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

Hailey
Artist launches new business with help of 7S educator

Former school first client for Mystic Design owner Hailey Revolone, a Seven Summits alumna

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Tala MacDonald, a 17-year-old student at Mount Sentinel Secondary who is also a volunteer firefighter, has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
West Kootenay student wins $100K scholarship

Tala MacDonald is one of 30 Canadians to receive the Loran Scholarship

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
June Hills of Trail won a big jackpot of $5,083 playing Bingo on Friday night with the @RotaryCommunityOnlineBingo on Facebook. Photo: Submitted
Trail player wins big jackpot in Rotary Community Online Bingo

Cards for regular games go on sale every Sunday

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Grade 2 and 3 classes from a North Okanagan elementary took over Letters page of this Black Press newspaper

Most Read