Legacy Giving - Shaw Festival Theatre

Legacy Giving

Legacy Giving allows you to make a significant impact in the future while receiving tax benefits that may reduce the out-of-pocket cost of each gift.

Recognition in the Brian Doherty Legacy Circle

When you’ve planned a gift to The Shaw, we’d like to know so we can express our thanks and publicly acknowledge your generosity. With your permission, we’ll add your name to The Brian Doherty Legacy Circle, named in honour 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 more than 50 years. The Brian Doherty Legacy Circle recognizes generous individuals who provide support for The Shaw through bequests, insurance gifts, trusts and other legacy 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 a 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 US residents are made through the Shaw Festival 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 Shaw Board of Governors, bequests will be directed to the Shaw Festival Endowment* Fund or retained for general purposes. 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

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

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.

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 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 gift’s value. Annual gifts to The Shaw that cover the cost of premium payments to maintain the policy are also considered charitable gifts.

A life income gift may enable you to provide financial security for you 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.

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.


We accept Visa, Master Card and American Express; and cheques from both Canadian and American donors. Canadian cheques, payable to The Shaw Festival, can be mailed to: Shaw Festival Theatre, P.O. Box 774, Niagara on the Lake, ON, L0S 1J0. US cheques, payable to The Shaw Festival Foundation, can be mailed to P.O. Box 628, Lewiston, NY 14092-9819.

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

Plan now for a future gift

There are many practical advantages to making a legacy gift. But, to The Shaw, the best part about making a planned lifetime or future gift is our ability to honour your generosity now!

For more information, please contact:
Kim White
Senior Development Officer
Individual Gifts & Legacy Giving
1-800-657-1106 ext 2397

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