August 14, 2019

Important Cultural Infrastructure Investments Support Shakespeare On The Saskatchewan

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced over $1.6 million in funding to support the redevelopment of the festival grounds for the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival.  He made the announcement on behalf of Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Inc. will use the funding for construction of a new amphitheatre base for the stage, audience seating, and park-style pavilions for dressing rooms, box office and concessions.  The organization will purchase a new tent structure to accommodate the larger amphitheatre, along with new energy-efficient lighting, sound equipment and riser decking for the stage.

The planned redevelopment will enable Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan to extend its summer programming, providing more economic opportunities for the organization.  The project will also improve working conditions for staff and performers, while enhancing access, on-site safety and overall audience experience.

Funding is being provided under the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund ($1 million) and the Community, Culture and Recreation Stream of the Investing in Canada Plan ($676,838).

“Our government has made arts and culture a priority, investing an additional $300 million over ten years to build and improve cultural infrastructure across Canada,” Rodriguez said.  “These investments build stronger communities by providing Canadians with quality, safe and accessible gathering places where they come together in support of our artists, creators and performers.”

“Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival is a perfect example of a community working to celebrate and showcase our Canadian artists,” Sohi said.  “The redevelopment of the festival site will be a cultural and economic benefit to the City of Saskatoon, to the talented members of its artistic community and to those who appreciate the value of the arts.”

“Investing in cultural and recreational infrastructure helps build more dynamic and inclusive communities where Canadian families can grow and thrive,” Champagne said.  “Our Government is proud to be investing in infrastructure projects across Saskatchewan that are improving the lives of residents, promoting economic growth and strengthening the middle class.”

“Cultural and recreational infrastructure continues to be a priority for all Canadians,” Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale said.  “Today’s announcement is good news for Saskatoon and all of Saskatchewan, and I look forward to working together with our community partners as we continue to make significant investments in our province.”

“Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan has played a vital role in Saskatoon’s rich cultural tapestry for more than 30 years,” Minister Responsible for SaskBuilds Gordon Wyant said.   “Today’s announcement ensures the festival will continue to offer captivating entertainment for many more years to come.”

“This project will reshape the future for Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan but beyond that it will open up one of the most beautiful spaces to the entire community,” Board Chair, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival, Inc. Vic Dubois said.  “It is so amazing to have the support of the Government of Canada in creating an accessible and amazing development plan.”

“We are beyond thrilled at this investment by the Government of Canada into this project,” Artistic Producer, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival Inc. Will Brooks said.  “This is a pivotal funding announcement that will allow our organization to take a huge leap forward in our planning. We can’t thank the federal government enough for their support of this great community vision.”

Quick Facts:

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival Inc.’s mission is to showcase the skills and talents of Saskatchewan artists in a manner that is accessible to all, through mounting productions of plays by William Shakespeare and other related works.

Since 1985, the organization has held an annual outdoor theatre festival in the heart of Saskatoon, on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River.

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund plays a key role in improving physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition.  It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing arts, visual arts, media arts, museum collections and heritage displays.

Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated Links:

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

Investing in Canada Plan Project Map

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival Inc.