Individual Giving

Share Your Passion for Great Theatre

Be a Member! Membership and Governors Council is our way or recognizing our amazing group of donors dedicated to maintaining The Shaw’s long tradition of commitment to theatrical excellence.

If you believe, as we do that theatre has a role to play in bringing to light and life great ideas and universal truths, that there is merit in creating a company of the finest artists, that it’s important to share with others the many joys of some of the greatest writing of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, then we have a role for you to play at The Shaw.

Members Make All the Difference!

To become a Member or to upgrade your Membership, call 1.800.657.1106 ext 2556.

CDN DonationsUS Donations

Membership Benefits

Read about great Membership benefits or click here for Membership Advantages Chart.

Tax Receipt

Membership starts at $100. Tax receipts are provided for donations of $10 and up. Canadian Members income tax receipts are provided for the allowable portion of your donation. Charitable Registration No. 11914 7882 RR0001. American Members contributions are made through the Shaw Festival Foundation in Buffalo, New York, and are processed at par in U.S. dollars. The Shaw Festival is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a section 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Advance Ticket Ordering

Members have the opportunity to order early, before tickets go on sale to the general public. Specific ordering dates are based on your level of Membership. Early Ordering brochure is available late October/early November each season.

Free Ticket Exchange on Early Ordering

Tickets ordered by Members before January 31 may be exchanged at any time for another performance at no cost and at the locked-in, early booking prices. Valid on one exchange per ticket and subject to availability.

Subscription to SHAW Members Magazine

SHAW Magazine, published for Members, provides insight into the Shaw Festival and the season’s productions.

Members-dedicated Festival Theatre Ticket Wicket

At the Festival Theatre we now have a Members ticket wicket. Pick up your tickets, renew your Membership or get information about Membership.

Recognition in the Interactive Members Register

All donors are listed on our interactive touch screen in the lobby of the Festival Theatre.

Private Members Terrace

Members at all levels are invited to enjoy refreshments and great conversations on the Members Terrace during intermissions at the Festival Theatre.

Exclusive Members Events

Take advantage of Members-only events including sessions with the artists who create the productions. Meals and performances are all included. Click here for 2016 Members Events.

Invitation to Post-show chats

Starting Wednesdays in June, Members and Governors Council members attending a Festival Theatre matinee performance are invited to participate in a post-show chat with cast members.

Priority Ticketing Phone Line

Annual Members ($100+) can have front-of-the-line service by pressing “2” when prompted during the hold.

Complimentary Backstage Tour

Contributing Members ($400+) can join regularly scheduled backstage tours free of charge, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays June-October at 11am. Tickets can be booked in advance through the Box Office, or if available, just prior to the tour.

Wait list for sold out performances

Starting at the Supporting level ($200+) you can add your name to a waiting list for a sold-out show. Any tickets that become available will be held for you.

Invitation to a Dress Rehearsal

Sustaining Members ($600+) are invited to enjoy a play before it begins public performances.

Concierge Ticket Service

Premier Members ($1000+) may contact 1.800.657.1106 ext 2208 to receive personal concierge service when purchasing theatre and event tickets.

Fast Facts

  • What difference does my gift make?
    You directly support productions on stage – helping cover the cost of equipment and supplies to build sets, props and costumes, and to maintain the high quality for which The Shaw is internationally renowned. You also support education programs for young people – both in the theatre and in schools – and provide apprenticeship training opportunities for emerging theatre artists.
  • In what other ways could I support The Shaw?
    Make a gift in honour of an individual who is special to you. Inquire about matching gifts at work. Consider a planned gift, which includes bequests, life insurance gifts, life income gifts, real estate gifts and retirement savings plan gifts. Or give to a specific area. There are many special projects that would benefit from your support.

Tax Receipts

  • U.S. Donations
    Donors who wish to receive a tax receipt for Internal Revenue Services purposes can make their gift via mail, phone or online through The Shaw Festival Foundation, PO Box 628, Lewiston, NY 14092-9819.

Ways of Giving

  • In-person with cash, or write a cheque payable to the Shaw Festival or make a donation online with your Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card.
  • Click here to learn more about gifts of securities matching gifts and gift Memberships.

For more information, please contact us at 1.800.657.1106 ext 2556, at the Membership desk in the Festival Theatre Lobby or email

Lead the Way – Join the Governors Council

When you become a member of the Governors Council your donation directly supports the work on our stages and behind the scenes. You help maintain one of the finest training grounds for actors, designers, directors and other theatre professionals. You support educational programs that excite young people about theatre and build the audiences of the future. And, most importantly, as a member of the Governors Council, you help ensure The Shaw continues to produce compelling, stimulating, and joyously entertaining productions for you and thousands of others to experience year after year.

Click here for Governors Council benefits chart.


All of the benefits of Membership plus…

Complimentary Parking at the Festival Theatre

Space is limited; it’s best to arrive early.

Access to reserved Platinum and Gold seats for late-notice purchases

Contact the Governors Council line at 1.800.657.1106 ext 2208 to book your tickets.

