Long-standing cultural icon suspends operations

Lawrence House Centre for the Arts, long considered one of Sarnia's cultural touchstones, has suspended its operations effective Tuesday (Dec. 3), citing financial difficulty.

In a letter from the board of directors (posted on its website), the organization said it had not received an expected grant from the Ontario Arts Council, making its continued operation impossible.

The city of Sarnia, the board letter said, has been approached with what it calls a "financing proposal" and the board is hopeful that business can continue as normal.

The Lawrence House building is owned by the city and is designated as a heritage property.

The organization's bank account has been frozen, the letter said, referring to payroll deductions owed to Canada Revenue Agency.

"We cannot continue to incur expenses and place our creditors at further risk," said the letter.

All programs and shows scheduled beyond December 3, 2012 have had to be cancelled.

Those with art on display are asked to call (519) 337-0507 to arrange for pick up of their art.

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