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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stratford Festival to pay tribute to Colm Feore at gala celebration

August 31, 2015… The Stratford Festival will honour the extraordinary career of one of Canada’s greatest actors, Colm Feore. His tremendous contributions to the Festival and to the performing arts in Canada will be celebrated at a gala at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel on Monday, September 28.

“I am very proud and honoured to host this gala in celebration of one of the most distinguished actors in Canada today,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.

“Colm joined the Festival at a young age and very quickly leapt to the forefront of the company, giving some of the most memorable performances in the Festival’s history.

Over the years, his extraordinary talents have captured international attention, yet he remains deeply committed to creating great work in our country and makes time to come back to Stratford as frequently as he can. He has been a faithful supporter of the Festival for many years and it gives me tremendous pleasure to have the chance to express our gratitude and celebrate his illustrious career.”

One of this country’s biggest stars, Mr. Feore is not only dedicated to balancing his career between Canada and the U.S., but also to dividing his time between the worlds of classical theatre and major film and television projects. His amazing versatility was demonstrated in 2014, when he not only had lead billing in Spider Man 2 and a featured role in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, but also undertook one of Shakespeare’s most daunting roles, King Lear, at the Stratford Festival, along with the comic lead in the Restoration comedy The Beaux’ Stratagem. That same year, he filmed the HBO Canada television series Sensitive Skin, starring opposite Kim Cattrall, and two independent movies.

His King Lear can be seen on CBC this September, after a successful launch in movie theatres around the world this past February. The production entered the record books as one of the Festival’s top-selling Shakespeare productions of all time and Mr. Feore’s portrayal of Lear was hailed by critics throughout Canada and the U.S. The Globe and Mail’s J. Kelly Nestruck deemed the performance “unforgettable,” while The New York Times’s Charles Isherwood praised his “intense pathos” and “affecting clarity.” In the Toronto Star’s 4-star review, Richard Ouzounian declared that the production “unquestionably catapults Colm Feore into the ranks of the world’s greatest living actors.”

Mr. Feore began his career at the Stratford Festival in 1981, swiftly rising to become a leading performer of Shakespeare and the classics. During his 17 seasons, Mr. Feore has performed more title roles at Stratford than any other leading man. They include Romeo, Hamlet, Richard III, Cyrano de Bergerac, Coriolanus, Macbeth, the Pirate King and Don Juan – in both English and French. His other principal roles are equally noteworthy, spanning drama, comedy and musicals: Fagin in Oliver!, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Iago in Othello, Dionysus in The Bacchae, Angelo in Measure for Measure, Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Iachimo in Cymbeline, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Orsino in Twelfth Night – and the list goes on, totaling more than 60 roles.

On television, he is perhaps best known for his starring role in the seventh season of Fox’s 24 as well as his recurring role on Gotham and for the acclaimed Showtime miniseries The Borgias and the cult hit Slings and Arrows. His portrayal of Pierre Trudeau in the long-form television program Trudeau earned him Genie and Monte Carlo Awards for Best Actor. He has more than 130 TV and film credits to his name, including the title role in François Girard’s Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould and key roles in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, Clint Eastwood’s The Changeling, Julie Taymor’s Titus, Erik Canuel’s Bon Cop Bad Cop, and the Oscar-winning film Chicago. He recently wrapped the lead role on the ABC pilot Kingmakers.

His remarkable talent has been recognized through numerous awards, including SAG, Genie, Gemini and Jutra Awards; the Earle Grey Award from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television; the Gascon-Thomas Award from the National Theatre School; the 2005 St. Clair Bayfield Award for his Broadway portrayal of Cassius in Julius Caesar; and the 2007 NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction at the Banff World Television Festival. He has also received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Windsor and Wilfrid Laurier University. In 2013 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions as an actor of the stage and screen, notably bridging Anglophone and Francophone cultures as a fluently bilingual performer.

Mr. Feore is deeply committed to giving back to Canada’s artistic community and building audiences that will appreciate Canadian art in the years to come. He offers his time and inestimable expertise to schools around the region, and to not-for-profit organizations that reach out to school-aged children and youth, such as Shakespearience, a literacy program for which he serves as Creative Consultant on its Honorary Board of Directors, and Reel Canada, an important initiative that brings Canadian films into schools.

Past honourees are Martha Henry (2014), William Shatner (2013), Dame Maggie Smith (2012) and Christopher Plummer (2011).
The gala evening will include tributes, music and entertainment presented by members of the Stratford Festival company and other special guests in celebration of Mr. Feore’s career.

The 2015 Stratford Festival Gala is co-chaired by Barry Avrich, Sylvia Chrominska and Wendy Pitblado.
The Festival would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support:
Platinum sponsor – Ophelia and Mike Lazaridis

Gold sponsor – Burgundy Asset Management Ltd.

Silver sponsors – Scotiabank, BMO Financial Group, Claire and Daniel Bernstein, Kelly and Michael Meighen, Sandra and Jim Pitblado, Wendy Pitblado, Barbara and John Schubert, Carol Stephenson/Cec and Linda Rorabeck

The 2015 season, which runs until November 1, features Hamlet, The Sound of Music, Carousel, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Taming of the Shrew, She Stoops to Conquer, The Physicists, The Alchemist, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Oedipus Rex, Possible Worlds, The Last Wife and The Adventures of Pericles. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit stratfordfestival.ca or call 1.800.567.1600.


Stratford Festival 55 Queen Street PO Box 520 Stratford ON | N5A 6V2
Box Office: Toll Free 1.800.567.1600 Local 519.273.1600

2015 Season | April to October
Hamlet | The Taming of the Shrew | Love’s Labour’s Lost| The Adventures of Pericles
The Sound of Music | Carousel | The Diary of Anne Frank | She Stoops to Conquer 
The Physicists | Oedipus Rex | The Alchemist | Possible Worlds | The Last Wife

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