Access to the Macdonald Heaslip Lounge

Governors Council members and their guests are invited to the Macdonald Heaslip Lounge for refreshments during the first intermission at the Festival Theatre. When there is a performance or other special event in the Studio Theatre, the lounge will be closed and drink tickets for the Festival lobby bar will be provided.

Invitation to Special Receptions

From time to time the Shaw Festival hosts receptions in cities in Canada and the United States. We welcome our Governors Council members living within those regions to attend. Invitations are mailed for individual events.

Opening Night Celebrations

As a Governors Council member, you are invited to join us for Opening Night celebrations. Invitations are mailed with details and RSVP instructions for each individual Opening.

Opportunity to Host an Event in the Macdonald Heaslip Lounge

As a Governors Council Member, beginning at the Benefactor level, you may host an event in the Macdonald Heaslip Lounge.

Ways of Giving

There are many ways you can play a central role in the Shaw Festival’s success. Thanks to the generous support of Governors Council members, the Shaw Festival will continue to examine the ideas and principals of our namesake and present them for the enjoyment of our audiences, now and in the future.


  • We accept the following credit cards – Visa, Master Card and American Express
  • We accept cheques from both Canadian and American donors
  • Canadian cheques made out to The Shaw Festival and mailed to:
    Shaw Festival Theatre, P.O. Box 774, Niagara on the Lake, ON, L0S 1J0. Attn: Governors Council Office
  • US cheques can be made out to The Shaw Festival Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 628, Lewiston, NY 14092-9819
  • Click here to learn more about gifts of securities matching gifts and gift Memberships

For more information, or to request installment payments, please contact the Governors Council line
at 1.800.657.1106 ext 2213 or e-mail Kim White, Manager, Governors Council at

Bringing Light, Life and Drama to the Stage

The Producers Circle is made up of patrons who make annual gifts of $25,000 or more, giving The Shaw Festival vital resources to create the highest caliber theatrical productions year after year.


All the benefits of Governors Council PLUS:

Producers Circle Members are given the opportunity to sponsor the performance of a Shaw ensemble member and are recognized as such in the house programmes. Producers Circle Donors are honoured as guests at one of our Opening Night Galas.

Ways of Giving

There are many ways you can play a central role in the Shaw Festival’s success. With your participation, the Shaw Festival will continue to touch the hearts, minds and imaginations of future generations of theatre-goers.

U.S. Donations

Donors who wish to receive a tax receipt for Internal Revenue Services purposes can make their gift to The Shaw Festival Foundation, PO Box 628, Lewiston, NY 14092-9819.

Production Sponsor

You can sponsor a production on one of our four stages and be recognized as a critical member of the team for that show.

Legacy Gifts

Plan a bequest to the Shaw in your will and help ensure the theatre’s continued artistic excellence for future audiences.

Click here to learn more about gifts of securities matching gifts and gift Memberships.

For more information, please contact Gary Nadalin, Director of Advancement at 1.800.657.1106 ext 2339 or by email

Plan Now For a Future Gift

There are many practical advantages to making a planned gift. But to The Shaw what is most appealing is that if you are making a planned lifetime or future gift, and you let us know, we can honour your generosity now!

Planned Giving allows you to make a significant impact in the future while receiving tax benefits that, in some instances, can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of each gift significantly. These can include bequests, life insurance gifts, life income gifts, and retirement savings plan gifts. The Shaw honors its Legacy donors with our enduring gratitude, prudent investment, and wise use of your gift. In keeping with the nature of legacies and bequests, unless otherwise directed, contributions of this kind are generally directed to the Shaw Festival Theatre Endowment Fund.

Recognition in the Brian Doherty Legacy Society

When you’ve made plans for a gift to The Shaw, we’d like to know so that we can express our thanks and publicly acknowledge your generosity. With your permission we’ll add you name to The Brian Doherty Legacy Society, named in honor of founder Brian Doherty. It was Brian Doherty who in 1962 impulsively proposed the Salute to Shaw that launched the Shaw Festival and brought to life a dream that has made its mark on the world of theatre for nearly 50 years. The Brian Doherty Legacy Society recognizes generous individuals who provide support for The Shaw through bequests, insurance gifts, trusts and other planned gifts. Some donors prefer anonymity, and we will, of course, respect your wishes if you prefer your gift to remain confidential.

Your Charitable Bequest Will Be Eligible For Tax Receipt

Upon your death, your estate is entitled to a donation receipt for the full value of your bequest, providing a significant tax credit.

US Donors: bequests and other gifts from U.S. residents are made through the Shaw Festival Theatre Foundation, which is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a section 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Your estate will receive a tax letter conforming to IRS requirements.

How will your bequest be used?

At the discretion of the Board of Governors of The Shaw, bequests will be directed to the Shaw Festival Endowment* Fund or retained for general purposes. You may wish to restrict your bequest for a particular purpose or program, or establish a named endowed fund within the Shaw Festival Endowment Fund. We invite you or your advisor to contact us for more information. (*Endowment is a permanent fund which generates investment income to maintain and sustain the Shaw Festival.)

