Live concerts could return to venues such as Blue Frog Studios in White Rock by year’s end - provided immunizations make a diference and COVID variants are held in check - according to a recent round table including provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry and reprsentatives of performing arts groups. (Submitted photo)

Live concerts could return to venues such as Blue Frog Studios in White Rock by year’s end - provided immunizations make a diference and COVID variants are held in check - according to a recent round table including provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry and reprsentatives of performing arts groups. (Submitted photo)

B.C. performing arts groups could see gradual return of live events

Round table between Dr. Bonnie Henry and arts groups gives rise to cautious optimism

Performing arts groups throughout B.C. may be able to hold limited-audience events — including plays and live concerts — as soon as May or June, with a possibility of a greater return to normality by the fall and winter.

That was the take-away from a March 30 round table meeting between representatives of some 35 B.C. arts groups, tourism, arts, culture and sports minister Melanie Mark and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, according to Brenda Leadlay, executive director of the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture.

In her April report — issued to members and supporters of the alliance on March 31 — Leadley said there was some reason for cautious optimism from Henry’s remarks during the round table about a return of live events as COVID-19 cases subside.

She warned, however, that “none of this is written in stone, and depends on vaccinations, their efficacy and the continued rise of variants that may change everything.”

READ ALSO: White Rock Players present first live production during pandemic

READ ALSO: Theatre BC cancels festivals in response to COVID-19

In her summary of the conversation, Leadlay said Henry was optimistic that the current phase of restrictions — coupled with the current pace of immunization — might make enough of a difference to permit a gradual reopening of performing arts venues.

This might include a gradual allowance for gatherings of up to 50 people by May or June, plus possible gatherings this summer for seated outdoor events.

A return to normal gatherings indoors could happen progressively during the fall, Leadlay added, with larger venues possibly returning to full capacity by the end of the year.

But presenting international touring acts would probably be the last category of performing arts to return to B.C., she said.

Leadlay said that while Henry had assured those at the round table that she is a “passionate supporter of the arts,” it’s evident her priority continues to be the threat of the COVID-19 virus.

She said that Bob D’Eith, caucus chair and parliamentary secretary for arts and film in the ministry, will continue to meet with the performing arts sector, while Brian Jonker of the BC Arts Council, and a consortium group of performing arts venues and arts service organizations who have been advocating collectively since the pandemic began, will continue to lobby the PHO to voice the needs of the sector.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

British ColumbiaCoronavirusLive musicLive theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: Town of Smithers lifts alert for high levels of chlorine in water

Residents are advised town water is now safe to use

Garry Merkel has been recognized for his work in culturally appropriate Indigenous education with an honourary doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Tahltan educator recognized with honorary doctorate from UBC

Garry Merkel has dedicated his life to improving Indigenous educational outcomes

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 more COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Shannon Zirnhelt, from left, her son Lockie, 3, Julia Zirnhelt, 13, and Ella Krus, 13, co-founders of Third Planet Crusade are featured in a music video set to air on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: B.C.-made music video launched in time for Earth Day 2021

Singer songwriter Shannon Zirnhelt worked with Third Planet Crusade on the project in the Cariboo

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
B.C. red dresses symbolizing missing, murdered Indigenous women vandalized a 2nd time

Nelson’s REDress Project was vandalized along with an outdoor installation on Vancouver Island

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to bring back normal life by fall: report

Only 51% of the population will be protected under B.C.’s current rollout, SFU professors say more vaccinations are needed to achieve herd immunity

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Most Read