Stratford Festival shows a surplus for the fourth straight season

The Stratford Festival is celebrating a half-million milestone. On Saturday, the festival announced that the 2016 season saw 512,016 people take in the stage productions and other offerings. That number includes about 80,000 children.

Those attendance figures translate into a revenue of $62.4 million, with a surplus of $687,000. Government funding provides about six per cent of the not-for-profit festival’s total revenue.

The festival’s executive director, Anita Gaffney, says the financial performance is due in part to new bus service between Toronto and Stratford, on top of increased fundraising efforts. She also points to the larger crowds that turned out at Shakespearean performances during the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

The latest results are marked turn-around from just five years ago. In 2012, the festival had an operating deficit of $3.4-million dollars, its largest ever. Leadership changes followed that season. The festival started showing a surplus in 2013.

The festival’s 2017 season starts on April 15 with a preview of Guys and Dolls.