Now Playing - Nov 6, 2021
Now Playing - May 5, 2022

Dennis Garnhum & Deb Harvey

A message from Dennis Garnhum and Deb Harvey

Dear Friends:

With heavy hearts we write to you today to let you know that we have made the decision to postpone the 2020-21 Season. This image you see here of our planned holiday production of ANNIE now postponed to the holiday season in 2021, tells the story so beautifully and poignantly.

As we continue to monitor public health guidelines and consult with theatre partners across North America, the projected date of re-opening of live theatre and music venues continues to move further and further into the future. While a difficult decision, it is a necessary one to protect the health of you – our incredible and loyal patrons, our staff, guest artists and volunteers.

You can read the full press release related to this announcement here.

We are calling this period our GRAND INTERMISSION. We will use the time to reflect, listen, learn and take action to make changes to how we operate as a company. Hearing the voices and consulting with the BIPOC (Black Indigenous Persons of Colour) communities both within and outside of the arts and culture construct, we will be examining the theatre through a different lens and making changes to all aspects of what we do at the Grand - from what we program on our stages, how we engage with BIPOC audiences, Board and Senior Leadership recruitment and more. We know that statements of support mean nothing without action and it is action to which we are committed.

Dennis and a small group of creative folks have been assembled and are working on programming options that we know you will find innovative, exciting and joyful. We will be reaching out across the Forest City to engage with a wide cross section of Londoners to find out what excites them and what programming options would entice them to come in to our spaces.

We will also be using the time to undertake the planned renovation that was scheduled for this past Spring. The funding earmarked for this project has been secured for some time and is not transferrable to other initiatives. Plans were already in place to open up and modernize our spaces. Within the framework of enhanced public health guidelines we can dive even deeper into ensuring the Grand lobbies, washrooms, bars and other public areas exceed safety standards. When we are given the green light to open – we will be ready with beautiful and safe spaces – to welcome you all back in!

When the pandemic halted our season in March, we stopped selling subscription packages. If you are a patron who had already subscribed to the full 2020/21 season and/or Jeans 'n Classics you have the following options:

  • You may choose donate the value of their tickets back to the Grand
  • You may request a full refund
  • You may place a credit on your account

The Box Office team is ready to receive your calls at 519-672-8800 from 9-5 Monday through Friday or by email to boxoffice [at] grandtheatre [dot] com (subject: 2020-21%20Season%20-%20my%20subscription)

Now and for the coming months, we will be asking you to consider a donation to the Grand. As a not-for-profit theatre, this period of INTERMISSION with zero ticket purchase revenue coming in will be difficult. We cannot hide from this reality. We still need to keep our buildings operating and we are committed to providing some form of programming for you, our patrons. We know that the pandemic has had a significant impact on your own lives, businesses and livelihoods. As Ontario continues to open, we ask that you consider a gift to the Grand. Perhaps the investment you would have made as a full subscriber, or the value of the tickets you would have purchased for one or more of our productions. Donations can be made by clicking this link or by emailing slanthier [at] grandtheatre [dot] com (subject: I'd%20like%20to%20make%20a%20donation) or by calling Suzanne at 519-672-9030 x251. Thank you in advance, for your generosity. It is deeply appreciated.

As a further note, along with close to 100 other arts organizations across Ontario, the Grand is participating in an Audience Survey study led by the Ontario Arts Council that will help guide our industry toward re-opening. A series of four emails will be sent to a randomly selected cross section of our database between now and December 31. You should only receive one of these surveys from the Grand but you may also receive a survey from other theatres or arts organizations you have attended. We encourage you to take 10 minutes needed to fill out the survey regardless of this announcement today. It is still of value to us and our industry partners.

We will continue to stay in touch with you over the coming weeks and months.
We believe - we KNOW - that the sun will, in fact, come out tomorrow.

Until we can once again say hello and welcome you back in person, please stay safe and healthy.

