House of Paws Dinner Theatre is cancelling this years fundraiser dinner due to COVID-19 concerns.
Director Gail Noble says their usual facility, the Kitscoty Community Hall, holds about 400 people for their shows. With the actors, staff, caterers and audience, they wouldn’t be able to stay within the Alberta public health guidelines on indoor gatherings which is currently capped at 100 for indoor seated or audience events.
“We were waiting to see if these numbers would go up and maybe put on more plays or somehow make it go, but it’s not looking like we’re going to be able to at all.”
The annual event, held at the end of November, raises money for a new animal shelter in Lloydminster. Noble says they’ve raised about $240,000 so far and they were worried people may not have money to give due to the effects of the pandemic.
Noble mentions 2020 would have been a special year as it would be their 20th year for the show.
“I’m so sad. The 20th year in 2020 was going to be a big push for us and celebrate a big anniversary. It’s a long time to be fundraising and keeping an event going. Now we’ll just have to do a 20th anniversary in 2021.”
Not only does the show help raise money for a new animal shelter, but it also allows local actors to shine in their performances. Noble says the performers are sad they won’t be able to get up on the stage this year.
“I hope with skipping out on a year that we can hold on to them for next year. I think we will as part of our cast, but they’re all really sad that we’re not performing this year.”
Noble says last years three night event went very well and they hope to continue with that success in 2021.