Pro­fes­sional Pro­gram­ming At Cen­ten­nial Theatre Will Be Dis­con­tin­ued

Stanstead Journal - - LENNOXVILLE NEWS - Len­noxville, Sherbrooke

Bishop’s Univer­sity re­grets to an­nounce that it must dis­con­tinue the pro­fes­sional pro­gram­ming in Cen­ten­nial Theatre as of 2016- 17.

This de­ci­sion, made by Bishop’s Univer­sity’s Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, re­sults from the Univer­sity’s se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion and its ef­forts to bal­ance its bud­get. Un­for­tu­nately, the Univer­sity is forced to dis­con­tinue the pro­fes­sional pro­gram­ming as of 201617 sea­son be­cause the Univer­sity is not able to se­cure $150,000 of ex­ter­nal fund­ing to sup­port this pro­gram­ming. The Board of Gov­er­nors sup­ports this de­ci­sion.

Dr. Miles Turn­bull, Vice-Prin­ci­pal Aca­demic, says: ‘‘The Univer­sity had talks with ex­ter­nal part­ners ear­lier this year, but none were in a po­si­tion to of­fer ad­di­tional fund­ing to en­sure that the pro­fes­sional pro­gram­ming could con­tinue. Nev­er­the­less we ap­pre­ci­ate the spe­cial fund­ing which was pro­vided last year by our ex­ter­nal part­ners - la Ville de Sherbrooke, le Min­istère de la Cul­ture et des Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and le Con­seil des arts et let­tres du Québec - to al­low us time to try to find a so­lu­tion for a vi­able fu­ture.’’

“It is with great re­gret that we have taken this de­ci­sion,” said Dr. Turn­bull. “Cen­ten­nial Theatre has been an im­por­tant cul­tural venue in Sherbrooke. It has con­sis­tently pre­sented out­stand­ing dancers, mu­si­cians and singers. We know that this will be a sig­nif­i­cant loss for our re­gion, but the Univer­sity can­not af­ford to con­tinue to sub­si­dize this pro­gram­ming.”

The staff of Cen­ten­nial Theatre has been in­formed of this de­ci­sion and at least for the short term, per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees will re­tain their jobs. Cen­ten­nial Theatre will con­tinue to present stu­dent per­for­mances and will re­main open for rental as in the past. In fact, the Univer­sity an­tic­i­pates that rental in­come will in­crease be­cause of greater avail­abil­ity of the space for groups such as com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions and schools.

‘‘We wish to ex­press our great re­spect and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the ex­cel­lent work and tire­less ef­forts of Luce Cou­ture, Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of Cen­ten­nial Theatre, and her whole team,’’ says Dr. Turn­bull. ‘‘Luce is an out­stand­ing pro­fes­sional who has ded­i­cated more than 30 years of her pro­fes­sional life to Bishop’s, Cen­ten­nial Theatre and the arts in Que­bec, across Canada and around the world.’’

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