Dec 22, 2020

Comfort and Joy

The Holiday Show

Streaming FREE December 22 at 7:00PM

Now Playing - Dec 31, 2020

Giving Tuesday - Please Donate Today!

Giving Tuesday – Please Donate Today!

Dec 7, 2020

2019-20 Annual General Meeting

Join us on Monday, December 7 at 5:00pm

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

Grand Theatre Presents “Comfort and Joy”

A FREE virtual holiday show 
in support of London Food Bank

December 1, 2020 – London ON  - Families’ tradition of coming to the Grand Theatre each holiday season will be kept alive (virtually) this year as the theatre presents Comfort and Joy  that will be streamed at 7 PM on December 22. Thanks to the generous support of Title Sponsor Canada Life and Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group, the show will be offered at no cost to anyone wishing to tune in.

“On this Giving Tuesday, we consider Comfort and Joy our gift to our city and the many frontline workers who continue to inspire us. It is our hope that on December 22, folks will be able to gather virtually or in their bubbles, take a breather from holiday preparations, and enjoy some holiday entertainment,” noted Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director of the Grand.

The Grand will be asking for voluntary monetary donations to the London Food Bank, a tradition that has seen audiences donate over $290,000 to the Food Bank over the past three seasons. 

“The need is greater than ever before to help folks who need a little kindness. We may not be able to ask our audience members in person this year, but we know that what we will present virtually will entertain, inspire and encourage people to donate and support this important cause in our city,” said Deb Harvey, Executive Director.

Along with Dennis, three other directors will share the duties of presenting a 45 minute show full of holiday songs, stories, music and memories: Megan Watson-Artistic Associate of the Grand who directed the previous two holidays musicals on the Spriet Stage; award-winning actor, singer and artist Vanessa Sears; and Andrew Tribe, Artistic Director of Original Kids Theatre Company and Director of Titanic the 2019 High School Project.

Guest artists taking part include Jan Alexandra Smith whom Grand audiences will remember in roles such as Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol from 2018 and Johanna Donnelly in Vigilante, and Amaka Umeh who was to star in the titular role in Hamlet at the Stratford Festival this past summer. Guest musical directors participating include Matthew Atkins, musical director at Original Kids who made his Spriet Stage debut at our Un-Opening Night event in October, and acclaimed musical director/director/artist and educator Alexandra Kane. London musician Richard Gracious and his band ‘Bad Teeth’ are set to appear, and viewers can also expect a fun performance by some of our amazing High School Project students. 

“It wouldn’t be the holidays without young Londoners, and we are so happy have Hayden Baertsoen, Zoe Brown and Abigail Verhaeghe, sharing their talents with us in a special performance,” noted Dennis. “Londoners will recognize Hayden and Abi as the Banks children from last year’s Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, and Zoe Brown, a veteran of the theatres across Canada, including the Grand Theatre stages, Stratford Festival and Neptune Theatre.”

There will be many more surprises and inspiring performances.

“One of our goals with this production is to showcase our extraordinary city to those watching near and far. Viewers will see many iconic London locations, starting out at the Grand and travelling to places like Victoria Park, the Food Bank, Museum London, and the Thames River,” noted Dennis Garnhum. “We’ll also be travelling just outside the city limits as we visit Kettle and Stony Point First Nation to visit with the George family. John George, his four daughters and ten grandchildren will share their holiday traditions with us.”


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London, ON N6A 3E4