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Oct. 31, 2020 | Saturday
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Shaw cancels 'A Christmas Carol,' last remaining 2020 show
The cast of a Christmas Carol. (Photo by Emily Cooper)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Shaw Festival to cancel "A Christmas Carol," the last remaining show on its 2020 calendar.

The Christmas classic was originally scheduled to run in November and December at the Royal George Theatre.

“We held off making this decision for as long as we possibly could because we had set our hearts on getting back into one of our theatres this year. But it was not to be," artistic director Tim Carroll said in a news release. 

"The situation clearly calls for caution. We need to keep everyone safe.”

Shaw’s production of "A Christmas Carol" premiered in late 2017, playing to sold-out audiences for the past three seasons. The production provided valuable support for the local tourism and retail businesses in the pre-Christmas season.

“The loss is heartbreaking, especially after hoping we’d be able to continue this annual holiday tradition that we know is cherished by so many,” said Tim Jennings, Shaw's executive director and CEO.

“Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Shaw need everyone’s help to remain strong through these incredible and difficult times.”

As with other cancelled productions, the festival has a team of box office representatives working to contact ticket holders to discuss options for the disposition of their unused tickets.

Details of the 2021 season are expected to be announced soon.

The Shaw Festival is one of the largest charitable theatre businesses in North America, employing some 540 people, including the second-largest resident acting ensemble. Its annual budget is $35 million.

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