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


In the days after the World Health Organization’s announcement on March 11, 2020 that COVID-19 virus had become a pandemic, performing arts centres and venues in Canada closed their doors to help contain the spread.

In response to these extraordinary circumstances, and to help lead the Canadian performing arts sector toward recovery, the National Arts Centre developed a series of tools for the re-opening of performing arts centres and venues. These tools were developed in collaboration with leaders from more than 40 performing arts organizations from across the country. We thank them for their expertise and perspectives, which have helped shape this project.

Revised October 13, 2021

Supporting a safe re-opening

This information is intended as a resource only and is not intended to replace the advice of legal counsel or health and safety experts as it pertains to each employer’s individual circumstances.  Consulting governmental and public health directives and guidelines is critically important to ensure that re-opening plans of performing arts centres and venues meet the mandatory requirements. 

The NAC Guide to Support the Re-Opening of Canadian Performing Arts Centres and Venues is designed to help the Canadian performing arts industry recover and thrive in the age of COVID-19.

Using a risk-based approach, these tools and best practices aim to help performing arts venues prepare for every aspect of putting on a show, from contract negotiation to rehearsal to performance, and everything in between. 

The resources are focused around three key actions:

Auditing: Using a risk-based approach to assess needs in a performing arts environment, which is focused on helping identify and address health and safety risks in performing arts spaces;

Communicating: Ensuring compliance through ongoing engagement, aimed at supporting venues in communicating with their key stakeholders; and

Adapting: Fostering resilience through adaptation, which provides venues with some case study scenarios for how this risk-based approach can be applied to three different types of performances.

Thank you!

We would like to thank the following companies for taking the time to consult with us in our creation of these guidelines:

Agora de la danse
Arts and Culture Centres
Arts Club Theatre
Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity
Calgary Philharmonic
Canadian Live Music Association
Canadian Opera Company
Canadian Stage
Centaur Theatre
Charlottetown Festival
Citadel Theatre
Grand Theatre (London)
Great Canadian Theatre Company
Jubilee Auditoriums
La Nouvelle Scene
La Troupe du Jour
Le Diamant
Maison de la Culture
Manitoba Centennial Centre
Massey Hall & Roy Thompson Hall
Memorial University / Grenfell Campus
National Ballet of Canada
Place des Arts
Project X
Royal Conservatory
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Segal Centre
Shaw Festival
Shenkman Arts Centre
Stratford Festival
Symphony Nova Scotia
Tarragon Theatre
The Cultch
The Globe Theatre
Theatre Aquarius
Theatre Calgary
Théâtre Cercle Molière
Théâtre La Bordée
Theatre New Brunswick
Theatre Rideau Vert
TO Live
Vancouver Opera
Vancouver Symphony
Western Canada Theatre
Yukon Arts Centre