Opinion Letters

LETTER: Glaring omission

Re: "A dream for Orillia," letter to the editor, April 15

It seems very strange that in Catherine Ashton's letter to the editor, the only historic facility in Orillia that has a chance of drawing tourists to our city, to participate in her dreams for Orillia Central School and the train station, is not mentioned, is not even on the radar: the Orillia Opera House.

Theatres are naturally renewing. People will come back year after year, because the programming changes annually. Even better, Orillia has a prime asset, a culturally significant, historic asset, in the opera house, perhaps the finest example of a mixed-use town hall structure in the province. With the ongoing generously funded upgrades and restorations underway, the opera house shouldn't be ignored; it should be the centrepiece of any attempt at developing cultural tourism in our city.

What we need is a city initiative commensurate to the dollars being spent on the renovation to program and attract visitors from April to October, to get them back into the Gordon Lightfoot Auditorium.

As for two- and three-day packages, a package has been offered in some form in Orillia since 1989, when it was created by myself and Tom Gostick. Last year, it drew 790 room-rental nights to Orillia in July and August.

David Fanstone


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