Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lale: The Shaw Festival receives $500,000 from the James A. Burton and Family Foundation

Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Shaw Festival is delighted to announce the receipt of $500,000 from the James A. Burton and Family Foundation. The donation will help the Festival deepen its community connections, engage with new audiences and share the art of theatre with those unable to experience it due to accessibility barriers through newly developed programs and roles.

“As we continue to create and build an accessible Shaw Festival of the future, we are incredibly grateful for the visionary support of the James A. Burton and Family Foundation,” acknowledged Executive Director Tim Jennings. “This contribution will help us to break down barriers that prevent anyone – for whatever reason – from physically accessing the art we create and experiencing the joy and the connection that our creativity produces.”

“We are thrilled and truly thankful to be the recipient of this incredibly generous gift from the James A. Burton and Family Foundation,” remarked Artistic Director Tim Carroll. “Which will also support the expansion of the Embedded Artists Program – a program I am incredibly proud of.”

“This program provides artists with full-time employment, so they can have a level of financial security in their lives, which is unprecedented in the Canadian theatre industry. We hope it will be transformative and bring an end to the idea that you have to live in precarity to make great theatre,” he added.

“We’re very pleased to support the Shaw Festival and assist in fostering the sustainable future it envisions and is working to create, which will ultimately benefit a wide range of groups in our communities,” stated Jim Burton, Chair of the James A. Burton and Family Foundation.

The financial support will also fund the creation of two new positions that will anchor The Shaw’s community outreach and engagement work: a Director of Engagement and Outreach, and an Associate Executive Director role under the direct mentorship of Executive Director Tim Jennings.

About the James A. Burton and Family Foundation:

Established in 2018, the James A. Burton and Family Foundation is a lifelong dream of Jim Burton to create a multi-generational legacy of philanthropy, to work with his children and be actively engaged in community. It is a platform that will survive for generations, providing support, active involvement and inspiration, while making positive systemic impact on many lives.

Focusing on education, wellbeing and environmental solutions, the Foundation seeks a lasting, positive future for the generations to come through both local and global initiatives that create quantifiable, observable outcomes.