Resources for the art sector

On March 26, 2020, Business/Arts along with Global Public Affairs held a special webinar with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage to learn what measures the government is taking to assist the art sector. Global Public Affairs received an overwhelming response to the webinar and they plan on hosting more in the near future to assist this sector through this unprecedented time.

While the Minister could not answer all of the questions posed, his team provided some resources which may be of help. Theatre BC is sharing these links for your information:

Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

Canadian Heritage’s FAQs :

Canada Council for the Arts’ FAQs:

Tool for risk-assessment of mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Venues that may be willing to offer space to governments and health authorities for testing spaces, clinics, etc. If you are interested in adding your venue, please enter your information directly into the spreadsheet:

Document on various metric categories for COVID19 impacts that arts organizations are documenting.

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Theatre BC Cancels 2020 Regional Festivals & Mainstage Festival

Kamloops, BC – March 22, 2020 – Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Theatre BC regretfully announces the cancellation of our 2020 series of Regional Zone Drama Festivals, and Mainstage Festival. The safety and well-being of our members and patrons is of the utmost importance to Theatre BC.

Theatre BC member clubs would have performed their Festival plays in local runs during April – runs which have also been cancelled. Regional Zone Drama Festivals had been scheduled for May in the Central Interior, Fraser Valley, North Island, North Shore, Okanagan, and Peace River Zones. Had the Zone Festivals gone ahead, “Best Play” winners from each would have moved forward to the annual Mainstage Festival of plays and workshops, originally set to take place in Port Alberni this July.

“It’s an extremely disappointing situation for us and our member clubs,” said Theatre BC President Doug Perri. “We want to make sure our members, volunteers and audiences stay healthy and safe. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we want to do our part to help protect everyone. We strongly request that everyone follows the advice and guidelines set out by BC Health and Health Canada.”

Theatre BC will support its member clubs as best as possible through this difficult time. Working together to help bring this outbreak to a close sooner rather than later, we are optimistic that our members can follow their community theatre passions again to unite and entertain us.

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Theatre BC Update on 2020 Festivals & Mainstage coming on March 22 . . .

Regarding COVID-19, the Theatre BC Executive Committee met on March 14 and continues to advise members and clubs to follow BC Health and other local, provincial and federal health authority guidelines. We anticipate there will be more updates throughout the week from those authorities. TBC Board members are in the process of contacting their Zone’s member clubs for input on the situation. The full Theatre BC board will meet on March 22 to determine what will happen with 2020 Zone Festivals and Mainstage, and we will post an update here as soon as we can.

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Update Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Theatre BC has been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The health and safety of our members, audiences and the community at large is our top priority.

At this time, we are reviewing all events and venues that have been planned for Theatre BC activities. We will provide an update as to our 2020 Zone Festivals and 2020 Mainstage Festival as soon as we can.

Both the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada state the public health risk associated with COVID-19 for Canada is low.

We will continue to follow the guidance of local, provincial, and federal health authorities.

We will monitor this situation closely and provide updates with any changes.

The latest updates will be posted to our website and social media channels.

We encourage everyone to seek out information on how to protect themselves and the community at large by visiting the following sites:

Island Health –

BC Centre for Disease Control —

Public Health Agency of Canada —

World Health Organization —

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COVID-19 Survey by GVPTA

The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA) recognizes that COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds, and invites the Theatre BC community to share information and resources. Their aim is to:

  • Share with funders the impact the outbreak has had on B.C.-based producing and presenting theatre companies;
  • In response to requests from the community, compile and share policies and action plans related to the outbreak as used by Metro Vancouver and B.C. theatre companies;
  • Provide links to resource materials on their website to help guide the decision-making of arts organizations.

Please take a few minutes to fill out a short survey based on the information you have today by clicking on the link below.

Link to GVPTA Survey.

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