Shaw Festival, Ontario Theatre, Celebrates Surplus at 2008 Annual General Meeting

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Niagara-on-the-Lake theatre posts $222,000 surplus from 2008 Season and looks forward to a successful 2009 Shaw Festival Calendar

The Shaw's 2008 success is a testament to a fine season. It has been an honour to serve as Chair for the last two years - and rewarding in so many ways. Incoming Chair Janet McKelvey will provide wonderful leadership to a great institution.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario The Shaw Festival, the renowned Ontario Theatre located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, announced today that the company has posted a surplus of $222, 000 on its 2008 season. The announcement was made to enthusiastic response at The Shaw's Annual General Meeting, held today in the Festival lobby.

Colleen Blake, Executive Director of the Shaw Festival commented "In 2008 The Shaw managed strong and successful financial results alongside a jewel of an artistic season. Our success speaks to a Company that habitually seeks excellence both on and off stage, no matter the external challenges we face. We are supported in our vision by our Board, volunteers, donors and corporate partners, and are grateful for their support."

In acknowledging the artistic and critical success of the 2008 season, Jackie Maxwell, Artistic Director of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Theatre expressed thanks for the strong support she received throughout the season. "In 2008 we presented the known, in new and revitalized ways, and the virtually unknown, and both were embraced with curiosity and enthusiasm. We remain focused, as we always must, on the work itself. We do so with confidence, with an Ensemble that is at the top of its form, directors and designers of unparalleled creativity, and an adventurous and far-reaching playbill."

Keith Mosley, Treasurer of the Board of Governors, reviewed The Shaw's financial position. Annual revenues from all sources for the Ontario Theatre were $24,272,000, with expenses at $24,050,000, resulting in a surplus of $222,000. The 2008 revenues came from Shaw Festival tickets box office (70%), fundraising (22%), government grants (6%) and other income (2%). Fundraising exceeded last season's amount raised by 15%. The Shaw has an accumulated net deficit from operations of $3.1 million. The total net accumulated deficit position, after taking into account our capital assets, is just over $1.7 million.

Retiring Chair, Richard D. Falconer, reflected on his term by adding: "The Shaw's 2008 success is a testament to a fine season. It has been an honour to serve as Chair for the last two years - and rewarding in so many ways. Incoming Chair Janet McKelvey will provide wonderful leadership to a great institution."

Richard D. Falconer, Colleen Blake and Jackie Maxwell welcomed new Board Chair Janet McKelvey, Chair, Toronto Public Library Foundation, as well as new board members Hazel C. Claxton, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Martha M. Hyde, University of Buffalo (SUNY); Peter E. Nesbitt, Brookfield Homes (Ontario) Limited; Andrew Pringle, Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, Government of Ontario; Ellen Rose, Fiduciary Trust International; and Jay A. Wright, Vincor Canada. They also welcomed ex officio board member Carol M. Reid, President, Shaw Guild.

The Company acknowledged and thanked retiring board members Victor F. Muratori, Q.C., Anna Porter, John A. Rogers, W. Brian Rose, Elaine Triggs, Howard Zemsky, Honorary Governor Bruce Winter, and Governors Advisory Council member Anthony H. Bogert.

The 2008 season was proudly presented by HSBC Bank Canada/HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

For additional information about the Shaw Festival Theatre or the 2009 Season Shaw Festival Calendar, visit shawfest.com.

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Odette Yazbeck
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