Cambrian Players disappointed following two break-ins

A local non-profit theatre group is expressing frustration after a pair of break-in incidents at its south-side building.

“It's very violating [and] it's a little bit scary,” said Cheryl Silen, the group's director of facilities, after the Cambrian Players theatre group saw their Spring Street location broken into on two separate occasions this past weekend.

“We know it’s not our neighbours,” Silen added. “We've tried very hard to be good neighbours, and make sure that everybody's good with the things we do, or the things we want to do. [Our neighbours] are wonderful. It’s hard to have somebody come into your home, and take your things.”

Cambrian Players is going into it’s 74th season and is a non-profit and a registered charity, which means all donations and fundraising efforts is all tax deductible.

Silen noted that the culprits made off with approximately $1,000 in merchandise, property and technical equipment; She added that two broken windows need to be replaced and there was already ongoing work to replace some windows on the facility.

The group was able to get help to put up window bars as an added security measure, and are hoping to be back to normal operations by Tuesday evening.

No one was at the theatre at the time of the events, and there was no excessive vandalism to the building.

Silen added that new owners took over the building in 2017 and they have never experienced anything like this.

“We have had a few people who [we have] called for assistance [for, and some residents] who have just wandered into [the building, so our staff have had to] shuffle these [individuals] out or called the bus to help them,” she said.

“We understand that our neighbourhood is a place where a lot of people have [fallen on hard times]; We respect that and we always want to be accessible as an entertainment venue. We don't want that to stop, but we are a lot more conscious now of our security and our people being safe when they're leaving.”

Cambrian Players is the oldest non-profit theatre organization, beginning in 1974.

They hold their events at 818 Spring Street, which used to be the Polish Hall and became a designated heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2004.

The Thunder Bay Police Service said the incidents are being investigated, with involvement from their break and enter and robbery unit.

No suspect descriptors are available, police added.

Anyone in the area with home or business surveillance cameras that captured something from Sunday or Monday that could be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact police.

Kevin Jeffrey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,