The Curtain Goes Up on the 69th Annual Sears Ontario Drama Festival

Youth Theatre Festival the largest of its kind in the world

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Over 12,000 students and teachers from approximately 300 secondary schools across Ontario will be participating in a celebration of theatrical achievement, starting tonight in select communities and culminating at the Provincial Showcase in May.

The Ontario Festival, in its 69th year, is part of a trio of youth drama festivals, including the Sears British Columbia Festival and the Sears Atlantic Drama Festival, each celebrating its fifth season.  The Sears Drama Festivals are part of the Company's commitment to supporting the healthy development of Canadian youth, in particular after-school enrichment programs, including a 50-year relationship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

"Sears Canada's sponsorship of this youth theatre festival is something in which we take great pride," said Ron Boire, President and CEO, Sears Canada.  "Sears is committed to Canadian families and helping nurture leaders of tomorrow.  The Sears Ontario Drama Festival is a wonderful example of how to enrich the lives of today's youth."

What began as a modest three-play event in Toronto in 1946 has evolved into one of the largest student drama festivals in the world. Under the guidance of Executive Director Wayne Fairhead, the Sears Ontario Drama Festival is a respected, multi-layered program that is accessible to students from all corners of Ontario.  The students receive guidance at the district, regional and provincial levels through professional adjudication and have the opportunity to work with theatre professionals in special workshops.

"The Sears Drama Festivals continue to grow in numbers of participants and quality of productions each year," said Wayne Fairhead, Executive Director, Sears Drama Festivals. "The thousands of students participating in this year's festival are part of something special, learning the ins and outs of theatre production, group dynamics and leadership skills."

The public is invited to attend the plays at the district, regional and provincial levels over the coming months. The Provincial Showcase returns to Hamilton, from May 6-9.  For more information please visit www.searsdramafestival.com, Like the Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/searsontariodramafestival or follow on Twitter @SearsDramaFest.

About Sears Canada
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 174 corporate stores, 207 Hometown stores, over 1,300 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 96 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.                           

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

For further information: Contact for Media: Alicia Richler, Sears Canada, Corporate Communications, 416-941-4423, arichle@sears.ca; Wayne Fairhead, Executive Director, Sears Drama Festivals, 416 593-9609, waynefairhead@hotmail.com

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