Or should I say “skating on thin ice”? Or simply “in trouble”?

Anyway you slice it, Toronto Int’l Film Festival honchos have reason to feel extremely unsettled this evening. The reason is that Bell, a major TIFF sponsor since 1995, “is set to end its long-standing sponsorship of TIFF,” according to the Toronto Star‘s Robert Benzie.

Benzie excerpt: “In a blow to the Toronto International Film Festival, the telecommunications and media giant is moving on after this year’s event, sources say.”

I mean, the illuminated words “TIFF Bell Lightbox” is right on the side of the main screening facility, for Chrissake. Now the festival will have to redesign and re-mount new building logos that say just “TIFF Lightbox” without the Bell.

The following passage from Benzie’s story is probably key: “Sources say Bell, which earlier this month announced that second-quarter earnings plunged about 40 per cent from one year ago, is scrambling to find savings and sponsorships are low-hanging fruit.”

Do I hear the word “gulp”?