Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Stratford Festival Ontario 2024, Canada

16 April - 27 October

The Stratford Festival Ontario pays homage to the Bard throughout the summer.

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Prepare to be enchanted by world-class theatre at the Stratford Festival Ontario Canada. This renowned theatre festival celebrates the works of William Shakespeare alongside a vibrant mix of contemporary productions, musicals and Greek tragedies.

History of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival

The Stratford Festival Ontario boasts a rich history dating back to 1953. Founded by journalist Tom Patterson, as a way to regenerate the town, the festival took inspiration from Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, in England. Initially focusing solely on Shakespeare’s plays, the festival has blossomed into a more diverse theatrical experience. Tyrone Guthrie was the first artistic director of the festival.

Alonzo Terrace at the Stratford Festival's Tom Patterson Theatre. Photography by Suede Productions.
Alonzo Terrace at the Stratford Festival’s Tom Patterson Theatre. Photography by Suede Productions.

In 1953, Alec Guinness, working for expenses only, began the first festival with Richard III. Christopher Plummer, Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, William Shatner and Christopher Walken are among the actors who have appeared here.

In 2022 the festival opened the Tom Patterson theatre which is one of the leading theatre halls in Canada.

What to Expect at the Stratford Festival 2024?

2_Sara Topham, Hedda Gabler. Photography by Ted Belton.
Sara Topham, Hedda Gabler. Photography by Ted Belton.

Immerse yourself in a magical atmosphere where renowned actors bring classic plays and innovative productions to life. The festival boasts four magnificent theatres: the Festival Theatre, the Avon Theatre, the Tom Patterson Theatre and the Studio Theatre. Over a six-month season, audiences are treated to a broad selection of performances.

The Stratford Festival 2024 will include performances of Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Hedda Gabler and Cymbeline. Full details of the programme can be found here, which is where you can also purchase tickets.

Where Does The Stratford Shakespeare Festival Take Place?

The festival unfolds in the charming town of Stratford, Ontario. Theatre buffs can experience the design and atmosphere in the four different venues mentioned above.

When Is Stratford Festival 2024?

The Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival will run from 16 April to 27 October 2024.

Things to Do in Stratford Ontario

Walk along the river Avon. Photo by Erin Samuell
Walk along the river Avon. Photo by Erin Samuell

Beyond the performances, Stratford offers streets of Victorian era architecture, such as the city hall and the courthouse, as well as the scenic beauty of the Shakespearean Gardens and the Avon River. The art gallery mostly exhibits the works of Canadian artists.

There are a range of tours you can sign up for, such as the chocolate or the ale and bacon trail and keep an eye out for live music offerings.

Travel to Stratford Ontario

For the easiest journey, fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). Direct flights connect London to Toronto on British Airways, Air Canada, American Airlines and Lufthansa. Similar direct flights are available from Miami on Air Canada and American Airlines.

From New York, fly with Air Canada, and the same two airlines also operate to and from Los Angeles.

From Union Station, Toronto, you can hop on a relaxing Via Rail train. More frequent are the buses that leave from 44 York Street, or rent a car for a scenic drive to Stratford. It is approximately a two-hour to two-and-a- half-hour journey.

Stratford Ontario Canada Time Zone

Stratford is four hours behind London (UTC/GMT) and in the same time zone as New York City.

Further Information

For more information, visit the official Stratford Festival Canada website here: Explore the wonders of Stratford and its surrounding areas:

Main image: Festival Building and Gardens, c. Krista Dodson. All images supplied by the organisers.


16 April
27 October


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Robbie Burness

Robbie gave up his sedentary London office existence when he turned 40 to explore the world and now is living the dream as a digital nomad.

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