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

Overview of Canada’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Legislation

Performing arts centres and venues need to adopt a flexible, phased planning approach that reflects the current public health situation in different parts of the country. Those plans should be informed by resources from all levels of government, particularly by the re-opening plans of their provincial governments and public health authorities.

Recognizing that health and safety information and directives are issued at every level of government, we have gathered the following links to assist in your planning.

Government of Canada

COVID-19 Legislation
The Department of Justice website provides an up-to-date summary of federal legislation, charter statements, orders and regulations, and draft legislative proposals related to COVID-19. 

Government roles and responsibilities
The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Public Health Network Council (PHNC) website outlines the roles and responsibilities of federal, provincial and territorial governments in a public health event, such as COVID-19.

Overview of the federal COVID-19 update
The Government of Canada website provides an overall update of the pandemic.

Economic Support
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides information on the federal government’s support of Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) leads the coordination of public health emergencies in Canada. As a federal agency, they liaise domestically and internationally (with the World Health Organization, among others) to coordinate Canada’s response. 

The PHAC website contains many useful tools and resources, as well as updates on the current situation, financial and economic support, health assessments, travel and immigration, safety and security, and on the number of COVID-19 cases in Canada.

Risk assessment tool for workplaces and businesses
This risk assessment tool assists workplaces and businesses in considering risks to employees, customers and clients during the pandemic, and provides examples of measures that may be implemented to mitigate potential risks.

Apps and interactive tools
The federal government also lists COVID-19 apps and interactive tools to help you stay informed.

Provincial governments

In Canada, provincial governments are responsible for delivering health care. While they work closely with the federal government, provinces have developed their own unique re-opening plans with a phased approach based on evolving health guidelines specific to their region. For that reason, performing arts centres and venues must ensure that their re-opening plans align with those of their provincial governments.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has provided links to all provincial government websites for COVID-19, as well as provincial and territorial re-opening plans.

Municipal governments

Major cities and regions also have public health authorities that provide advice and guidance at a local level. In many cases, performing arts centres and venues will need to validate their re-opening plans with these local public health authorities. Please consult the websites of your municipality for this information.

Environmental considerations

It is important to maintain the best environmental practices when developing a re-opening strategy. 

Many venues will be employing various alcohol-based sanitizers and chemical cleaners to ensure a safe space for our audiences. It is important to keep in mind the proper usage and storage of these cleaners, as well as being mindful of people who may have sensitivities to perfumes and the chemicals themselves. The audience should be aware of what cleaners are used so that they can best prepare themselves and take their personal comfort into consideration when deciding to attend a performance once venues are operating again. 

Proper waste disposal is another consideration when developing re-opening plans, as many sanitization products and equipment are designed to be one-use. Some products can be recycled and it’s important to do so when possible. In this time, a single-use product that is properly disposed of is more environmentally responsible than using a reusable product that must be constantly washed or sanitized. Please use products that are made of recycled materials or are biodegradables.  

Audience and staff safety is the priority when considering re-opening venues and the nature of the pandemic has not been environmentally-centered, but keeping mindful of the impact and how to best reduce the harmful effects is important to sustain our environment during and after the pandemic.