The Performing Arts Centre is going ahead with the remaining season’s shows despite COVID-19 concerns. (Morning Star file photo)

UPDATE: Jane Goodall, and possibly more Okanagan visits, cancelled due to COVID-19

Vernon Performing Arts Centre revisiting its earlier decision to continue with upcoming concerts and events

UPDATE, FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 9 a.m.:

Numerous local shows and events are being cancelled or postponed due to health concerns.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society is re-examining its earlier decision to continue with upcoming shows despite COVID-19.

In light of the latest announcement from the BC Health Administer to postpone all shows with 250 people or more, the VPAC is taking a second look at which performances will be postponed.

The following shows are postponed:

– Big Little Lions, scheduled March 14&15

– Dino-Light, March 22

– Irish Mythen, March 24

– Jane Goodall, March 24, postponed to Sept. 28.

“Dr. Jane Goodall remains in good health at her home in the United Kingdom and expects to resume her global outreach when the risks associated with the disease have abated,” states the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. “In the interim, Dr. Goodall will continue her work, albeit remotely, as a global advocate for the health of the planet.”

Tickets to An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall remain valid for Sept. 28, 2020. Guests are encouraged to contact the Ticket Seller Box Office directly for information and instructions on handling tickets and processing reimbursement if this rescheduled date does not suit your availability.

The North Okanagan Neurological Association also cancelled its March 13 Talent Show.

A couple of other more intimate events have also cancelled: the March 21 Coldstream Coffee House Live Music and the March 27 Paddlewheel Coffee House.

“Lots of older/senior people come out so we want to take all precautions,” said organizer Carolyn Anele Dickson.

READ MORE: Coronavirus halts Vernon Talent Show

READ MORE: ‘We are in this together,’ Vernon mayor says amid coronavirus concerns

……………………………………….

ORIGINAL, MARCH 12:

The show must go on.

The Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society confirms that currently, all public Spotlight presentations and visiting touring concerts, performances and events as listed are proceeding as scheduled. The centre started receiving calls Thursday, March 5 to see if the shows were still taking place.

“These have been well-attended and without any concerns directly expressed by patrons to front-of-house staff or our ticket agents until today, when we began to receive calls as a result of all the news coverage and whether shows have been cancelled,” said the Society’s executive director Jim Harding, “so we felt it was appropriate to issue a public statement that public performances will continue as scheduled.”

At this point, Harding says any cancellations that may occur over the coming weeks and days would be at the discretion of the artists out of their own concern for COVID-19. Any ticketing policies and re-bookings would be negotiated between the Performing Arts Centre and artists’ representatives. Show by show updates, if applicable, would be posted to the Ticketseller.ca website.

“The safety and enjoyment of live performances by our patrons, artists, sponsors, staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us,” said Harding. “As such, we are closely monitoring developments around COVID-19 and following the Public Health Agency of Canada and HealthLink BC for recommendations, advisories and direction. We are also in close contact with the BC Touring Council and managers for artists touring B.C. and under contract.”

The Performing Arts Centre has successfully continued with the Society’s own Spotlight season presentations, school shows and visiting tour performances since the onset of COVID-19.

“We are also pro-actively assuring scheduled tour managers of our current situation and extra measures we have already implemented,” said Harding. “All publicly accessible, backstage and ‘staff only’ areas, all door handles, handrails, washrooms, countertops, hydraulic lift, balcony bannisters and all seating armrests – which all get cleaned thoroughly normally – are all receiving extra disinfecting. We have also added hand-sanitizers for patrons when they enter the main foyer.”

The Society is nearing completion of its second season under its re-branded Spotlight presentations with the cabaret-style OnSTAGE Concert Series this weekend (March 14 & 15) featuring Juno Award-winning Big Little Lions; America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Lightwire Theatre’s Kid Series performance of Dino-Light (March 22); the final Theatre Series production of Birthday Present for Myself (April 1); and the near-sellout performance of Afrique En Cirque by Montreal’s Kalabante Productions to close the Spotlight season on April 22. Details of visiting concerts tours and special events can be found on Ticketseller.ca.

“We sincerely appreciate the continued trust and support of the community for the Performing Arts Centre,” said Harding, “and we look forward to continue welcoming audiences to the theatre.”

READ MORE: Big Little Lions take Vernon spotlight

READ MORE: COVID-19 concerns cancels Vernon’s ski nationals


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