The Grand Theatre announces London Proud

Three projects unveiled as part of The Grand Theatre’s Community Commitment: $100,000 Raised to Date

LONDON, ON, Jan. 24, 2017 – The Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce its commitment to community with three innovative projects. This morning at London’s City Hall, Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum unveiled 100 Schools, 1,000 Seats, and The Grand Theatre High School Project’s new partnership with Sheridan College Music Theatre Program. He was joined by Mayor Matt Brown and Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean of Sheridan’s Visual and Performing Arts program, along with key sponsors and supporters.

“This is the second in a series of announcements we’ve been busy working on since I started at The Grand in October. The first was our new play development program, COMPASS. Today, I told a full room about London Proud,” said Garnhum. “Since the moment I arrived back in my hometown of London, Ontario, I have felt nothing but welcomed by the community. As we embark on a new and exciting path in 2017/18, I want to give that same feeling back and open our doors as wide as they can go to make all Londoners feel that The Grand Theatre is everyone’s theatre –  a central community hub of creativity, culture, and imagination for all.”

To date, The Grand has received $100,000 in funding towards the three community projects and will continue to seek new support. The three projects are as follows:


Delivering Professional Theatre to 100 Elementary Schools

The project will bring professional theatre to the gymnasiums and auditoriums of 100 elementary schools in London and the surrounding regions at no cost. The program is available to public schools, private schools, and homeschool groups and is expected to bring the thrill of live theatre to as many of these 63,000 elementary school-aged children as possible.

This program will cost $100,000 to implement. With the generous support of Libro Credit Union, The Grand’s Make a Difference Community Pillar Partner and first company in London to commit funding to this initiative, along with The London Catholic District School Board and The Thames Valley District School Board, The Grand Theatre will launch 100 Schools in the 2017/18 Season.

The 2018 School Tour will be Beethoven Lives Upstairs and below is a summary:

There’s a madman living upstairs! A young boy writes to his uncle. He’s uncouth, has a terrible temper, and howls - his name is Beethoven. With his uncle’s help, Christoph comes to understand the genius of one the most eccentric and brilliant composers, through the beauty of his music, and the depth of his emotion and talent.  This award-winning, international sensation features 25 of the composer’s most beautiful excerpts including Moonlight Sonata, Für Elise, and the great Fifth and Ninth Symphonies.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs curriculum opportunities include history, language, music, drama, and acceptance of others. A teachers’ study guide will be available.

The production will tour from January through March 2018. School bookings will commence in May 2017 on a first-come/first-served basis.

1,000 SEATS

The 2017/18 Season launches with a new pilot project – 1,000 Seats. TD Bank, through its Accessing the Arts Program, is the lead corporate partner in this initiative that will welcome 1,000 first-time theatre goers to The Grand.

Ten tickets for every performance, totalling more than 1,000 donated seats, will be provided to Londoners with thanks to TD Bank. The 1,000 Seats program is in addition to an already robust complimentary and subsidized ticket program at The Grand that will annually now provide a combined value of over $450,000 to the community.


In partnership with Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Program

The Grand’s highly successful High School Project, which has grown over the last 20 years to where it is the only one of its kind in Canada and has produced many of today’s theatre artists, will take its next step through a new partnership with Sheridan College Music Theatre Program.

“The High School Project facilitates an outstanding applied learning opportunity for young people on and off stage. Sheridan has been the beneficiary of many HSP participants over the years who have been accepted into our performing arts programs. High School Project alumni arrive at Sheridan skilled and enthusiastic to continue learning. We are proud to partner with The Grand Theatre and actively participate in fostering the success of young people passionate about the performing arts,” said Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean at Sheridan’s Department of Visual & Performing Arts and Producer of Theatre Sheridan and The Canadian Music Theatre Project.

The 2017 production of Les Misérables School Edition marked the 20th anniversary of the High School Project and was one of the best-selling shows in history of the program. Through sponsorships, donations, and foundation grants, The Grand Theatre is able to offer the High School Project experience at no cost to the students. Participants work alongside mentors in a professional theatre environment.

Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program is renowned in Canada, across North America, and internationally. Michael Rubinoff received his undergraduate and law degrees from Western and went on to lead the effort to build one of the most successful musical theatre training programs in Canada at Sheridan College. Graduates are highly sought after in productions across Canada and around the world.

This new partnership will bring the talent of Sheridan to The Grand’s highly engaged High School Project participants, both on and off the stage. Exposure to professors, mentors, and actors-in-training of this highly regarded program will offer The Grand Theatre’s High School Project participants a new level of learning. The partnership will also serve to bring national attention to the High School Project and its unique place in Canadian theatre.

This annual program costs $250,000 and as of today, $65,000 has been committed to the project. The Western Fair District is the Title Sponsor; the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board are the Program Sponsors; and Libro Credit Union is the Make A Difference Community Pillar Partner.

About The Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre, a leading regional theatre, is located in the heart of Downtown London, Ontario. It produces and presents professional performances on The Grand Stage and in the McManus Studio Theatre. The Grand season runs from September to May.

For more information, please contact:
Kate Rapson, Communications Manager: krapson [at] (krapson[at]grandtheatre[dot]com): 519-672-9030 ext. 247