Grand Theatre Raises $133,169 for London Food Bank

Thank You, London!

LONDON, ON, January 3, 2018

The Grand Theatre and Business Cares are thrilled to announce that the Grand’s inaugural #HumbugtoHunger campaign created in support of the London Food Bank raised $133,169.

#HumbugtoHunger, launched by the Grand Theatre in partnership with Business Cares and its 2017 annual food drive, reached out to more than 25,000 theatre patrons attending the holiday engagement of A Christmas Carol to raise funds for the London Food Bank.

Following each performance, actor Benedict Campbell (Ebenezer Scrooge) spoke to the audience about the increasing number of Londoners in need which is more than 8,000 each month. “Imagine this theatre filled ten times over. That represents the number of individuals helped by the London Food Bank each month, 40% of whom are children.” In the lobby after the performance, cast members were on hand with collection baskets to encourage patrons to make a cash donation. The response was greeted with a generosity far beyond what the Grand and Business Cares ever anticipated in the campaign’s first year.

“#HumbugtoHunger was a combined effort across the entire organization. We started with a beautiful production that told a story of kindness and charity. With a committed group of staff and backstage crew, a supportive Board of Directors, coverage by local media, and, most importantly, the generosity of audiences, we raised this incredible amount. It was a magical experience for all of us,” said Deb Harvey, Grand Theatre Executive Director.

“The Business Cares campaign continues to grow with new partners every year. Each partner adds a new layer of awareness across the city and the Grand’s #HumbugtoHunger campaign has done as much for raising awareness as it has had in impacting our fundraising totals,” said Wayne Dunn, Business Cares Campaign Chair.

On December 31, at the final performance of A Christmas Carol, London Food Bank Co-Executive Directors Jane Roy and Glen Pearson along with Wayne Dunn met with the cast and crew to talk about the impact of the donations. “This level of donation has a huge impact on our ability to raise the nutritional value of the Food Bank’s offerings. Thanks to the thousands in the audience at the Grand, as well as the theatre’s staff and crew, we will be able to purchase more perishable food items such as milk, eggs, bread, fruit and vegetables.”

“This campaign far exceeded our expectations,” said Dennis Garnhum, Grand Theatre Artistic Director. “On the first day of rehearsal, I asked the cast and staff if they would help make a difference for Londoners and the London Food Bank. Every single person raised their hand.”

About the Grand Theatre

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub proudly located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original homegrown stories through COMPASS, a New Play Development Program. The Grand supports educational programming and youth mentorship such as The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America, and 100 Schools, a new community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools in 2018 at no cost.

A not-for-profit regional theatre, the Grand produces and presents professional theatre on two stages: the Spriet Stage (839 seats) and the McManus Stage (144 seats). The Grand’s season runs from September to May.

About Business Cares

The Business Cares Food Drive is a volunteer-driven initiative that believes in the credo that ‘taking care of business means taking care of people.’ This initiative, which just completed its 18th annual campaign, brings together London’s corporate community in a coordinated effort to raise donations for the London Food Bank and the organizations it supports. During the 2017 campaign, the Business Cares Food Drive collected 435,000 pounds of food (combined food and cash donations).

For more information contact:

Kate Rapson, Communications Manager, Grand Theatre
519-672-9030 ext. 247 | krapson@grandtheatre.com

Wayne Dunn, Business Cares Campaign Chair, Business Cares
519-661-9803 | businesscares.ca