Globus Theatre in Bobcaygeon has announced the launch of a $2 million capital campaign to purchase the Lakeview Arts Barn — and has already raised $1.1 million towards that goal.
The professional theatre company’s co-founder and artistic producer Sarah Quick made the announcement during a virtual media conference on Wednesday (May 11).
The distinctive renovated barn, known as the LAB, became the home of Globus Theatre three years after Quick and her husband James Barrett founded the theatre company in 2003. As well as being the stage for Globus Theatre productions, it also served as a venue for events such as weddings, corporate functions, fundraisers, and more.
However, while Globus Theatre — as a registered charitable organization — sustained itself during the pandemic through relief funding and donations, the commercially operated Lakeview Arts Barn faced significant financial challenges.
“We lost all of the events that keep things going — that pay for the operations along the way,” Quick said. “We remortgaged in 2020. We ended up quadrupling our debt over the course of the two years. The relief funding that came for Globus, and the ability to be able to raise funds because Globus was a charity, obviously that was not available to the LAB.”
“We knew when the third lockdown hit at the beginning of the summer of 2021 that James and I were not going to be able to sustain this financially. We knew that we had to put the LAB on the market.”
Quick explained that Globus considered three options: selling the building to a new owner and becoming a tenant, talking with the municipality about its plans for building a new cultural centre, and launching a capital campaign to pay off the mortgages, own the building outright, and complete some repairs.
After consulting with other theatre companies, industry experts, and supporters, and considering the shortcomings of the other options, Globus decided launching a capital campaign was the right solution to secure the theatre company’s future.
“We researched capital campaigns and we found out that, in order to launch a capital campaign, one should have half of the amount already secured in order to do that,” Quick said.
“This is where the amazing news comes in that makes the tears turn happy,” she added, her voice cracking. “When we asked our donors, we received a pledge of $1 million in order to launch our capital campaign.”
After announcing the pledge at a donor town hall a couple of weeks ago, Globus received an additional pledge of $100,000 — bringing the total raised to date $1.1 million of the $2 million goal.
“It’s a massive undertaking but, looking positively, we’re halfway there,” Quick said. “It means that rather than worrying about running a venue, we can concentrate on running a theatre.”
In response to a question, Quick said the building would be renamed after the theatre company as no donors so far have requested naming rights.
For more information about Globus’ “Raising The Barn” capital campaign and to make a donation, visit www.lakeviewartsbarn.com/raising-the-barn-capital-campaign.