Production of Phantom of the Opera at a previous Opera at The Channon. The event has been cancelled this year.
Production of Phantom of the Opera at a previous Opera at The Channon. The event has been cancelled this year. Marc Stapelberg

Channon opera cancelled due to need for sponsorship

AFTER 18 years as the region's premier cultural event, Opera at The Channon organisers announced this week it would not be held this year - perhaps forever.

Unless the event can secure sponsorship or government funding, its future is in doubt.

"Its future is in doubt, due to several factors, including lack of sponsorship, difficulties with catering, increasing costs and an unsuccessful application for government funding," chairwoman Gae Ferris said.

"The event has been organised and run very successfully by volunteers of the combined Rotary clubs of Lismore over the past 18 years, and more than $200,000 donated to local Rotary charities."

The committee feared it could no longer break even, let alone donate profits to the Rotary clubs providing essential voluntary support.

Mrs Ferris said the event failed to get State Government money through Destination NSW Regional Flagship Funding, which had met the event's marketing budget in previous years.

The viability of the event was thrown into further question after Summerland Credit Union and Summerland Travel withdrew sponsorship.

The catering company also retired after 18 years with the event.

"The committee are looking at alternatives and it is hoped another musical event can be organised to cater for lovers of opera and you will certainly be advised should this eventuate," Mrs Ferris said.

She added the committee was looking at the possibility of holding a smaller-scale event.

"There was nothing like it. It was truly unique," she said.

"I am really sad we couldn't do it this year. Any event takes a lot of work and a lot of those on the committee have got older. There are no younger ones coming up."



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