On Friday, Ontario’s chief medical officer David Williams recommended large events and public gatherings of over 250 be suspended and said Ontarians should practice social distancing to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Organizers of small events are being directed to consult with local public health officials.
Théâtre français de Toronto
The French-language theatre company is not planning any cancellations for the time being. The company’s productions are currently being staged in the Berkeley Street Theatre, Streetcar Crowsnest and the Spadina Theatre of the Alliance française de Toronto. Crews in each respective theatre are disinfecting surfaces daily and making hand sanitizers available on site.
Ticket holders will not be issued refunds, but TfT will offer ticket exchanges or turn the cost of your ticket into a donation. Check the TfT website for updates.
The east end rep cinema is remaining open with a limited capacity – down to 100 people – and extra cleaning measures in place. Audience members are asked to sit three seats apart.
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
The Hot Docs Film Festival is being postponed, but its homebase at Bloor and Bathurst is remaining open. Attendance will capped to 250 people (30 per cent of overall capacity) and additional hand-sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes will be accessible.
Additionally, the cinema is increasing its cleaning schedule, disinfecting common areas and surfaces and providing staff with additional health and safety training. Read more here.
Capacity at the College Street cinema’s capacity is being limited to 200 and janitorial staff are increasing the scope of regular cleaning. Regular Royal Cinema programming will continue, but some third-party events may be postponed.
The west end rep cinema is remaining open, but will limit attendance by 50 per cent of the theatre’s capacity. Cleaning has been increased and refunds will be honoured.
The country’s largest movie theatre chain is remaining open but has implemented additional measures to ensure patron safety:
- Enhanced cleaning protocols with a focus on high-traffic and high-contact areas.
- Increasing communications and reminders with guests, partners and employees on important health and safety measures
The company is also putting employment policies in place to ensure hourly staff are not penalized for staying home. Read president and CEO Ellis Jacob’s full statement here.
The waterfront arts centre is keeping performance and exhibition spaces, offices, parking facilities and other public spaces open “with increased signage and sanitation, both for customers and for all of high-traffic and communal areas.” The organization is reviewing and assessing Toronto International Festival of Authors events, which will proceed on a case-by-case basis. Check festivalofauthors.ca for up-to-date info.
The Gladstone Hotel
The Gladstone Hotel is not cancelling any planned events, including Grow Op, the hotel’s annual art show of weather-based and climate-themed installations running March 12-15. The 20-plus works of art featured in the show “respond to landscape, species and habitat through installation, sculpture, performance and digital media,” according to the hotel.
The city’s biggest theatre producer is keeping doors open this weekend. “Like everyone, we are closely monitoring the reports of COVID-19. We take our lead from Toronto Public Health (TPH), who are in constant consultation with their federal and provincial counterparts,” the company said in a statement. “At this time TPH has stated there is no evidence of community spread in Toronto.”
Patrons that want exchanges, refunds are credit must fill out a form. If your performance takes in the next 48 hours, call the Ticketking at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333.
Indie theatre and comedy
Smaller theatres like Crow’s, the Tarragon and Theatre Passe Muraille are continuing to present their shows, which include, respectively, Necessary Angel‘s production of The Events (closing March 15), the remount of the Dora Award-winning play The Runner (runs until March 29) and The Negroes Are Congregating (closing March 14). ARC‘s excellent production of Oil continues at Geary Lane (360 Lane) until March 21. And the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival continues at Crow’s, the Theatre Centre and Comedy Bar through March 15.
TIFF Bell Lightbox
The cinema is implementing a social distancing policy beginning March 13 to curb the spread of COVID-19. For a minimum of four weeks, the theatre will create a recommended six-foot distance between patrons – the equivalent of three seats – between occupied seats. The seating arrangement means there will be less tickets available to films and talks. The Lighbox is also closing its smallest theatre, Cinema 5. Screenings will be moved to larger cinemas.
“Throughout this time we will continue to monitor developments and adjust our policies and practices as needed,” the company said in a statement. The cinema is also upping cleaning measures and asking patrons experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms to stay home.
The recently reopened Bloor West cinema and events space is staying open. The theatre is sanitizing surfaces regularly and making Purell pumps available. Read more here.
Toronto Media Arts Centre
The Queen West multi-purpose arts hub is staying open, though gallery programming, events, tours, meetings, workshops, receptions and any other gatherings of 10 people or more have been cancelled. Full details via the TMAC website.
Watch this space for updates.