Deb and Dennis


‘Making Room’ for New Leadership After 22 Years of Unparalleled Leadership

Deb Harvey, Executive Director

June 24, 2021 – London ON - Anita Shah, the President of the Board of Directors of the Grand Theatre, announced today that Deb Harvey, will be stepping down as Executive Director of the theatre following the end of the 2021/22 Season.

Arriving 22 years ago from Nova Scotia on a six-month contract, when the Grand was at risk of closing its doors due to financial debt, Deb Harvey has stewarded the Grand to 21 years of surplus. The Grand posted its first, albeit small, deficit in her tenure last year as a result of COVID-19. 

‘’Deb Harvey arrived here from out East and promptly wove herself into the fabric of this community. Deb’s record of fiscal leadership is unmatched but is only part of the story of Deb Harvey.  She has formed meaningful and impactful relationships with government and business leaders, staff, artists, volunteers and patrons.  She has contributed in many ways to her ‘new’ hometown, from volunteer positions on the Boards of Tourism London and Downtown London, and her unwavering support that the Grand be a ‘teaching’ theatre, ensuring our mentorship of students and apprentices,” Anita described.

“We knew this day was coming eventually, but that doesn’t make it any easier. It will be difficult to replace Deb, her leadership, and her dedication to the theatre. We have a year to celebrate her, honour her legacy, and to give her the send-off she so richly deserves.”

Deb has been the Grand’s anchor. She has worked alongside eleven Board Presidents, three Artistic Directors, and six mayors!  Deb will undoubtedly be remembered for her unwavering support of the hundreds of guest artists and talented staff she worked with over her tenure and how she rarely missed a volunteer circle meeting and the opportunity to greet patrons in person in the lobbies before performances.

Deb is a champion of the Grand’s many youth programs like the High School Project, 100 Schools and Holiday Wish for Kids. Hearing the thunderous applause from a Student Matinee performance is admittedly “one of my favourite sounds”, she noted.

Deb was recognized for these and other contributions in 2019 with a YMCA Women of Excellence Award.

Most recently, Deb has led the Grand’s $9M RENO2020 project, successfully spearheading public and private partnerships to ensure a safe, new, welcoming space for our artists, patrons, staff and volunteers.

“In these last few months, I have referred to us literally and metaphorically “making room” with this renovation of the Grand.  I imagine folks might have surmised that I was referring to “making room” for the next Executive Director, so my leaving will not come as a surprise,” noted Deb.

She added, “Our industry is calling for change. At the Grand, as we re-open post-COVID, we talk about telling new stories and hearing new voices. Some of those new voices need to be those of new leaders. And we have set the stage perfectly for the Grand’s next chapter.”

“We have been bold in our choices, have taken many artistic adventures together and expanded the notion of what is possible - and that is due to Deb’s ability to make my ideas become full blown reality.  That’s one of her many superpowers,” said Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director.

“Giving a year’s notice gives the Board time to complete the search for a new Executive Director and allows me to enjoy, for a year, this beautiful renovated space we have created, help us get back, post-COVID, to our core business of producing theatre and welcoming audiences.  It also allows me the opportunities to say hello’s and goodbye’s.  I will continue to give my whole heart to this organization until my last day, and truly anyone who knows me knows how proud I am to work here and proud of the work we do and the value we add to our City,” Deb stated.

“The Board is deeply grateful for the legacy Deb has left us. This coming season we are opening post-COVID with a beautifully renovated theatre, with programming that will inspire and entertain us, and we will invite new audiences in through our doors.  With tremendous foresight, Deb’s negotiation of our performance disruption insurance policy has meant a more stable financial future for the theatre. We are hopeful, positive, excited, and with our supporters, we bravely march into this new era for the Grand Theatre, together,” Anita noted.

Deb added, “We can’t wait to re-open. We need to get back to business, tell new stories, share our new spaces, and welcome audiences back.  And most importantly, together, we are planning for the bright future that lies ahead for the Grand.  Onward.”

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471 Richmond St.

London, ON N6A 3E4