are:

- The Calgary Stampede,

- The Charlottetown Festival,

- The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival,

- Le Festival d'ete de Quebec,

- Le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal,

- The Shaw Festival, and

- The Toronto International Film Festival.

The MTEP complements the numerous federally funded, tourism-related programs that are part of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan. These programs, which provide measures to support Canada's economy, stimulate the growth of tourism and contribute to the development of Canada's visitor economy over the long term, include:

- $40 million over two years to the Canadian Tourism Commission for domestic and international marketing; and

- $150 million over two years for national parks and historic sites.

For more information, please visit the Industry Canada website at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    613-947-5856 or 613-668-5406 (cell)
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations