CharityIntelligence Canada

Stratford Festival

P.O. Box 520
Stratford, ON N5A 6V2
Executive Director: Anita Gaffney
Board Chair: Daniel Bernstein

Charitable Reg. #: 11920 0103 RR0002
Sector: Arts & Culture
Operating Charity

Results Reporting

Grade: C

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

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #171

Avg. Compensation $71,591

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 1
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 1
$200k - $250k 3
$160k - $200k 5
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 0
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About Stratford Festival:

Established in 1953, The Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada (Stratford Festival) began with just two productions staged in a tent. In 2018 it features twelve productions, including four William Shakespeare plays. The festival operates four venues in Stratford, Ontario, ranging in size from the 1,826-seat Festival Theatre down to the 72-seat Studio Theatre Annex. Stratford Festival’s goal is to become the premier classical theatre destination renowned for both its excellence and innovation.

The 2018 productions from Shakespeare include The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus and Julius Caesar. Some of its other productions include The Music Man, The Rocky Horror Show, To Kill a Mockingbird and Bronte. Many famous actors have appeared at the Stratford Festival, including Julie Harris, William Petersen, Christopher Plummer, Sarah Polley, William Shatner, Peter Ustinov and Christopher Walken.

The Stratford Festival offers numerous educational activities, including acting apprenticeships, and assistant designer and director programs. These activities allow artists to work with and learn from seasoned professionals. At Shakespeare School, for a fee, students in grades 5 to 12 may attend 1 to 3-week classes over March break, PA days, reading week or the summer. Public activities (some at no cost to participants) include post-show chats with actors and workshops lead by Festival teaching artists.

In January 2018, the Stratford Festival launched a $100 million campaign to rebuild the Tom Patterson Theatre, which was originally built in 1906. This upgraded facility will allow the charity to expand its current educational programs and musical productions due to increased seating capacity. The Stratford Festival has received $20 million from both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for this project. An additional $30 million has been received from donations, thus the charity notes the campaign has reached 70% of its fundraising goal.

Financial Review:

For the following financial analysis, Charity Intelligence has consolidated the financial statements for The Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Endowment Foundation.

The Stratford Festival is one of Canada’s largest charities in donations, a Major 100, which received donations of $19.5m in F2017, a 30% increase from F2016. The majority of the charity’s revenues are generated from its performances ($30.3m in F2017), representing 45% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 8% of total revenues and fundraising costs are 9% of donations. Per dollar donated to the Stratford Festival, $0.84 goes towards its programs and grants, falling inside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity has funding reserves of $93.4m, which has been steadily increasing since F2013. Stratford Festival’s funding reserves can cover 1.7 years of annual program and grant costs.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to the Stratford Festival for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 17, 2018 by Derek Houlberg.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.6%8.1%7.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.6%12.2%10.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 171.8%165.6%161.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 19,48115,01916,020
Government funding 3,2033,6603,636
Fees for service 38,45142,23139,984
Investment income 6,1376,8273,750
Total revenues 67,27267,73663,390
Program costs 51,72053,01251,284
Grants 2,6631,060425
Administrative costs 4,6344,9074,517
Fundraising costs 1,6681,8331,656
Cash flow from operations 6,5876,9235,508
Funding reserves 93,43289,52583,294
Note: Ci did not include amortization of deferred capital contributions, decreasing total revenues by $1.1m in F2017, $1.0m in F2016 and $1.0m in F2015. Ci did not include grants from the Foundation to the Festival, decreasing total revenues and expenses by $3.7m in F2017, $1.8m in F2016 and $3.0m in F2015. Ci included unrealized gains on investment in investment income, increasing total revenues by $38k in F2017, $50k in F2016 and $30k in F2015.