LSM Newswire

Monday, November 30, 2009

Shaw Festival 48th Season Closes

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, November 5, 2009 . . . The Shaw Festival’s 48th season closed on November 1, and Executive Director Colleen Blake today released the attendance results for the 2009 season. With a turbulent 2008 winter, the Shaw Festival began rehearsals in March at 20% behind the year-to-date sales target. However as soon as performances began, sales jumped back, dramatically narrowing the gap. Attendance reached 253,000 or 63.5% of capacity for 800 performances (2008 attendance was 70% of capacity). Box office revenues reached $13.7 million.

In announcing these figures, Ms. Blake noted: “Given the uncertain world economic situation when we went on sale for the 2009 season, we are very pleased with the significant increase once our productions hit the stage and are delighted with our final results.”

The recession impacted The Shaw’s attendance this season, a result also experienced by our tourism partners throughout the Niagara Region. Funding from the federal and provincial governments to bolster marketing initiatives aimed at key Canadian and U.S. markets proved very helpful, resulting in a boost to attendance numbers in the latter months of the season. The Shaw’s box office revenues drive an overall economic impact of close to $100 million annually for the Niagara Region.

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell commented on the artistic highlights of the season: “As we come to the end of what can definitely be called a rollercoaster year, I am so pleased that our audiences responded so strongly to our work, from the ecstatic reception for Born Yesterday, to the huge enthusiasm for The Entertainer and our new Studio Theatre, and of course the interest, national and international, in our Coward Tonight at 8:30 series.”

Tickets for the 2010 season go on sale to Shaw Festival Members on November 7. Sales to the general public begin January 11 by mail, fax and on-line and January 16 by phone or in person. Details are available on the Shaw Festival website, www.shawfest.com, or by calling 1-800-511-SHAW (7429).

Audited financial reports will be available January 29 at The Shaw’s Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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