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Celebrations Dinner Theatre Permanently Closes Amid Strike

September 8, 2023 7:22 PM | Entertainment

Celebrations Dinner Theatre

WINNIPEG — The curtain has closed on Celebrations Dinner Theatre amid an ongoing strike.

UFCW Local 832, which represents 33 people who worked at the theatre, says they were informed Friday by Bob Cunningham, the owner of Act Three Entertainment Inc., that the dinner theatre was closing its doors permanently after more than 25 years.

The union’s members from Celebrations, who have been on strike since Tuesday, were notified that they have been terminated, effective immediately.

“The members really believed in their work at Celebrations, they even paid out of pocket for their own costumes and they were hopeful that the company would recognize their dedication in return,” said Jeff Traeger, president of UFCW Local 832.

“It’s shameful that the business model for Celebrations didn’t account for paying employees a fair wage or offering them any benefits, and the employer chose to close their doors instead of treating their employees with the respect they deserve.”

The union says inflation and economic conditions have made it difficult for workers to make ends meet at the theatre. Despite seats being filled again in a post-pandemic world, the union says Celebrations refused to provide more than minimum wage and its workers voted unanimously in favour of strike action.

The terminated employees will be assisted by their union with career transition and employment insurance in the days ahead.

A request for comment from Celebrations Dinner Theatre wasn’t immediately returned on Friday evening.