Shaw Festival Theatre

10 Queen's Parade, Box 774
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Executive Director: Tim Jennings
Board Chair: Peter Jewett

Charitable Reg. #:11914 7882 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 64 cents are available for programs.

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About Shaw Festival Theatre:

Founded in 1962, Shaw Festival Theatre (SF) operates in Niagara-on-the-Lake and produces plays for audiences to enjoy. Shaw Festival Theatre's annual performance season runs from April to October and consists of 13 different productions. Outside of its main productions, the theatre also has an education/outreach program.  Shaw Festival Theatre reports that annually, it contributes over $200 million to Ontario’s cultural and tourism economy, and that for every dollar spent at the theatre seven more are spent in the region.

The charity’s main productions are put on at three different venues: The Festival Theatre, the Royal George Theatre, and the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. Additionally, the charity puts on performances at “secret theatres”, a program where audiences pay to watch surprise performances in unique places. In F2018, SF put on 755 performances across all its venues with the Royal George Theatre hosting the most (278). Cumulatively, the charity had 251,321 people attend. The charity reports that this was 74% of maximum capacity for the season. In F2019, SF is going to be launching a new program that more than doubles the amount of its lowest-cost tickets ($25-$40) to the public to ensure its programming remains affordable.

In F2018, the charity ran a total of 1,554 education/outreach events attracting a total audience of 47,391. SF reports that this is almost double the number of people who attended in F2017.

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Ci consolidated Shaw Festival Theatre with its associated Endowment Foundation in the following financial analysis. Transfers from the Endowment Foundation to the Theatre are not included. Ci notes that in F2018, the operating charity changed its year end. As a result, F2017 data is for a 13-month period. Ci has adjusted the program cost coverage ratio to reflect 12-months of spending for F2017.

Shaw Festival Theatre is a large charity with donations of $8.3m in F2018. Administrative costs are 13% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 24% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 64 cents go to its productions. This is outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. In F2018, the charity received a $1.1m donation from Shaw Festival Foundation (US) of which $713k was included in donations. Excluding the $713k, SF’s fundraising cost ratio rises to 26%. Shaw Festival Theatre and its associated Endowment Foundation hold gross funding reserves of $26.0m, of which $25.5m are donor-endowed. The charity also has $794k in interest-bearing debt. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity's gross reserves could cover program costs for X; however, when factoring in debt, the charity has no reserves.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Shaw Festival Theatre. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 30, 2019 by Stefan Tetzlaff.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending November
Administrative costs as % of revenues 12.8%10.9%14.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 23.6%12.3%23.7%
Total overhead spending 36.4%23.2%37.9%
Program cost coverage (%) (1.4%)6.3%(25.7%)

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,29014,4967,335
Goods in kind 0025
Government funding 3,5312,6692,761
Fees for service 18,80917,19417,153
Investment income (2,060)2,3902,254
Total revenues 28,57036,74929,528
Program costs 22,56623,97122,411
Administrative costs 3,9323,7383,881
Fundraising costs 1,9551,7791,739
Other costs 93202133
Total spending 28,54629,69028,163
Cash flow from operations 247,0591,364
Capital spending 2,1842,5801,671
Funding reserves 25,20627,37418,994

Note: Ci recognized deferred capital contributions as revenue, affecting total revenues by ($459k) in F2018, $5.2m in F2017, and ($505k) in F2016. Ci removed amortization of deferred capital contributions from revenue, affecting total revenues by ($783k) in F2018, ($522k) in F2017, and ($534k) in F2016. Ci removed administration fees paid to the operating charity from the foundation, reducing total costs by $214k in F2018, $200k in F2017, and $200k in F2016. Ci is displaying the charity's F2016 salary data as it could not reconcile F2018 and F2017 salary information.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 105

Avg. Compensation: $49,630

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

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