The show must go on: how smaller Vancouver arts groups are keeping theatres open during the COVID-19 crisis

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      Amid announcements from everyone from the Vancouver Recital Society to the Growing Room Festival about events being cancelled this month, several of the city's smaller venues are taking action to stage shows.

      Yesterday, B.C. health officials banned gatherings of over 250 people, which held big repercussions for larger venues.

      However, smaller theatres have come up with plans to keep their productions on track. Here are just a few of the shows that are still going on, with statements from the companies keeping the doors open:

      THE FIREHALL ARTS CENTRE (Trans Scripts Part I: The Women runs from March 13 to 21)

      As a live performance theatre, the Firehall Arts Centre undertakes its productions and presentations for our audiences and we are very dependent on your support at our events.  We are, also, very aware of your concerns with regard to COVID-19 and its potential to be spread in public gatherings.  We are working to keep our venue as safe as possible through sanitizing our stair rails, counters, and other public areas. We encourage you, also, to protect yourself when attending a performance by using hand sanitizer, washing your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds and covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing. We want to thank you for your consideration of others and we appreciate your ongoing patronage greatly.


      VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE (Laugh Til Your Face Hurts Friday and Saturday, Shamrocks and Shenanigans March 17, and more)

      While we are currently currently proceeding with all performances as scheduled, we are closely monitoring all developments related to COVID-19, and instituting additional measures focused on the health and safety of our audiences, staff and performers. This includes diligently increasing sanitation measures throughout our space, as well as access to sanitation for performance attendees.
      If you are attending a performance at The Improv Centre, we encourage you to help protect yourself and others by using hand sanitizer, covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing, and washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
      We are continuing to stay updated via the Public Health Agency of Canada and HealthLink BC, following their recommendations and guidance.
      If there are any changes to our regular programming, we will notify ticketholders and the public via email, social media and our website.
      If you’re not feeling well, we do recommend you staying home. If you would like to exchange your ticket due to illness, please contact our Box Office at 604.738.7013
      STUDIO 58 (Four Play, March 25 t o April 5)

      Langara College is working closely with the BC Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the Centre for Disease Control for guidance on COVID-19. As the risk is deemed low, currently all College activities are proceeding as scheduled, including Studio 58’s production of FourPlay. Gatherings of 250 people and over will be cancelled, but our theatre has a maximum capacity of 105.

      The health of our patrons and students is of the utmost importance and the College has taken precautions including extra deep cleaning, sanitation stations, and encouraging students and employees to stay home if unwell. Our website and social media channels will be updated with any changes. You can also read updates on the College's website.

      ALLEY THEATRE/TOUCHSTONE THEATRE (Inheritance, to March 15 at the Annex )

      In response to COVID-19 protocols, all performances of Inheritance: a pick-the-path experience  will continue, as planned, since our capacity at the Annex is 140 seats and well below the threshold for cancelled gatherings in BC, as stated by the Provincial health officer.

      In addition, Touchstone Theatre, Alley Theatre and Vancouver Civic Theatres are following all measures mandated by BC Health.

      The Annex has also put a number of measures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all patrons and staff, which you can read about in the statement below.

      Statement from Vancouver Civic Theatres:
      "As we monitor the global impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Vancouver Civic Theatres remains committed to the safety and well-being of our patrons, staff, and performing arts community. As such, the City of Vancouver, including Vancouver Civic Theatres, will continue to follow the instructions of Vancouver Coastal Health and our provincial and federal health authorities.

      At this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 in Vancouver is considered low. Vancouver Civic Theatres will continue to welcome patrons and performers to performances at our venues. We have, however, implemented additional precautionary measures to ensure that the health and safety of everyone attending and working at VCT is our highest priority.

      Our VCT facilities team has increased the number of stations for sanitizing gel and is taking elevated cleaning and sanitizing measures throughout our buildings. We have also distributed signage asking patrons, staff, and performers practice good hygiene - washing hands, covering coughs, staying home when unwell."


      At this time, The Dance Centre and Scotiabank Dance Centre remain open and we will continue presenting scheduled events for the foreseeable future. We have implemented additional cleaning and disinfection measures across all areas of our building, reviewed our procedures, and installed extra hand sanitizers in high-traffic areas. However, we ask that you stay away if you feel sick; if you have recently visited any of the countries that are listed as travel unsafe (such as China, South Korea, Italy, Iran); or if you have been in contact with anyone who has recently travelled to any of these countries. We are watching closely for further developments and updated public health mandates, and will keep you informed of any changes to our programs through email, our website, and our social media channels. 

      THE CULTCH: (Mine, March 18 to 22)

      Currently, all Cultch performances and events are proceeding as scheduled. As a not-for-profit live performance venue, we rely on the ongoing attendance and support of faithful patrons and donors like you. We want you to know that The Cultch is looking out for you by putting the following measures in place to protect your health and your purchase. We are implementing extra disinfecting and sanitation measures throughout our spaces. If you cannot attend your performance for any reason, we will happily change your ticket to a future date or performance with no charge or give you an account credit. Please email or call 604-251-1363.