COVID-19 shuts down the arts

Kamloops arts venues shut down and the KCA referendum vote is cancelled

With the government laying down new regulations every day due to the virus, many artist venues such as theatres, art galleries and other spaces have been closed. The artists in Kamloops are experiencing huge losses in these areas, not just financially but emotionally.

According to a press release from Western Canada Theatre on March 16, the company has postponed two upcoming shows that would have been produced in the next coming months: Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen and The Boy in the Moon. They also cancelled their show Café Daughter which was running at the Pavillion Theatre until this point. This is due to the prohibiting of gatherings over 50 people in BC.

In this press release and on their social media channels, the theatre company updated its audience, asking for the community’s support during this time.

As a not-for-profit, the charitable theatre we ask for the community’s support as we work through this challenging situation.” The company also added that they are asking its ticket-buyers to either “donate the value of a ticket back to the theatre for a charitable tax-receipt [or] convert a ticket to account credit, to be applied to a future performance at WCT.” It is also added that people are welcome to ask for a refund if these two options are not viable by contacting the Kamloops Live! Box Office.

The Kamloops Art Gallery is also one of the art venues to close due to the virus. On March 16, the gallery stated on their website that they will be closed until further notice, and also on their social media pages.

“Exhibitions will be temporarily closed and all programs and events will be postponed until further notice. We will continue to share updates as the situation changes.” The KAG also notes that although the risk of COVID-19 remains low, they acknowledge the importance of slowing the potential threat of the virus.

The Kamloops Arts Council is also closed due to the threat of the virus. According to their website, Executive Director, Terri Hadwin put out a notice saying “The Kamloops Arts Council is closed amidst the current closure of City buildings and in the current virus threat.” The posting also says “we will be monitoring the situation closely in the coming days and weeks, and will be following up with our members when we have more information.” 

This was announced on their website and social media pages on March 17. The Kamloops Arts Council also encourages anyone with any questions or concerns to get in contact with them by emailing Hadwin at info@kamloopsarts.ca.

And the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Referendum has been postponed. According to the Kamloops Centre for the Arts page on LetsTalk.Kamloops.ca, The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced that “the referendum (assent vote) for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts (KCA) has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” This media release was announced on March 18 at all of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts social media pages and websites. 

According to the media release, “a new referendum date will be determined once a designated medical health officer advises the City under the Public Health Act that the Covid-19 pandemic no longer poses a threat to public health.”

There are many more businesses and events regarding the arts other than these four closures and cancellations that have been affected during the outbreak of COVID-19.