Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Globus Theatre was forced to cancel their 17th season of professional summer theatre. With 60 per cent of their annual $500,000 budget being derived from ticket sales it has meant a huge financial loss to the company and left this Ontario Summer Theatre facing an uncertain future.
In order to sustain the theatre company Globus has launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $200,000. Long-time patrons John and Sally Eaton will use their foundation, the John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Foundation, will match each dollar donated up to a total of $100,000.
This level of support has the potential to provide a lifeline to Globus Theatre, says a press release. With the help of the community these matching funds gives the theatre company an opportunity to not only weather this storm “but come back stronger than ever when it is safe to do so.”
While this year Globus will be unable to welcome the 10,000 visitors that the theatre typically hosts annually at the Lakeview Arts Barn they wanted to get creative and find ways to engage with their patrons.
“This ‘Save our Stage’ campaign and the matching funds provided by the John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Foundation will not only sustain the theatre company until we are able to operate at full capacity but will allow us to produce a “Season Within Reason” with live shows for a limited audience starting in August.”
“We will be announcing what shows the season will comprise of in the coming weeks but this series of small-scale programming will allow us to engage with our patrons and the community at large while providing some work to our theatrical company whose jobs have been put on hold,” says the release.
Martin Moreau, chair of the board, says the company has “made great strides over the last 16 years to build a stage upon which many stories are told to members of our local community and visitors to our region.”
James Barrett, Globus co-founder and artistic producer, says the faith “that John and Sally have shown in us is a huge boost to all of our spirits here at the theatre.”
“It makes us confident that, with the community’s help we will be able to achieve our goal. If we can raise $200,000 it will give us a solid foundation upon which to build.”
The money will allow Globus to keep their staff employed so that they can use their expertise to guide the company through to a safe reopening, and “it will allow us to pay actors and playwrights to work on the small scale projects that we want to do to keep our patrons engaged,” says Barrett, among other things.
Monique Renaud, general manager, says Globus “has become a vital part of our region’s quality of life, economy and tourist trade. It will play a leading role as our region recovers from the effects of the pandemic as a place of social inclusion and celebration.”
Sarah Quick, the theatre’s co-founder and artistic director, says they are asking the community to come together with a community effort “to ensure that our stage is around for many years to come.”
“If you have sat in our audience and laughed; played on our stage as an adult or child; or shed a tear in the safety of our darkened auditorium we are asking for your help, however big or small, so that we can continue to create those moments for decades to come.”