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

courts
Penticton man guilty of assaulting young boys

Bryan Lamb was found guilty of two counts of assault

A 3 a.m. RV fire on Keremeos’ Main Street gave neighbours and early morning wake-up call. (Contributed)
RV engulfed in flames spreads to neighbouring camper in Keremeos

The occoupant of the RV was not home during the early morning fire

letter
LETTER: Do we want alcohol in all aspects of our lives?

Ask Pathways how that is working out for people, says letter writer

A controlled burn got underway at Crater Mountain on Sunday, with smoke seen in Keremeos and Hedley. (Submitted)
A controlled burn got underway at Crater Mountain on Sunday, with smoke seen in Keremeos and Hedley. (Submitted)
Smoke and fire visible from Highway 3 is a prescribed burn

The controlled burn on Crater Mountain is to help bighorn sheep habitat

The City of Penticton’s temporary permit expired at Victory Church. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton city staff recommend legal action against B.C. over shelter

City staff recommending to ask the Premier to intervene and to pursue legal action

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Large police presence at Kamloops mall following alleged armed robbery

Police were called to a business near the mall about 12:45 p.m.

Size two avalanche on a cliff at Big White (Photo: Facebook/Big White Ski Resort)
‘Dangerous’ avalanche hits Big White Mountain

‘That’s a big avalanche — you don’t mess around with that’

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

(File photo)
Car runs light, hits van which smashes into Kamloops police car

The van then caught fire which was extinguished by a Kamloops Mountie

Most Read