GRAVENHURST — It’s curtains this summer at the Opera House.

Due to COVID-19, the Town of Gravenhurst has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Muskoka Summer Theatre season at the Gravenhurst Opera House.

Scott Lucas, the town’s director of community growth and development said in a release today: “This was a very difficult decision to make, but given the current health crisis and the resultant business impacts, staff felt that it was the most responsible thing to do,’ explains Scott Lucas, director of Community Growth and Development.

Added Krista Storey, manager of arts and Culture: “With over 80 performances, summer theatre is the most significant portion of the theatre’s annual programming. This was not an easy decision to make.

“This important tradition has provided a great deal of wonderful entertainment over the years and is a significant employer and economic driver in our community and beyond. This is a very sad day, but we know that it is the right thing to do in light of the world’s current circumstances,” said Storey.

Summer Theatre in Canada started in Muskoka 86 years ago and the Opera House has been an important part of that legacy. In fact, it has been a springboard for many careers, such as Donald Sutherland’s and countless others.

Many performing arts venues, as well as festivals and events, are facing the same challenging prospects during these times and the Opera House is among those making these difficult announcements.

“Places like the Gravenhurst Opera House were built to bring community together, and this is a very sad day. But we’ll be here when the community is once again able to gather,” said Storey. “In the meantime, we must all do our part for the safety and well-being of our community. We look forward to seeing everyone back in our theatre when it’s safe to do so.”

All ticket holders will be contacted by Opera House staff to discuss refund options.

For further information, please contact Storey at Krista.Storey@gravenhurst.ca or by phone at 705-644-9844. Their website can be found online at www.gravenhurstoperahouse.com

The long history of summer entertainment at the Opera House, including the Canadian Forces central band here, will be silent this summer for the first time in decades. (Mark Clairmont, MuskokaTODAY.com file photo)