3 June, 2020
Canadiana Productions Inc., producers of the award winning Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show, are sad to announce that due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are closing operations after 26 years.
On March 14th, a final musical performance was enjoyed by an enthusiastic crowd and then the doors were closed due to the pandemic. At the time, there was anticipation of a re-opening in a couple of weeks. Weeks turned into months. Without revenue and any idea of when re-opening might be possible, the financial situation became dire with expenses and refund requests.
The company applied for various government loans, but it was not enough to keep the production company from financial distress. With no certainty of a re-opening timeline or if the formerly successful dinner show business model would be feasible under new public health requirements, the owners made this difficult decision.
There was a hopeful effort by the cast members to help the company. A GoFundMe campaign was created and a brilliant musical production #WeRiseAgain aired on May 12th. A two-hour online production was created by Artistic Director, Lee Siegel, with musical contributions by several cast members and musicians. "It was a huge success and so heart-warming to see such generosity," says Lee Siegel. "I'm so proud of our amazing cast for stepping up for us at our time of need."
However is just wasn't enough to save the show. Once it was clear that the company was not going to continue, a decision was made to refund the donations back to the supporters.
"We are so grateful for everyone who helped us try to save this business," says Eric Hitchcock, General Manager.
"Nothing could have prepared us for this crisis and we are heartbroken that we couldn't keep Canadiana Productions going," says Anne Robinson, co-owner of the company.
Since 1994, the dinner theatre has served and entertained over 900,000 visitors and performed 4,910 Oh Canada Eh? shows and many other successful musical productions. July 1st would have been the 5,000th performance of Oh Canada Eh? and there were big plans to celebrate this major milestone.
"Some said we wouldn't survive six months when we opened back in 1994" says Jim Cooper, owner and founder. "We've had ups and downs before, and we defied the odds over the past 26 years, so I guess you can say we had a pretty good run, eh?"
Canadiana Productions, Inc. wishes to thank all of our guests, tourism partners, cast and staff for their support and dedication over the past 26 years.