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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

ROBERT LEPAGE TO EXPLORE CITIZENSHIP AND BELONGING Lepage selected as the 12th speaker in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecture series

TORONTO, ON, MARCH 18, 2014 – The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and the Stratford Festival have once again partnered to present the ICC’s LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium featuring Robert Lepage, cutting-edge creator and recipient of The Glenn Gould Prize. Marking the 12th event, the 2014 Symposium will take place this fall on Saturday, October 18 in Toronto; tickets are now on sale, visit

Founded in 2000 by John Ralston Saul, the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a national event that explores citizenship, belonging and the public good with leading Canadian and international thinkers. It challenges the audience to think about Canada’s big picture by inviting them to add their voice to post-lecture roundtable discussions with the speaker and ICC founders and co-chairs, Saul and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. Past speakers include His Highness the Aga Khan, the Honourable Louise Arbour, Georges Erasmus, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin and, most recently, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

“Each year the Symposium speaker is selected for their ability to push our conversation in thought-provoking directions,” said Saul. “We need this because Canada is the most experimental of countries when it comes to immigration and citizenship. We are at our best when we are open to original and inclusive ideas. Last year, National Chief Atleo asked us to paint a new picture of Canada that includes our First Nations peoples. This year, Robert Lepage will shift our dialogue into the enticingly abstract, referencing his work filled with people who are stateless, moving between countries or belonging to several civilizations. It will be fascinating to see where he takes us.”

“I am both thrilled and honoured to be the 2014 LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecturer,” said Robert Lepage. “I see this as a unique opportunity to celebrate new citizens who have chosen to make our country their own, and to explore how different cultures brought together are shaping our identity and making us all citizens of the world.”

Last year, the launch of the ICC – Stratford Festival partnership saw the Symposium take centre stage in Stratford as a key element of its inaugural Stratford Festival Forum, a series exploring the principal themes found in the Festival’s 12 theatrical productions performed over its seven-month season.

“We are delighted to partner with the ICC to present the Lafontaine-Baldwin Symposium,” said Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. “By co-hosting this event in Toronto, we are able to expand the borders of the Stratford Festival Forum, furthering our commitment to providing Canadians with unparalleled opportunities to explore issues crucial to a civil society. No one interested in contemporary theatre should miss this rare opportunity to hear Robert Lepage, one of the most extraordinary directors of our time.”
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Stratford Festival box office 1.800.567.1600 (or 519.273.1600) or by emailing Visit for full event details.

12th LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecture by Robert Lepage
Isabel Bader Theatre, 2 p.m. | $30 (HST included), lecture only

Symposium Roundtable Discussion hosted by Lepage, Saul and Clarkson
Gardiner Museum, 4 p.m. | $70 (HST included), lecture and roundtable

Special discounted rates are available for members of the ICC’s Cultural Access Pass program, students and arts workers. Please call 1.800.567.1600.

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national, non-profit charity that encourages active citizenship through innovative programs, collaborations and unique volunteer opportunities. Founded and co-chaired by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, the ICC works to: ensure new citizens are welcomed and included as equals; create meaningful connections among all Canadians; foster a culture of engaged citizens; reframe the national conversation on inclusion, identity and citizenship; and celebrate what it means to be Canadian. For more information, visit You
can also follow us on Twitter (@ICCICC).

The Stratford Festival, in picturesque Stratford, Ontario, Canada, is North America’s leading classical theatre, drawing half a million visitors a year. It presents a seven-month season of a dozen plays in four venues, along with a Forum of events to enrich the play-going experience. With the works of Shakespeare at its core, the Festival features classics, contemporary dramas, musical theatre and new plays. It presented its first season in 1953, using an innovative thrust stage that revolutionized Shakespearean performance in our time and inspired the design of several other major venues worldwide. Visit for more information.

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Jess Duerden, Institute for Canadian Citizenship
(416) 593-6998 ext. 225 |

Ann Swerdfager, Stratford Festival
(519) 271-4040 ext. 2297 |

Sylvie Isabelle, Ex Machina
(418) 692-5323 |

Monday, 10 March 2014

Second annual Shakespeare Slam features Paul Gross, Steven Page, Hawksley Workman

Toronto event offers an evening of music and spirited debate


March 10, 2014… Paul GrossSteven Page and Hawksley Workman are headlining the Stratford Festival Forum’s Shakespeare Slam on Wednesday, April 23, at Toronto’s Koerner Hall. This celebration marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday will be hosted by Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, and will showcase the Festival’s 2014 season theme of Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge.

Two teams of spirited debaters will square off on whether madness is inherent in the artistic process. On the one side are actor Paul Gross, famed for his portrayal of Slings and Arrows’ mentally overwrought artistic director Geoffrey Tennant, and Lisa Brown, founder and executive/artistic director of Workman Arts, which celebrates and promotes the work of artists living with mental-health and addiction issues.

Opposing them are Juno Award-winning musician, Festival composer and renowned troubadour Steven Pageand the Festival’s resident Rhodes Scholar, the hilarious and erudite David Goldbloom, who, in addition to being past chair of the Festival’s Board, is the senior medical advisor for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and the chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Once they’ve hashed things over, the music begins! Hawksley Workman takes centre stage with his own brand of musical performance that is certain to leave you wanting more – which you’ll be able to find in Stratford, September 11 to 20, when he presents his Bacchae-inspired cabaret The God That Comes at the Forum.

Steven Page will also offer up one of his exuberant musical performances, featuring songs combining humour and pathos in a memorable exploration of the evening’s theme.

The event culminates in a truly joyous grand finale, featuring Slam headliners and members of the Festival company.

Tickets for the Shakespeare Slam go on sale March 11. They are priced from $39 to $54, with a student price of $29. To purchase, call the Stratford Festival box office at 1.800.567.1600. Tickets are also available through Koerner Hall.

The Shakespeare Slam serves as the launch of the Stratford Festival Forum, which will present more than 200 events this season, including featured speakers Margaret TrudeauJian GhomeshiMuhammad Robert Heft and Camille Paglia, as well as concerts, comedy shows, screenings and performance showcases exploring the playbill and the theme of Minds Pushed to the Edge.

The Stratford Festival Forum is very pleased to welcome Bell Let’s Talk as a new partner and the Host Sponsor for the Shakespeare Slam as well as selected Forum events that focus on mental health throughout the 2014 season.

Sustaining support for the Forum is generously provided by Kelly & Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Foundation.

Support for the 2014 Forum is generously provided by Nandita & Julian Wise.


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