Chronicle of a Pandemic

Chronicle of a Pandemic

On the Path to Recovery: Are Mandatory Vaccines for Audiences in the Mix?

As the performing arts sector opens its doors and welcomes back audience members, performing arts presenters are eager to determine how they can keep patrons safe, but creating safety protocols proves to be a logistical nightmare. One such protocol has been hotly debated – mandatory proof of vaccina...Read More

View of the physically-distanced seating plan from the stage. Most seats are marked "reserved" leaving a few safely distanced bubbles.

A major boost for festivals in the 2021 federal budget

The 2021 federal budget provides funding for festivals and for music venues. But questions remain about the level of support for the rest of the live performance sector.

A blurred image saying "Sensitive Content"

A close-up shot of the live performance domain – May not be suitable for sensitive viewers

New quarterly indicators released today by Statistics Canada provide an accurate measure of the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the live performance domain.

Slide from the ARTS survey describing the percentages of time spent consuming content/events in-person and online during and post-pandemic. Key data points are highlighted in the caption.

Online performances remain a valuable alternative for many cultural consumers

More and more cultural consumers have watched and paid for online performances. For these consumers, "free" is a poor value proposition.

Socially-distanced audience members wearing masks and talking while awaiting the start of the performance.

Government regulations and uncertainty about demand remain large obstacles for arts organizations

Government regulations were the top obstacle reported by arts, entertainment and recreation organizations, followed by demand-related concerns.

Silhouette of a woman's face

Untold Stories: COVID-19 and Artist Agents

“I don’t want to sugarcoat the truth; my business is very challenged at the moment.” This is what Tara Bailey, an agent dedicated to youth and family programming and owner of the Bailiwick Booking Agency, said in response to my question regarding her agency’s current situation during the pande...Read More

A sad person backstage, looking down.

2020: The Year One in Four Arts Worker Lost Their Job

The COVID pandemic took a particularly heavy toll on the arts sector in 2020. One in four arts, entertainment and recreation workers lost their job in 2020, compared to 2019. That’s 114,400 artists, technicians, marketing staff, arts administrators and other cultural workers who could no longer earn...Read More

Photo of three technicians looking at the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre lit up in red lights

We Are All In This Together

“We all did a show, all together, from coast to coast in Canada. Now THAT is a first!” - Morgan Myler, co-founder, Live Event Community

Ghost light at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

Rebuilding Upon More Sustainable and Equitable Foundations

How can the live performance sector recover from the COVID crisis and at the same time foster innovation, resilience, sustainability and equity? It seems like a pretty big order for a sector that was decimated by months of restrictions on live events.

Online cultural offerings satisfy audiences’ cravings… for now

A lot of people enjoyed live-streamed performances since the beginning of the COVID crisis. But they may not continue when venues reopen.

Artists and cultural workers still among most impacted by the COVID outbreak

Employment in the information, culture and recreation industry was 83.1% of its pre-COVID level, the second-lowest proportion across all industries.

Cultural workers gathered in Montreal hold a colourful banner requesting an extension of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

Arts sector in dire need for extended emergency support

The COVID-19 ASO Response Group submitted a joint letter to government officials outlining the dire impacts of the pandemic on our sector and advocating for continued supports for arts and culture.

This chart shows a steep and profound decline for Information, culture and recreation, while the rest of the labour force is seeing a smaller decline and then a rebound.

Employment rebounds, but culture workers aren’t seeing signs of recovery just yet

Between February and May 2020, 192,300 workers in information, culture and recreation industries lost their job. Employment declined from 778,700 to 586,400: a 24.7% drop.

Crowded lobby with patrons coming in and out of the theatre.

What will make audiences feel safe to return to live performances?

Consumer surveys provide valuable information about audiences' attitudes towards various safety precautions.

CAPACOA Agent Retreat 2019

Agents and Managers Industry Survey of the Effects of Covid-19 in Canada

An immediate survey of Agents and Managers recognized by the industry was conducted by the COVID-19 Crisis Committee in conjunction with NAPAMA Canada and CAPACOA to measure the effects and impacts of these cancellations. The sector has seen drastic short-term impacts, and longterm repercussions ...Read More

Infographic: The level of concern of entertainment consumers is high. It will take a minimum of 4 months before reaching a level of comfort.

The long wait for audiences

The entire live performance sector wonders: “When we’re allowed to reopen, will audiences come back?” Consumer surveys north and south of the border provide many nuanced, and very useful, answers.

Main entrance of Showplace Performance Centre, in full daylight.

Arts and entertainment among the most impacted by the COVID-19

According to Statistics Canada, businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector are the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, along with accommodation and food. 

Empty theatre with a blue light wash over the stage area.

Municipal and other publicly-owned presenters: connectors of touring circuits

Municipal, university and other publicly-owned presenting organizations are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Yet, they represent a significant segment within the live performance ecosystem.

Postponements and cancellations: both are a loss and have adverse effects

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak – and the bans on gatherings – many performing arts presenters have chosen to postpone performances rather than cancelling them outright. If postponements may appear to be the lesser of two evils, they have disadvantages as well.

Presenters' revenues by source: Earned, 53%

Performing Arts Presenters and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy offers assistance to organizations who saw a 30% drop in revenues because of the pandemic. The program will be a huge relief for some presenting organizations, but others are feeling left out.