MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Grand Theatre has announced that at the close of the 2019-2020 season it has an operating deficit of just over $65,000. It is the theatre’s first deficit in 21 years.

In a statement, Executive Director Deb Harvey said it was disappointing but, “…this deficit would have been substantially higher without our $504,753 insurance claim to June 30.”

Performance disruption coverage was added to their policy in Nov. 2019, before the pandemic’s full impact was known.

The deficit was revealed at the theatre’s virtual annual general meeting on Monday.

Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum added that the most difficult part of the season has been the loss of work for employees and artists.

“We are theatre people and by nature that means we are creative, optimistic and resilient and we have much to look forward to in the coming months and years.”

Due to the curtailed season, attendance fell by just over 37 per cent, ticket sales were down by $1.6 million over the previous year and overall revenues were down by 22 per cent.

Harvey added, “I am not going to lie. This was a tough year for our bottom line…We can’t wait to open our doors again and welcome you back. One thing I know for sure – we will never take the privilege of gathering together for granted again.”