GEORGIAN THEATRE GOES DARK, DISAPPOINTING BARRIE’S PERFORMING ARTS COMMUNITY

'The loss of Georgian Theatre is absolutely devastating to all sorts of members of the performing arts community here in Barrie'

Bringing the curtain down on the city’s lease arrangement with Georgian Theatre could mean lights out for many users.

“The loss of Georgian Theatre is absolutely devastating to all sorts of members of the performing arts community here in Barrie,” said Kempenfelt Community Players’ (KCP) board of directors chair Lianne Romans.

“But especially so when it’s been combined with the city’s recent decision to put their plans on hold for the Fisher Auditorium project until 2022,” she added. “It’s very important that everyone understands that we are facing a long term of a city that is absent of a true, accessible, large-scale, live performance theatre for many years to come. It’s kind of a double whammy.”

As part of its 2021 operating budget, council cancelled its arrangement for the use of the Georgian Theatre to save the city $300,000 in expenditures; this is offset by lost revenue of $124,000, for a net reduction this year of $176,000. That amount is further offset by a one-time $50,000 addition to the Cultural Grants Program to provide COVID-19 relief for organizations with no revenues while audiences are restricted from gathering.

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