Support for a Safe Re-Opening of Canadian Performing Arts Sector

Using a risk-based approach to assess needs in a performing arts environment

In the current context, where the pandemic situation is evolving every day, it is challenging for performing arts organizations to determine how they need to adapt their environment and work processes to address heightened health and safety requirements for employees, artists and audiences.

The risk assessment tools below, developed for a performing arts environment, allow professionals to identify the areas of risk in their institution, determine the potential level of risk, provide suggestions for how to mitigate those risks, and facilitate decision-making around necessary modifications to facilities and/or work practices.

Audit form downloads

  • Blank audit forms 
    Use these forms to do risk assessments of the different locations within your venue. (.xlsx, 150 KB)
  • Sample audit forms 
    Three examples of completed audit forms dealing with out-of-province popular music artists, in-house theatre productions and international dance artists. (.xlsx, 66 KB)
  • Full audit form package
    Includes all blank audit forms for each audit location, as well as examples of completed audits. (.zip, 150 KB)

How to use the audit tools

These tools have been designed to serve as a template for venues to assess their own spaces for risk as the nation begins to reopen from the pandemic shutdown. This audit is to be used as a guide and not a certification of safe re-opening, as every venue is different and some issues may affect some venues more severely than others.

It is important that the users of this audit review the entire document and add/remove items to ensure its efficiency and relevance to their venue. The audit serves as a tool for organizations to identify problem areas in their venues and develop the appropriate remediation for those risks. The tool can also help you to prioritize the risks and estimate the time and associated costs of the course of remediation you choose.

The examples and case studies provided are meant to demonstrate how to assess some risks, but you will need to adapt the tools to suit the particular challenges of your organizations.

Download the blank audit forms to get started. The completed audit form examples show some ways to assess risk and remediation in each area.

Instructions and tips for using the audit forms

  • Please note there are numerous columns that have drop-down menus. These are indicated with an asterisk *.
  • We have tried to cover as many areas as possible, but not all will be pertinent to your venue. 
  • If you are unsure on some areas, such as Ventilation, be sure to check with whomever handles operations for your venue.
  • When considering Cost and Time inputs, be sure to think about changes made to work practices and what effect that will have on costs and schedule.

Audit locations

This is by no means an exhaustive list of locations in a theatre, but a starting point to get you thinking of all the different possible spaces you will need to consider.

  • Stage: Onstage, wings, fly rail, loading dock, orchestra pit, trap room, grid 
  • Backstage: Green Room, dressing rooms, hallways, rehearsal halls 
  • Workshops: Scene, wardrobe, prop and paint shops
  • Front of House: Lobbies, auditoriums, box office, gift shops
  • Administration: Offices and other non-public staff spaces

Audit form definitions 

Areas: Where you identify possible areas of transmission.

Risk: Type of possible transmission risk.

Risk Level: Based on local guidelines, what is considered the risk level of transmission.

Priority: What is most urgently required in order to re-open.

Remediation/Controls: What measures, changes or controls you can institute to remediate the risk.

Cost: The cost level of remediation. Will help in recognizing potential need for outside funding.

Time to Implement: Can this remediation be done quickly or will it require a lengthy process that may delay opening?

Health & Safety Signage: What signage will you require in the particular area?

Maximum number of occupants: After going through the audit process, what is the anticipated maximum number of occupants allowable under local guidelines?

Work Notes: Take note of possible work practices to be implemented in this area. 

Feedback and suggestions

The NAC welcomes feedback and suggestions to the content of this document as this pandemic is constantly changing and this document will evolve to meet the challenges of re-opening safely to the public.