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Locals Coffeehouse cancels upcoming season

Popular concert series donates proceeds from last season to Cranbrook Community Theatre
The Locals Coffeehouse committee — Back row, left to right: Steve Lungal (Potluck Steve), Doug Crawley, Lorraine Hagel, Leslie Stevens, Stacy Oig, Beth Crawley. Front, left to right – Jon Bisset, Shawna Plant, Darcy Russell and Mark Casey. Photo submitted

Locals Coffeehouse in Cranbrook has announced it is cancelling its 2020/21 season.

The popular long-running concert series features the best of local performing artists in a number of shows at the Studio Stage Door downtown over the fall, winter and spring.

“We have decided to cancel the 2020/2021 season of the Locals Coffeehouse running this fall and into next spring.” wrote Lorraine Hagel in an email to the Townsman., on behalf of the Locals organizing committee. “We, as a committee, feel it is the most socially responsible thing to do at this point in time given the uncertain circumstances with Covid-19.”

The concerts normally sell out as soon as tickets go on sale. Last season was the same, except that the final concert of the season in April was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Even so, Hagel said the past season was one of the strongest in 26 years.

Normally, monies raised from the concert series are donated the public schools’ music program. This time, the committee has decided to donate the proceeds— $3,000 — to another of Cranbrook’s flagship arts organizations, Cranbrook Community Theatre.

Locals would like CCT — which also operates out of the Studio Stage Door, and functions as stewards of the heritage building — to “use this money to enhance the theater experience for the future.”

“Cranbrook Community Theatre would like to thank Locals for their generous donation,” said Peter Schalk, President of the CCT board of directors. “We are very grateful for our good relationships with different community groups who are involved with, and invested in, our theatre space, the Studio Stage Door.

“CCT is pleased to be involved with Locals in developing and having a location for live performances. These funds will be earmarked for projects that will enhance the performing arts in Cranbrook and give the Cranbrook Community Theatre Society the opportunity to continue to collaborate with our partners.”

Cranbrook Community Theatre also had to cancel its final production of its 2019/20 season, slated for April, and its first production of the 2020/21 season. CCT said in an email to the Townsman that The CCT Board is working very hard to learn more and develop ways to deliver a safer version of community performing arts.

Locals prides itself as a stepping stone to up and coming performers of all ages and a community partner by enhancing the arts in Cranbrook.

“This is a happy time but yet a sad time for us, but we know we are doing the right thing,” Hagel said. “We really enjoy the Studio Stage Door and feel it is our home and there for want to support the people who use it and those who maintain it.”

Barry Coulter

About the Author: Barry Coulter

Barry Coulter had been Editor of the Cranbrook Townsman since 1998.
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