The Firehall Arts Centre has announced that it will continue live performances in light of new provincial restrictions to ongoing restart activities announced on November 7 amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The November 10 bulletin on its website said the cultural venue—located in a 116-year-old firehall on East Cordova Street in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside—will verify with both staff and patrons that they are not experiencing any symptoms of illness prior to a performance. Contact-tracing information will also be required.
In a note a few days earlier, in a release and on its Facebook page, the Firehall detailed a new "compassionate" ticket-pricing structure for all shows in light of the pandemic's effect on personal budgets.
It announced that ticket prices will now range from $15 to $35; the venue already had a "pay what you will" policy for Wednesday matinees.
In the release, Firehall artistic producer Donna Spencer said that those patrons who are doing well financially might want to consider a donation to help subsidize fellow theatregoers who might not be faring as well during the pandemic.
"We know some of our audiences have been impacted economically and emotionally by COVID-19 and we don't want them to miss out on a night at the theatre because ticket prices might be beyond their current budgets, so we have introduced a COVID Compassion Pricing where patrons can select from sliding scale ticket pricing," Spencer said. "And if things are going well for you financially, we kindly ask you to consider paying it forward by making a donation to help subsidize tickets for others."
The Firehall has had a COVID-19 safety plan in effect since July that includes hand-sanitizer stations throughout the facility, barriers between box-office and bar staff and theatregoers, mandatory mask-wearing for all, and increased sanitization of surface areas.
As was in effect during the summer, a maximum of four people who "share a bubble" will be allowed to sit together, with no more than 40 socially distanced patrons allowed in the ventilated theatre during a performance.
The Firehall's latest show, The Amaryllis, opened November 12 and runs until November 22.