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A Campaign for the new Tom Patterson Theatre

The Stratford Festival would like to thank both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, which have each contributed $20 million to this project.

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Be part of North America's most significant new theatre project

Theatre is the most ephemeral of arts, but the Stratford Festival offers you an opportunity to be a permanent part of theatre history by contributing to the most significant new theatre project currently underway in North America. 

The dream of Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, the new Tom Patterson Theatre will put the Stratford Festival at the forefront of theatrical innovation, enhancing its position as a world leader.

The Theatre will offer spaces for cultural and social engagement, theatrical research and development, and education, with facilities for enhanced student engagement both onsite and in the digital realm. 

Uniquely appointed auditorium

At the Theatre's core, wrapped in pale brick masonry, will be a uniquely appointed auditorium with an elongated thrust stage held in the warm embrace of the audience: a theatre reminiscent of its predecessor but with vastly improved comfort and accessibility, as well as superb production capabilities.

The auditorium will be surrounded by a glass and bronze curtain, reflecting the beauty of the riverbank it overlooks and creating a variety of gathering and presentation spaces within the vast lobby.

The project has captured the imaginations of many supporters, including the federal and provincial governments, which have each contributed $20 million - the largest contributions ever made to a cultural organization outside a major Canadian urban centre. Dan Bernstein, past Chair of the Festival's Board of Governors, and his wife, Claire Foerster have contributed $10 million. Ophelia Lazaridis, Co-Chair of the campaign has also given $10 million and has pledged an additional $5 million as a challenge grant to take us over the top.

With a goal of $100 million, the Spirit of the Tent Campaign offers a rare opportunity to be part of the future of classical theatre in North America. We hope you will join us in this thrilling undertaking. Every new donation will be matched, doubling the impact of each gift.

Why is the Tom Patterson Theatre important?

The Tom Patterson Theatre has earned a special place in theatre lovers' hearts. This intimate space, with its unique elongated thrust stage, gives our Artistic Director the opportunity to program works that are artistically important but are seldom produced to the highest standards anywhere else in the world.

Many patrons tell us that their most memorable theatrical experiences have been in the TPT. But as a curling rink turned theatre, the original theatre had its constraints: cramped seating, limited backstage and lobby spaces, a fragile roof, and no stage trapdoor, an element often required by classical repertoire.

Our new purpose-built theatre will preserve the intimacy that patrons love. It will contain only a few additional seats, and they will be comfortable! Aisles will be easier to navigate and there will be better accessibility for all. The backstage areas will offer the production capabilities and comfort required by the extraordinary talent that works here, allowing actors, directors, and designers to achieve their full artistic vision without restrictions.


The campaign is co-chaired by Ophelia Lazaridis and Dr. M. Lee Myers, with the Honourable Michael Meighen serving as Honorary Chair.

Campaign Cabinet

Daniel S. Bernstein (Westport, CT)

Sylvia Chrominska (Toronto, ON)

Robert Gorlin (Northville, MI)

Beth Kronfeld (Chicago, IL)

Rick Orr (Stratford, ON)

Dr. Cecil Rorabeck (London, ON)

Carol Stephenson (London, ON)

Donald Woodley (Mono Township, ON)