After almost 45 years of entertaining eaters, Calgary’s Lunchbox Theatre is in danger of being shut down following changes to the province’s grant program.

The theatre put out a press release this week describing the dire straits they’re in. They hope that the community can help them raise the $45,000 that they need by September 30.

Lunchbox Theatre was first started in 1975 by a trio of artists -- Bartley and Margaret Bard and Betty Gibb -- who wanted to create a theatre experience that would strip back some of the pomp and circumstance of traditional theatre and allow viewers to munch on food while they watched midday performances.

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts used to give grants in lump sums, but now grants are given out in installments. This change is a contributing factor to why Lunchbox is in the lurch.

”Lunchbox Theatre is a one of a kind theatrical institution in Canada and has been a cultural treasure in Calgary for 44 years,” said Duval Lang, chair of the Lunchbox Theatre board of directors. “This is a challenging time for arts organizations in our community and Lunchbox Theatre is feeling the pinch.”

The theatre used to operate in Calgary’s Bow Valley Square, but since 2008, it has had a space in the Calgary Tower Centre.

They are asking companies and individuals to donate to their cause so they can stay open and put on more plays. To learn more about their call for fundraising, you can visit their website here.