Government of Canada supports Stratford Festival, tourism and community infrastructure

FedDev Ontario invests over $11 million to support the Stratford Festival and seven tourism and community infrastructure projects in the Stratford area

The Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada (Stratford Festival) is an annual, multi-stage festival that runs from April to November. As Canada’s largest theatre festival, it welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists to Stratford each year. Showcasing everything from classical to contemporary plays, with an emphasis on Shakespeare, this festival is an important economic driver for the region. Its cancellation in 2020 and shortened season in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant loss of revenue for the local Stratford economy. The Government of Canada is committed to revitalizing major events and festivals and the hard-hit tourism industry, while strengthening communities and local economies.

Today, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a non-repayable investment of more than $11.3 million to support the recovery and future growth of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada, and seven tourism and community infrastructure projects in the region.

An investment of $10 million for the Stratford Festival, provided through the Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI), is enabling the Festival to recover from the impacts of the past two years and return to its pre-pandemic scale, positioning it for strong and resilient growth. As a result of this investment, the Stratford Festival will operate at four indoor venues, extend its season and produce a total of 10 plays, five of which are funded through this investment. This support will result in positive economic impacts for the Stratford-area tourism and hospitality sectors.

In addition, over $1.3 million, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) and the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) was announced for seven projects that will enhance community infrastructure or help tourism entities and communities safely welcome back visitors in the Stratford area, including The Little Prince Cinema, who received nearly $100,000 to expand operations to establish a new microcinema facility, which will include two screening rooms. Full project details can be found in the backgrounder.