Ottawa Theatre School closes doors
Teacher says many staff waiting to be paid for fall, winter sessions
A private theatre school that offered an accredited college program has closed its doors, citing financial difficulties.
The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama opened the Ottawa Theatre School in 2010 at its Picton Avenue location and had 20 students enrolled in its three-year diploma program.
On Wednesday the school's administration held a meeting with students to announce the accredited college program was shutting down.
Teacher says she hasn't been paid since October
Kate Hurman taught voice at the Ottawa Theatre School but hasn't been paid since October.
She said about a dozen teachers at the theatre school and the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama are still waiting to be paid for fall and winter sessions. Combined, Hurman says the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama owes teachers more than $15,000.
Two teachers have received cheques since, but are waiting to see whether they'll bounce.
Administrators at the Ottawa Theatre School declined be interviewed, but released a statement confirming the closure.
"The Board of Directors had been exploring a number of options ensure the sustainable operations of the program, unfortunately there were no alternatives to taking this step," the school said in a statement.
Province to handle refunds, program completion
The Ministry of Colleges and Universities says it will see if the diploma students can complete their studies elsewhere or get a refund.
Since the school was accredited, the students are covered under the Training Completion Assurance Fund, which ensures refunds for accredited programs in the event of private school closures.
The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama has had financial difficulties before. In May of 2011, it received $40,000 in municipal grant money early to avoid closure.
Administration at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama said in their statement the recreational classes for children and adults scheduled to begin next week will continue as scheduled.