"Good wine needs no bush," William Shakespeare wrote (in the epilogue to As You Like It ) – but it could always use a beneficiary. On Tuesday, the Vancouver International Wine Festival named Bard on the Beach Theatre Society as its new charitable beneficiary, following the collapse earlier this year of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.
The wine festival was established almost 35 years ago as a fundraiser for the Playhouse, and raised $7.8-million for the theatre company over the years. After the theatre company announced it would cease operations last March, the wine festival – then called the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival – announced it would change its name and begin a search for a new beneficiary.
"The choice of a new charity to support was an important decision for the Wine Festival," said Wine Festival board chair Randy Kaardal in a news release out late Tuesday, adding the festival consulted with stakeholders and volunteers on the decision. "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 artistic director Christopher Gaze is drinking to that. "The current transformation that we are undergoing at Bard will be greatly assisted by the generous support of [the] Wine Festival," he said in that same news release. "We shall thrive together."