Sears Drama Festival®
Sears proudly supports the work of the Sears Drama Festival because we believe that involvement in the Arts challenges young people to problem solve in many different ways as it encourages them to think, feel and find practical solutions. It helps students develop team building and leadership skills which lead to having a sense of confidence for the future.
What began as a little "Drama Fiesta" in 1946 has evolved into one of the longest running cultural traditions in Canada and one of the largest student festivals in the world. In February of each year students take centre stage. The Sears Ontario Drama Festival attracts the participation of approximately 12,000 students and their teachers, representing around 350 schools throughout Ontario.
In 2009, a sister Festival was inaugurated: the Sears British Columbia Drama Festival, following a similar mission and format as the Ontario version, and serving the interest of secondary school thespians on the west coast, representing over 55 schools. In 2011, a third festival was initiated, the Sears Atlantic Drama Festival, extending the celebration of student theatre from coast-to-coast.
The Ontario Festival moves through three phases: District and Regional Festivals and the gala Ontario Showcase.
- From February to early April, local area schools participate in District Festivals where they receive professional adjudication of their productions and participate in workshops that encourage teamwork and skills development.
- During the month of April, six Regional Showcases are held around Ontario at which outstanding Productions from the District Festivals are performed. At each Regional Festival two Outstanding Productions are selected by professional adjudicators to form a 12 play Ontario Showcase.
The British Columbia and Atlantic Festivals operate in a slightly different format but also culminate with Provincial Showcase finals in May.
Awards with bursaries and scholarships ranging from $250 to $3000 are awarded to students over the course of the festival. These assist students to continue their studies in the performing arts.
Past alumni of the Festival are now contributing members of the Canadian workforce in many professions. Some of the former "grads" in the performing arts include: David Cronenberg, Franco Boni, Sky Gilbert, Margot Kidder, Rachel McAdams, Helen Shaver, Sonja Smits and R.H.Thomson.
For more information about the Sears Ontario Drama Festival, go to the website www.searsdramafestival.com. For more information on the Sears British Columbia Drama Festival , visit www.searsbritishcolumbiadramafestival.com .
You can also contact: Wayne Fairhead, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.