Ways in which you can make a bequest to the Shaw Festival

Special Bequest

A specific bequest directs that the Shaw Festival is to receive a certain dollar amount in cash or a particular piece of property.

Residual Bequest

A residual bequest designates that the Shaw Festival is given all or a portion of whatever remains of your estate after all debts, taxes, expenses, and other bequests have been paid.

Contingent Bequest

A contingent bequest takes effect only if the primary intention cannot be met (for example, if the primary beneficiary does not survive the donor).

Life Insurance Gifts

Life insurance that you no longer need for your family’s security may be an attractive asset to donate to the Shaw Festival by naming The Shaw to be the first, second or final beneficiary of all or a portion of the proceeds.If you name the Shaw Festival as irrevocable owner and beneficiary, you will be entitled to the benefits in respect of the value of the gift. Annual gifts to The Shaw to cover the cost of premium payments to maintain the policy are considered charitable gifts as well.

Life Income Gifts

A life income gift may enable you to provide financial security for yourself and your family, and at the same time provide future major support to the Shaw Festival. You can make a life income gift now or as part of your estate plan. For example: A Charitable Remainder Trust: A designated portion of the estate property is used to fund the trust, which then pays the net income to the beneficiary(ies) identified in your will. When the trust terminates (at the death of the beneficiary(ies) or at the end of a term of years), the trust principal is distributed to the Shaw Festival.

Retirement Savings Plan Gifts

Gifts of RRSP or RRIF Funds (Canada): If you have made other provisions for surviving dependents, you may wish to consider a charitable gift of RRSP accumulations by naming your estate as the beneficiary of the RRSP and by providing for a charitable bequest equal in value to the RRSP proceeds in your will. The donation receipt issued for the bequest offsets the tax on the distribution.Gifts of IRAs, 401(K), KEOGH, and Other Plans (US): The Shaw’s charitable tax status exempts it from the heavy taxes your individual heirs could incur if you were to give retirement plan assets to them. The combined federal, state, and local income and estate taxes on a large plan can amount to as much as 75% leaving relatively little for your heirs. Consult your retirement plan administrator or attorney for details.

For more information, please contact Kim White at 1.800.657.1106 ext 2213 or email

Dreams have a way of materializing!

Another way of supporting The Shaw is to donate to a special project. The Shaw’s celebrated wardrobe team brings to life the dreams of our renowned designers. The Shaw is one of the few theatre companies in North America that has an in-house wardrobe team of expert cutters, seamstresses, tailors and milliners.

Read about The Shaw’s Special Appeal to support their extraordinary work.

CDN Donations for Special AppealUS Donations for Special Appeal

For Tribute & In Memoriam Gifts

For more information, please call Kim White at 1.800.657.1106 ext. 2213 or email

Members Days

Tour and Tea

April 9
Open to all levels of Membership
New to The Shaw? Our first Members event of the season is especially for you! Get an insider’s view behind-the-scenes then join some of our new Ensemble Members as we sit down for tea – Alice in Wonderland style – savouring Victorian era manners and delectable scones! Complimentary.

Meet the Playwrights

June 12
Open to all levels of Membership
Meet playwrights Lisa Codrington and Peter Hinton to hear all about their playwriting process and see their plays. Includes the lunchtime performance of The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, lunch, matinee performance of Alice in Wonderland followed by dinner. $299.

Celebrating Maxwell

August 28
Open to all levels of Membership
Join Literary Manager Joanna Falck as she sits down with Jackie Maxwell for a discussion about the ups, downs and inside-outs of Jackie’s 14-year tenure as Artistic Director. The day begins with a light breakfast, followed by the discussion, then lunch, a matinee of Uncle Vanya to discuss over dinner, and finally off to see Jackie’s interpretation of Sweeney Todd. $365.

Member Events

Members Dress Rehearsal – Alice in Wonderland

April 26
For Sustaining Members and above ($600+)
A rare opportunity to see this remarkable production before the general public. Complimentary.

The Changeover

June 11
For Contributing Members and above ($400+)
Immediately following the matinee performance of A Woman of No Importance, watch as the stage is transformed from this performance to the magical set of Alice in Wonderland. Production staff will lead a discussion through the changes. Complimentary.

GC Dress Rehearsal – Engaged

June 12
For Governors Council ($2000+)
Join fellow Governors Council Members for an early glimpse of this year’s hilarious romp – Engaged. Complimentary.

Members Post-Show Chats

Wednesdays, starting in June for all Members and Governors Council at selected matinees; with members of the cast and/or creative teams. Complimentary.

The Changeover

August 27
For Contributing Members and above ($400+)
Immediately following the matinee performance of Alice in Wonderland, watch as the stage is transformed from this performance to the provocative set of Sweeney Todd. Production staff will lead a discussion through the changes. Complimentary.

The Directors Project

September 24
For Governors Council ($2000+) and Business Members ($5000+)
See two one-act plays from our mandate period directed by our Intern Directors. Complimentary.

Governors Council Feature Weekend

September 24 & 25
One of the highlights for our Governors Council Members – this exclusive opportunity includes a panel discussion with our Intern Directors, workshops and dining with Ensemble members. $195.