Not Your Grandma’s Theatre: Rediscovering The Grand

Growing up in Kingston, I’ve always associated The Grand Theatre with The Nutcracker performances during Christmas season. After a conversation with the Grand Theatre’s Performing Arts Manager Jayson Duggan it’s clear to me that they offer a wide variety of programming to attract every type of theatre-goer, from comedians like Louie Anderson and Roseanne Barr to world renowned dance programs like Ballets Jazz Montreal and Navdhara India Dance Theatre, plus legendary musicians like Gordon Lightfoot, Eddie Palmieri and Bruce Cockburn to name a few. Where have I been?

After a flip through their new, multidisciplinary program guide – Grand OnSTAGE ( it beautifully maps out the next season at The Grand – beginning September 27 and ending in April) – I fall in love with the opportunities  they are bringing to our community.

Duggan speaks to the wide variety of programming after the theatre’s re-opening in 2008, “There’s been a real focus on diversifying the programming because I think the program had reached the point where the theatre was known for a certain type of program. For us, introducing more country music, broadening our world program our pop and contemporary music offerings, we’ve seen a lot of patriots coming in that may not have typically looked to the Grand for entertainment or for the program.”

As much as The Grand prides itself on bringing in talent from around the world, Canadian content is just as important, especially next season. Duggan explains, “We will be celebrating our tenth year since the re-opening next year so that’s part of the reason why the program has so many headliners but also the reason for so much Canadian content. We’ve always had a lot of Canadian content but also because of the Canadian 150 that’s been a big focus for us as well.”

I’ll definitely be visiting the theatre for more than the Nutcracker next season. I love the intimacy and exclusivity that The Grand Theatre offers audiences. We are so lucky to have this venue and programming in Kingston!

Keep up with The Grand:
On Facebook: The Grand Theatre
Twitter: @kingston_grand


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