Stratford Festival Receives National Historic Plaque

Canada's most esteemed theatre festival was honoured as a national historic event during a ceremony today in Stratford, Ontario.

Dr. Richard Alway, O.C, O.Ont., and Chair of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), commemorated the national historic significance of the Stratford Festival with a special ceremony to unveil a commemorative plaque at Stratford Festival Theatre. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

Named after the birthplace of English playwright William Shakespeare, the town of Stratford serves as a fitting location for a theatre festival. The Stratford Festival was founded in 1953 by local reporter Tom Patterson, who sought to improve Stratford's faltering economy.

Upon its opening, the Festival provided employment to actors, directors and technicians. It attracted outstanding talent from across the country and helped launch the careers of many notable Canadian actors, including Academy Award Winner Christopher Plummer.

More than 700 performances take place from May to October. The Stratford Festival has transformed the town's cultural life for residents and visitors alike, with 500,000 playgoers attending the Festival every year.

The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognizes significant people, places, and events that shaped our country as one way of helping Canadians and youth connect with their past. The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,000 designations have been made.

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