Grand Theatre postpones $8 million renovation, puts most staff on 'emergency leave'

LONDON, Ont. — The Grand Theatre in London, Ont., is postponing a planned $8-million renovation because of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

The theatre was set to overhaul one of its lobby spaces in May. But the project, which is backed by private and public funding, has been rescheduled for 2021.

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The Grand also announced Thursday that it would be cancelling the 2020-2021 season of its High School Project.

The program, which began in 1998, gives London students a chance to put on a production on one of the Grand's stages and be mentored by professional artists.

The Grand said it has placed the majority of its staff on "emergency leave," while the rest are working from home.

Executive director Deb Harvey said in a statement that the theatre has had to make "heart-wrenching decisions" in recent days, but health concerns must take priority.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2020.

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