Cash-strapped Surrey theatre group cancels ‘Anne of Green Gables’ show in ‘temporary setback’

Funding woes continue for Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society

A scene from the 'Jack and the Beanstalk' panto staged by Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society at Surrey Arts Centre in December 2015.

SURREY — A lack of funding has forced a Surrey-based community theatre group to cancel its spring production of “Anne of Green Gables.”

The move is considered a “temporary setback” for Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society (FVGSS), which has been staging musicals in Surrey for three decades.

The show cancellation “is an opportunity to raise some funds and get our house in order, financially and otherwise,” group member Dann Wilhelm posted on the FVGSS website (http://fvgssociety.wix.com/fvgss). “We look forward to mounting our 2016 pantomime in the winter as per usual and many future productions in the years to come.”

In December, the theatre group staged a pre-Christmas panto, or pantomime, of “Jack and the Beanstalk” at Surrey Arts Centre.

“Our financial situation after the panto has left us without the necessary funds to mount our much anticipated production of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ in May,” Wilhelm posted.

“The FVGSS views this as a temporary setback.”

Last August, the group launched an online fundraising campaign (at https://www.gofundme.com/savefvgss). As of Jan. 29, 20 people have donated a total of $975 over the past five months.

“The rising cost of theatre rental and trending decline in ticket sales for theaters in general has put this 30+ year old organization on the precipice of closing,” the group posted in its original appeal for funds.

“We cannot rely purely on occasional government grants or on ticket sales alone in order to provide this valuable resource for our communities.

“Your contributions will go a long way to help us to continue performing 2 excellent, award-winning shows each year, allow us to continue to keep our set building and storage facility — and more importantly, continue to encourage people of all ages and diverse ethnicities in our communities.”

In an update posted earlier this month, the group says it is working on several fundraising initiatives and events.

“Spread the word — don’t let this valuable organization disappear after so many years of positive impact in this community.”

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

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