Aug 28, 2017

By Jane Brown

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With the demise of Sears, the future of a well known competitive drama showcase for high schools across Ontario faces an uncertain future.

The main sponsor has pulled out of the Sears Ontario Drama Festival, which was founded in 1946 and helped launch the careers of many Canadian actors, including Rachel McAdams and Keanu Reeves.

Wayne Fairhead is the festival’s executive director. He says since the loss of support became known “former students have come out of the woodwork to express their dismay” citing their own experiences as a highlight of childhood.

Vincent Power of Sears Canada says funding sponsorships is unfortunately not something that can be considered while operating under creditor protection.

For teens interested in drama, the Sears Festival offered a taste of what it was like to perform in front of big crowds and be professionally judged.

But the festival organizers are not giving up yet. Smaller competitions held in each school district are expected to go ahead while the festival scrambles to find a sponsor.

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