Province pumps $500K into COVID-idled Grand Theatre, Western Fair, rock fest

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The Grand Theatre, Western Fair and Rocks the Park — all sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic — are receiving nearly $500,000 in provincial funding.

Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod and cabinet colleague Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin–Middlesex–London, announced the funding at a news conference Thursday in St. Thomas.

“Ontario’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries were hit first, the hardest, and will take the longest to recover from COVID-19,” MacLeod said. “But our government remains committed to supporting these industries.” Rocks the Park and Western Fair will receive $100,000 each from the Celebrate Ontario fund, a program that helps events and festivals that have shut down temporarily because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Rock the Park attendees at Harris Park. (Free Press file photo)

More than 25,000 tickets had been sold for Rock the Park, that was to have begin its four-day run in Harris Park July 15. But the festival was cancelled in late April, along with TD Sunfest and the Home County Music and Art Festival, because of provincial emergency orders that banned large gatherings to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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