BAR HARBOR — The 3rd annual Bar Harbor Dance Festival show scheduled for Sunday at the Criterion Theater here has been cancelled, show organizers said Wednesday.
The show was slated to be a fundraiser to help the family of Chelsea Libitzski of Trenton afford a specialized wheel chair for her.
Show organizer Sheri Kean explained that theater manager Michael Boland, who represents the Bar Harbor Jazz Festival LLC which just purchased the building, had suggested the group find another venue while renovations and mold abatement work were underway. When she reported back that none was available, “he said he was 90 percent sure we could get in there,” Kean said.
The plug was pulled on the show on Tuesday afternoon when the parties finally met.
“The new owner did not keep his word. It is with a very heavy heart of sadness I need to let you know,” Kean wrote in an email to show participants on Wednesday morning. “He thought the work would be done in time for the festival … I don’t know why he could not have waited until the festival was over.”
Boland said Wednesday that he never broke his word and that festival organizers were aware of possible cancellation. He explained that mold levels in the building remained too high for occupancy and that the work is taking longer than expected, as its scope has increased.
He added he had been in contact with the Libitzki family and that the theater would be hosting its own fundraiser for Chelsea at a later date “to make up for it.”
Kean said the difficulty of trying to schedule dancers from all over Maine means the dance festival will not be rescheduled for this year.
Those who still would like to contribute toward Libitzki’s standing wheelchair are invited to visit the online fundraising site “Stand Up with Chelsea” at www.gofundme.com.