Stage Door News

Toronto: Ontario’s performing arts and live music industries band together for #FairnessForArtsON

Monday, May 31, 2021

A coalition of close to 100 Ontario-based performing arts and live music organizations and associations represented by a steering committee including Canadian Stage Company, The Musical Stage Company, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, and Thousand Islands Playhouse, have today launch a public awareness campaign as part of efforts to appeal to the Ontario government for regulatory fairness in the re-opening process. 

Following a letter that was sent to various members of government and Ministries of Health this past Thursday, the coalition – which also includes the the Canadian Actors Equity Association, the Canadian Federation of Musicians, Canadian Live Music Association, the Canadian Federation of Musicians, and the Ontario Locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees – is today deploying an industry wide public awareness campaign drawing attention to their concerns.

Currently in the proposed re-opening structure, performing arts organizations cannot rehearse or film in performance spaces in Phase 1, effectively keeping live performance sectors in the stay-at-home order until July. Live streams are also prohibited.  Meanwhile, film and television companies have been able to continue their work throughout the current stay-at-home order and other sectors, including non-essential retail, can begin the re-opening process in Phase 1.

The sectors are requesting the following three amendments to the re-opening plan:1) Allow for preparation for re-opening (rehearsals) in Phase 1 so that capacity restricted outdoor performances can begin in Phase 2; 2) Allow for digital content capture in Phase 1; 3) Institute percentage-based capacity limits for live performance venues in Phase 2 & 3.

Throughout Monday all coalition members will be deploying social media and direct email campaigns, with the messaging "The Ontario Government Roadmap to Reopening is a dead-end for the performing arts."

A copy of the letter issued to the government with detail on all demands and a list of all signatories is available HERE.