Written By Guest Writer Libations / Vancouver / Wine Sep 25, 2012 Vancouver International Wine Festival Announces New Charity SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestVancouver, BC, September 25, 2012 – The Vancouver International Wine Festival is pleased to announce that its board of directors has selected Bard on the Beach Theatre Society as its new charitable beneficiary. Long a supporter of arts and culture, the Festival is thrilled to enter into this partnership as it celebrates its 35th year as one of North America’s largest wine festivals.The Vancouver International Wine Festival is proud to continue its support for public theatre; over 34 years, the Festival raised a total of $7.8 million as a fundraiser for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, until it ceased operations in the spring of 2012. “The choice of a new charity to support was an important decision for the Wine Festival and we engaged in a consultative process with our major stakeholders and representatives of our more than 350 volunteers,” says Festival board chair Randy Kaardal. “Bard on the Beach had a long association with the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, it is an important cultural event in the city and the festive atmosphere it engenders makes it a great charitable partner.”Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Presented in a magnificent setting on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, the Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas, and several special events in two performance tents from June through September. Artistic director Christopher Gaze actively spreads enthusiasm for the magic of Shakespeare’s plays through numerous guest appearances at corporate, scholastic and private events. Says Gaze, “One of the great legacies of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company is the International Wine Festival – and we have enjoyed a very close relationship with both organizations for 23 years. The current transformation that we are undergoing at Bard will be greatly assisted by the generous support of Wine Festival. We shall thrive together.”Vancouver International Wine Festival executive director Harry Hertscheg is also excited by the news. “The Wine Festival has energized Vancouver’s wine and food scene since 1979, while also raising nearly $8 million for the performing arts. I’m excited that this storied legacy will continue to thrive through a vibrant new partnership with Bard on the Beach and our long-time industry partners, particularly the BCLDB, foreign consulates and wine agent community. As we approach our 35th anniversary, I look forward to a new era of celebrating the combined creativity of vintners, chefs and the performing arts.”The announcement of support for Bard on the Beach is the perfect continuation to a long-standing and positive relationship with the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, for which the Wine Festival first began as a fundraiser thanks to the efforts of the late John Levine. Bard on the Beach often rented rehearsal halls, props, and costumes from the Playhouse in addition to hiring many of the same actors and production personnel. ABOUT THE VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVALCanada’s premier wine show (formerly known as the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival) will run from February 25th to March 3rd, 2013. The Festival features 176 participating wineries over a week that sees 56 special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Vancouver International Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society. In 2013 the Festival will mark its 35th anniversary of pairing wine, food and the performing arts, with a Theme Region of California Wines and a Global Focus of Chardonnay. Advance tickets to the 2013 Festival will be on sale November 1st, 2012 and tickets to all public events will be on sale January 8th, 2013. To view this year’s participating wineries visit http://vanwinefest.ca/page412.htmFor more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to http://vanwinefest.ca/ ABOUT BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVALCelebrating its 24th season in 2013, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festivals. It is presented on the waterfront in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. The Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and several special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2012, festival attendance was 86,000 and over a million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. The Festival’s 2013 dates are June 11th to September 14th and the 2013 lineup will feature Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Measure for Measure and Timothy Findley’s Shakespearean-era drama Elizabeth Rex. 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