Ontario performing arts and music groups seek public’s help in getting re-opening ‘fairness’ from province

By J Kelly Nestruck,

“Organizations and artists involved say they are not seeking special allowances, only to be treated in the same manner as other industries in Ontario’s plan: for actors and dancers to be permitted to rehearse as athletes are allowed to practise; for musicians be permitted to livestream from venues as television awards shows can broadcast from studios; and to have clear plans for distance-based capacity limits, outdoors and indoors, on performing arts venues as meeting spaces and retail stores already have.

When it was announced on May 20, Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening surprised those in the business of live performance by instead seemingly prohibiting all activities at their venues in step one – including rehearsal and recording – and not providing sufficient information to prepare to reopen outdoors or indoors in the followings steps.

One of the most immediately pressing issues is that a number Ontario theatre companies have invested, collectively, millions of dollar into the construction of brand-new, custom outdoor venues that keep audience members two metres apart in order to perform this summer… This was all done under the guidance of the province’s previous colour-coded framework, but it is now unclear whether what was allowed before vaccines came along will be permitted in the reopening.”

Source: The Globe and Mail