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Christopher Gaze

Artistic Director & Founder, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

You know and like Shakespeare more than you realize – Christopher Gaze will convince you of that immediately. He’s a multi-talented actor, director and founder of a Vancouver Shakespeare Festival, who makes ordering a cup of coffee sound distinguished.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


This presentation looks at the unique challenges of leading a creative team.

The Importance of The Arts in Education
In this presentation, Christopher examines the connection between arts and preparing students for the 21st Century.

Shakespeare is Everywhere
You don’t know it, but if you speak English regularly, you’re often quoting Shakespeare. In this funny and poignant talk, Christopher Gaze lists all of the common sayings and phrases Shakespeare coined, and looks at the life of the man himself to give new meaning to some of his most famous works.


Platform Plus

Workshop | How Do We Make Theatre Essential?

Christopher will share his insights on how we reach out to the public and make theatre a necessity.


  • Christopher Gaze was fabulous! I snuck in and watched and certainly enjoyed every moment of his keynote address. I know there were a lot of laughs from the crowd. I look forward to finding an excuse to have him speak at another one of my events very soon.

    - Lower Mainland Local Government Association

Summary Profile

“Shakespeare surrounds us. If you say “It’s Greek to me” or you “refuse to budge an inch” or you’re “in a pickle,” you’re quoting Shakespeare. He’s alive and well.

Christopher Gaze

Some people, Shakespeare wrote, are “born great. Some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” As a messenger of the fabled writer, Christopher Gaze would seem to fit all of the above.

Born in England, Gaze spent three seasons at Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake before moving to Vancouver, where he founded the Bard on the Beach, allowing Shakespearean actors to perform against a spectacular backdrop of the city’s skyline and mountains. He’s nurtured this festival for more than 20 years to become one of the most successful not-for-profit arts organizations in North America.

The sophisticated Gaze also introduced the Young Shakespeareans acting program which provides an opportunity every summer for more than 250 young people to train with seasoned professionals. A talented actor and director, in 2004 he won a Jessie Richardson Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the Playhouse production of Equus. He also narrated the Emmy Award-winning animation series Madeline.

Gaze, who works with arts organizations and as a guest host on the Knowledge Network, for three years was on the Board of Tourism Vancouver, serving as the Festival and Events representative. Gaze’s numerous honours include induction into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame, Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal and invested in 2012 to the Order of British Columbia for ‘elevating the cultural standard of Vancouver and all of British Columbia.’

As a professional speaker, Gaze is compelling and Shakespeare-articulate. Someone as charismatic and passionate as he can make you want to learn about him and his message. He is also an excellent master of ceremonies.