By Jennifer Pritchett
Just two weeks after Kingston's sparkling new K-Rock Centre opened its doors, two shows have been cancelled at the $46.5-million downtown sports and entertainment centre.
Country singers Tracy Lawrence and Craig Morgan have called off their March 16 show, as have comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, who had been scheduled to perform at the K-Rock Centre on April 19. The comedy duo have also cancelled a show in Rochester, N.Y.
Officials at the arena have declined to comment on the reasons for the cancellations.
"That's usually something that gets issued from the promoter of the show," said Neil Shorthouse, the K-Rock Centre's director of marketing and client services.
Yesterday, no one from the promoting firm, Crown Concerts, could be reached for comment.
Shorthouse also declined to disclose the number of tickets that had been sold for the shows.
"Again, that's information that belongs to the promoter and we're not allowed to release that information ... they expect a certain amount of confidentiality," he said.
Shorthouse did, however, stress that people who've already bought tickets for the shows will receive refunds.
"We'll make sure those who've bought tickets will be taken care of," he said.
Shorthouse also said the fact that these shows have been cancelled is no reflection of the new facility or the city.
"I don't think the cancellation of two events is a reflection upon either the building, the community or the marketplace," he said.
"Some have varying degrees of success - some shows are successful and others aren't. Some shows cancel for reasons that have nothing to do with the centre or the market. Sometimes it's just logistics. I don't think the public should read too much into that."
Proof of the top-notch quality of the facility, he said, is the fact that Feld Entertainment, one of the top entertainment companies in the world,has shown two shows at the K-Rock Centre. Disney's High School Musical on Ice played at the centre last night and Tuesday night.
Show cancellations are a fact of life, said Shorthouse.
"It's one of those things we take in stride," he said. "It's not the first show I've ever been involved with that has been cancelled and I'm sure it won't be the last because there are a variety of reasons for why it happens. I'm not at all concerned."
Shorthouse said he's heading to Toronto today to meet with events promoters to attract new shows to Kingston.
"[The cancellation of these shows] is not a cause for concern for me and I'm sure when I go to speak with my colleagues, agents and promoters in Toronto, it's not going to be a cause for concern for then," he said.
"They understand how it works and they're not going to see this as a mark against us."