No car? No problem – $25 dollars buys you a round trip bus fare from the Fairmont Royal York to Niagara-on-the-Lake
If you bring them they will come.
At least that is the hope for the minds behind this year’s Shaw Festival. On the heels of this season’s lineup revamp, courtesy of new artistic director, Tim Carroll, the Shaw Festival is introducing a shuttle service for festival attendees between Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The service, which costs $25 for a round trip – theatre goers do not have to return same day – launches in April.
“It’s a new alternative for some people who are already coming but it’s also a way to get and attract more folks who can’t or aren’t anymore,” says Tim Jennings, the Shaw fest’s executive director.
The shuttle service had been in the works for quite some time – at least as long as Jennings had taken up post as the Executive Director last year. After sorting out the matter of funding, the fest’s team is excited to roll out the new service for the first time this year in a bid to draw in a more diverse audience and encourage more social interactions between festivalgoers and programmers.
“A big feature for [Carroll and me] involves trying to create a Shaw Festival that is very forward thinking about how people come to it, about the way that you spend time in Niagara-on-the-lake,” he says. “The kind of two way relationship we have with the audience so that we’re listening to what people want and also encouraging them to have conversations with us and with each other, so it becomes more of a place for conversation which I think is an important part of the theatrical experience.”
At $25 a ticket the Shaw Express takes riders from Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel to the Shaw Festival theatre. Presented in partnership with Greyhound, the shuttle runs twice a day Thursday to Sunday starting in April through October.
Shantalo@nowtoronto.com | @Shantal_Ot