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

A trailer with fire damage is taped off by the Port Alberni Fire Department at the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Fire knocked down at Wintergreen Apartments trailer

City is concerned about zoning, building code and fire code infractions surrounding the trailers

File photo of Gord Johns during World Oceans Day.
Courtenay-Alberni MP outlines priorities for federal budget

Universal pharmacare, affordable housing and Pacific wild salmon are some of the… Continue reading

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Lukas Jirousek pokes the puck away from Grizzlies forward Henri Schreifels during a game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Career night for Castagna can’t lift Alberni Valley Bulldogs past Victoria

Back-and-forth affair between Bulldogs and Grizzlies ends 7-5 for visiting team

Logging Camp Nine on Great Central Lake overlooks a large forest fire across the lake in this historical photo from May 1943. Camp Nine was bustling, with residences for logging camp staff, a rail line and rail cars visible. This is one of 24,000 photos contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN12220 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Great Central Lake’s sawmill

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Vally Museum

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ goalie Luke Pearson stopped all 22 shots the Cowichan Capitals sent his way to collect a 5–0 shutout in B.C. Hockey League action, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BCHL: Pearson earns shutout in Bulldogs’ win over Cowichan Capitals

Alberni Valley will face Victoria Grizzlies Sunday, April 11 at 3 p.m.

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

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

Most Read