Arts community hoping for increased indoor capacity starting July 1
VANCOUVER -- Phase 3 of B.C.’s re-opening plan scheduled to begin July 1 includes the possibility of increased indoor capacity beyond the 50 people that are currently allowed in venues, but it doesn’t offer specifics.
“We have no sense what the capacity is going to be based on yet, and I believe that we won’t find out until June 29,” said Peter Cathie White, the executive director of the Arts Club Theatre.
The company is staging two small shows this summer, “I, Claudia,” starting in late July, and a musical called “Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story” that opens in early August.
“We have planned for them to have a capacity of 50, which we are hoping will become bigger," said Cathie White. “I will say that doing theatre for an audience of 50 people is not a financial sustainable model.”
It’s also not financially sustainable to play at vaccine clinics, but that’s what a trio from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra did on Thursday. They played Bach and Mozart for people waiting in line for their appointments at the Vancouver Convention Centre site.
“Everyone has been so supportive and sweet. It’s just nice to see people,” said violinist Cassandra Bequary.
During the pandemic the VSO has mostly played to virtual audiences.
“The whole symphony is trying to find creative ways to get out there and find small groups that are safe so we will all be doing as many little pop ups as we can this week and this summer,” said Bequary.
The VSO plans to return to full indoor concerts in the fall. If the province does increase venue capacity, the Arts Club will offer more tickets for its two shows.
“Our first production doesn’t start until July 22 so we have a bit of time to prepare, and we are really hopeful the capacity is increased to a more sustainable level,” said Cathie White, but he added, “We are prepared for anything at this stage.”
Bequary says there is one thing everyone can do to accelerate the return of the city’s vibrant arts scene.
“The higher the vaccination rate, the faster we can bring live music back to Vancouver. So the best way to support the arts is to get your vaccine,” she said.