Six Quebec performing arts groups have signed a message to Premier François Legault asking him to give theatres the green light to reopen. This comes five days ahead of the reopening of cinemas, and following the revelation that the province’s public health department was in favour of reopening theatres back in September (as well as permitting restaurants, cinemas and museums to remain open — instead, they were all closed on Oct. 1).
“Now that it is clear that Public Health is in favour of opening theatres, the curfew should not be a brake on production or artistic distribution,” the statement readers. “The community really needs a clear signal from the government and we implore Mr. Legault to quickly express his intentions regarding the reopening of theatres.”
The message was signed by the National Federation of Communications and Culture (FNCC-CSN), the Union des Artistes (UDA), the Guild of Musicians and Musiciennes of Quebec (GMMQ), the Association of Arts Professionals de la scène du Québec (APASQ), the Quebec Association of Dramatic Authors (AQAD) and the arts, culture and events organization TRACE.
“The public also has a real need to reconnect with the performing arts and to be able to leave their bubble from time to time,” says TRACE co-spokesperson Shérane Figaro. “With the curfew and the ban on indoor gatherings, the population should be encouraged to attend controlled and safe public places such as places of cultural dissemination. It’s good for everyone’s morale!”
Written opinions from Quebec public health, revealed on Friday, suggest that more easing of restrictions following the spring break (March 8) could be announced, which might fare well for performing arts venues. Legault, however, has typically been more strict than recommended by Horacio Arruda & co. when it comes to health and safety measures during the pandemic.
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