For immediate release
Blyth, ON

This summer, Blyth Festival is celebrating a major milestone, half a century in the making.

On June 12, 2024 the Blyth Festival will open its 50th season of all Canadian plays.

Running both indoors and outdoors, from June 12th-September 7th, in the cherished Blyth Memorial Community Hall and on the newly built outdoor Harvest Stage. A Homecoming season!

Artistic Director, Gil Garratt, says “this is a season of celebration: 50 years since its founding, the Blyth Festival is boldly mounting five brand new World Premieres, and offering one technicolor look back at the inspiration for it all.

Back in 1975, Blyth’s founders dreamed of building a theatre that would put local stories, Canadian stories, centre stage. Fifty years later, that dream burns brighter than ever. All of the plays in the 2024 season were created and developed right here, in Huron County, and tell the stories, fictional and historic, of lives lived in this community. These are your stories, your neighbour’s stories, your family’s stories, the stories of your town, your farm, your county, and your country. This is really a season of homecomings.”

50 Years of 100% Original Canadian Plays

Having welcomed more than a million patrons through the doors, the Blyth Festival has grown into a hub of Canadian playwriting, boasting more than 150+ world premieres.

Outdoors on the Harvest Stage:

The Farm Show: Then and Now by Theatre Passe Muraille with additions by the 2024 Company June 12 – Aug 4

Arguably the most influential play in Canadian theatre history, The Farm Show was originally produced in a barn just fifteen minutes outside of Blyth, and was directly responsible for the founding of the Festival. This gentle adaptation brings you the original in all its glory, and shines a light on its singular legacy in our community. Come see the show that inspired the very dream of the Blyth Festival.

Premiere
Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz: The Farmerettes by Alison Lawrence Aug 14 – Sept 7
Inspired by the book by Bonnie Sitter and Shirleyan English

This nostalgic play dramatizes the incredible stories of Canada’s Farmerettes; young women all over the country who left the big cities to work as farm labourers on Canadian farms as part of the war effort during WW2. Many of these young women learned a lot more than how to dig potatoes, pull carrots, and muck a stall; they learned essential truths about who they were, who they wanted to be, and what true and lasting friendships looked like. A play about coming of age as young women in a time of change.

Indoors at Memorial Hall

Premiere
Saving Graceland by Gil Garratt June 19 – Aug 3

It’s 2019 in Clinton, ON. Newly retired and ready for adventure, Gord and Orillia have been Elvis fans since they were teenagers. In twenty-five years, they’ve never missed their annual pilgrimage to the Collingwood Elvis Festival. Just as they’re readying to embrace nothing but Presley and the CPP, their young grandchild arrives unexpectedly on the doorstep, upending their future plans in ways they never dreamed. A love-me-tender family drama about the King and kincare.

Premiere
The Golden Anniversaries by Mark Crawford July 4 – Aug 4

From the author of The New Canadian Curling Club and The Birds and the Bees comes a new play about love and laughs in the golden years. For as long as they have been married, Glen and Sandy Golden have been celebrating their wedding anniversary by coming to the same cottage on the lake for an annual weekend of quiet romance. And this year marks a major milestone: 50 years of wedded bliss. Well…mostly bliss…er…there was that one time…oh, don’t get me started! Join the Goldens for a night of he-said, she-said, remember-whens, what-happens-now, and a long-term love for the ages.

Premiere
Resort to Murder by Birgitte Solem July 24 – Aug 31

A laugh-a-minute murder mystery. When Brett and Viv inherit an old family mansion on Lake Huron, they dream of starting a country resort, but the couple have very different visions of what a tourist destination should be. For Viv: a spa, and quiet retreat. For Brett: a murder mystery-themed escape room…obviously. Just a few nights before they welcome their first guests, Brett and Viv gather their reluctant staff in the attic for a trial run. When a sudden storm rolls in off the lake, the lights go out, and the doors lock, their light-hearted game suddenly turns into an electrifying night of murderous confessions, and twists and turns that will leave you breathless. Enjoy your stay!

Premiere
The Trials of Maggie Pollock by Beverley Cooper July 31 – Aug 29

Seer? Swindler? Sorcerer? The true story of the last woman in Canada to be convicted of witchcraft…and who just so happened to have been born in Blyth! Arrested on her home farm just outside of town, held in the historic Gaol near Lake Huron, and tried in Goderich court, her case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Ontario. Long after the arrival of the telephone, the motor-car, and the electric light bulb, Maggie Pollock faced off against official superstition in Canada’s courts.

The 2024 season will run June through September, 2024. Full season details will be available soon on the Blyth Festival website www.blythfestival.com

Tickets go on sale to members (priority dates are according to level of membership) starting January 15, 2024 at 9am by phone only. Sales will open to the General Public beginning April 2 at 9am, by phone and online.

Passes are back! Until December 31, 2023 passes are for sale for 2, 4, or 6 tickets. Significant savings are available and prices will increase Jan. 1, 2024.

There will be a number of events and activities planned over the course of the season to celebrate this milestone. Please check the website for updates.

Bonanza Weekend will run Aug. 2-4, 2024 and will also include a number of special events to celebrate the 50th season.

If you would like to support the work of the Blyth Festival by becoming a member please call 1-877-862-5984 or visit blythfestival.com for details.

Thanks to our incredible sponsors:

Bruce Power – Season Sponsor
Watson’s Home Hardware – Harvest Stage
McCall MacBain Foundation – The Young Company/Education outreach
Orr Insurance – Volunteer and Production Sponsor
Tuckersmith Communications: Curtain Call and Memorial Hall lobby.

Thank you to the following Government agencies for their continued support:

Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Province of Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, Township of North Huron

Charitable # 11881 2056 RR0001

For more information regarding the Blyth Festival or the 2024 season please contact
Jen Lamb
Director of Audience Development
519-523-9300 ext. 208