The Grand Theatre announces plans for $8 million renovation
The Reno2020 project will match one of the most glorious stages in North America with a contemporary new audience experience.
London, Ontario, September 5, 2019 – The Grand Theatre unveiled plans today for the modernization and upgrade of the theatre, set to take place during the Summer of 2020 thanks to funding provided by private donors, the City of London, and funding provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage via the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
“As the Grand Theatre remains focussed on its mission of being World Curious and London Proud, audience attendance continues to increase. Our current lobby is over 40 years old and it is time that we build on the magnificent work being done on our stages with an audience experience that is equally exciting. We want our audiences to be surprised and inspired from the moment they walk through the doors,” noted Deb Harvey, Executive Director of the Grand Theatre.
On hand for the announcement were Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriquez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West, and Jesse Helmer, Deputy Mayor of the City of London on behalf of his Worship Mayor Ed Holder.
“Today’s announcement will ensure that the Grand Theatre can upgrade its facilities and continue to support and grow the thriving arts scene in southwestern Ontario. I am proud to see this important institution in downtown London benefit from the government’s commitment to invest in cultural infrastructure. Thank you to Deb and the entire team at the Grand Theatre for your hard work; our community is stronger because of your dedication”, stated Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre.
The renovations, both visible and invisible to audiences, will feature bright, contemporary lobbies with expanded bars, better flow and access to all areas, and of course, more washrooms. All of these upgrades will enhance the audience experience before and after the performances on the Grand’s stages. Reno2020 will also include the expansion of the wardrobe and props departments, the replacement of the theatre’s fly system, upgrades to sound and lighting systems, and a re-design of the box office, along with the replacement of four of its seven roofs.
“The Grand Theatre plays a critical role in the cultural fabric of London. As London continues to grow and businesses look to attract and keep engaged employees, the Grand is one of those gems that we can point to as a reason to move to London, to stay in London, and to enjoy London. The City of London is pleased to be a key funding partner in this much needed renovation and we can’t wait to see and experience the results next October,” stated Ed Holder, Mayor of the City of London.
In recognition of the private donations made, the Grand unveiled the following newly named spaces: The Drewlo Lounge (formerly the 4th floor Poster Lounge), the Karen and Eric Auzins Box Office, and the Auburn Developments Theatre and TerraCorp Lounge (formerly the McManus Theatre and Lobby).
Allan and Elizabeth Drewlo, Karen and Eric Auzins, Jamie Crich and Karen Crich were present at the announcement along with a host of special guests, sponsors, and community partners.
Renovations will begin immediately following the final performance of Grow on May 2, 2020, and will continue until the re-opening of the theatre in October 2020.
“We look forward to celebrating the new space with Londoners in just over a year from now. Until then, we invite everyone to share in the coming season that will inspire, thrill, and delight,” - Deb Harvey.
For more information please contact
jmatthews [at] grandtheatre.com (jmatthews[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)