Ribbon cutting of the Grand Theatre
Walter Fenlon and Mayor Harvey Rosen cutting the ribbon at the re-opening of the restored Grand Theatre in 2008

The Grand Theatre Foundation was a registered charity supporting the Grand OnStage season and educational activities, ensuring a legacy of the performing arts in our community, and the preservation of the Grand Theatre. 

Originally incorporated in 2004, the Grand Theatre Foundation was founded to support the most recent renovations of the Kingston Grand Theatre completed in 2008 and subsequently shifted its mandate to fund Grand OnStage programming and related educational activities. 

On August 13, 2020 the Grand Theatre Foundation’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to dissolve the Foundation as of December 31, 2020 after determining its mission would be better served under a different structure. 

The City of Kingston is grateful to the Foundation and the many dedicated community volunteers who gave of their time and talents for almost 20 years to support Kingston Grand Theatre and many Grand OnStage seasons. 

Moving forward, City of Kingston has assumed leadership and responsibility for fundraising and sponsorship related to Kingston Grand Theatre as well as current and future programming. 

For more information or to make your own commitment of support, please visit https://www.kingstongrand.ca/donate-and-support/donate or contact: 

Julie Fossitt 
Phone: 613-546-4291 ext. 1143 
E-mail: jfossitt@cityofkingston.ca

Statement by Walter Fenlon, November 20, 2020 

Founding Co-Chair, Grand Theatre Restoration Foundation and Past Chair, Grand Theatre Foundation 

“Kingston has a passionate and effective community of arts supporters and we achieved much success through the Grand Theatre Foundation. It is now time to step back and we are confident that community support for the programming the City organizes will continue under its leadership. The revenue development initiatives the Foundation helped build will be able to focus on the greatest need – supporting artists and increasing access – so that programming will continue to excel through the efforts of City staff supported by local donors and sponsors who also value the impact of the performing arts on our lives.” 


More About the Grand Theatre Foundation 

In the early 2000s, a committed group of passionate Kingston arts supporters helped undertake the task of restoring the Grand Theatre to its position as Kingston’s pre-eminent performing arts venue. 

Originally incorporated in 2004, the Grand Theatre Restoration Foundation, Co-Chaired by Walter Fenlon and Fred Laflamme, quickly went to work to raise millions of dollars in partnership with the City of Kingston to breathe new life into the Grand Theatre. 

The Mayor at the time, Harvey Rosen, encouraged by the enthusiasm of the community for the project, was also able to secure the support of Kingston City Council for the restoration project. 

The volunteer-led Restoration Foundation received donations from families and individuals across the community, including significant donations from local philanthropists Brit Smith, Art Acharya and Michael Davies. The Foundation was also able to secure much needed in-kind advertising support from local media thanks to Fred Laflamme. In addition, financial support from both the Provincial and Federal governments enabled completion of the $17 million project. 

Having successfully supported the most recent renovations of the Kingston Grand Theatre, the Restoration Foundation became known as the Grand Theatre Foundation and shifted its mandate to fund Grand OnStage programming and related educational activities until its dissolution in 2020.