Vancouver Opera redeploys costume shop to make hospital masks

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      Its season on-stage may be cancelled, but Vancouver Opera's costume shop has been busy creating nonsurgical-grade masks for the community.

      Working from home, costumers are using a prototype and constructing the masks out of natural fabrics like cotton or silk.

      Vancouver Opera will be donating non-surgical grade masks to community organizations including the Kettle Society, a residence for people at risk of homelessness that the arts organization has had a long relationship with; it even created an opera with Kettle's choir, called Requiem for a Lost Girl. 

      Vancouver Opera aims to create as many nonsurgical masks as possible. To help support the effort, donations can be made online at . Donations of $25 help provide five masks to those in need, and $100 provides 25 masks.

      “We have been hearing about workers in essential and vulnerable positions who are unable to access masks,” the organization's general director Tom Wright said in the press announcement this week. “Vancouver Opera was eager to find a way to help those with a need. Our goal is to get these into the hands of those who need them as quickly as possible. With the cancellation of our season, our employees began to research ways they could help which include how to build non-surgical grade masks. We found most of the resources needed were already here in our costume shop.”