Canada’s Opera Lyra, which summarily ceased operations five weeks ago, last night filed for bankruptcy.
It is the first arts casualty under a new government that is pledged to double its arts investment.
Here’s the bit of the bankruptcy statement the new culture minister, Mme Joly, needs to absorb:
Ottawa, November 16, 2015
After Opera Lyra ceased operations on October 14, the company’s volunteer Board of Directors worked diligently to attract alternative sources of revenues, with the goal of resuming activities and programs. Unfortunately, no new major revenues have been found. Therefore, with profound regret, the company has filed for bankruptcy. The trustee is Ginsberg, Gingras and Associates.
As explained in our cessation announcement, Opera Lyra has been badly affected by shortfalls in four revenue streams. These are: reductions in federal and provincial arts grants; weak corporate sponsorship; no growth in personal philanthropy; and, most important, disappointing ticket sales for recent performances. Inadequate revenues have accumulated to the point where there is no money left to operate the company.
During the past 31 years, Opera Lyra has been a star in the cultural life of Ottawa and Gatineau. It has produced high quality, professional operatic productions that filled a gap created when the National Arts Centre ceased its own opera program.