The Legault government will inject 50 million to help performance venues in Quebec withstand the blow of the closures announced this week. The aid, which follows a strong protest from the cultural community, will be offered in the form of compensation for unsold tickets.
“The idea is not to say that ‘the cinemas did not try hard enough, we are going to close them down to punish them’. But the idea is to limit social contact, “reiterated the Prime Minister at a press conference in Montreal.
“It breaks my heart to be forced to make the decision to close the theaters and theaters, but we have no choice. We have to reduce social contact, it’s a matter of life and death, “he repeated.
Speaking of a “really critical situation” in Quebec, he also promised other restrictions to be announced on Monday “to take stock of schools, sports. Nothing is going to be spared. Do not wait for measurements, eliminate contacts within two meters. “
The message launched by the government “is relatively easy to follow”, he summed up: “Stay in your family bubble. And if you are going to play outside, stay two meters away from other people. “
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The program announced by Mr. Legault and the Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy, will be in effect until March 31, 2021. This should not be seen as a sign that theaters will remain closed until then, said Mr. Legault, but rather the recognition that you cannot restart programming in a jiffy.
The mechanism provided for by Quebec consists of reimbursing 75% of the value of tickets that theaters and other performance venues that present Quebec shows cannot sell. The calculation will be based on the difference in ticketing revenue between a month in 2020 and its equivalent in 2019.
The measure applies everywhere in Quebec – even for rooms in yellow or green zones, which remain open. In their case, the compensation will be less (Quebec will make up the difference between actual ticketing revenues and the 75% threshold).
“To qualify for this money, broadcasters and producers will have to assure us that all artists and craftspeople will be paid, including makeup artists,” Roy said.
Theaters are not affected by the measure: Minister Roy said discussions are continuing with owners to find another form of help. Mr. Legault recalled that private museums and cinemas will however be eligible for announcements made Thursday by Quebec.
Legault disappointed with Chief Picard’s decision
François Legault also used the press conference to express his disappointment at the decision of the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, Ghislain Picard, to cancel a scheduled meeting with him. Friday morning.
“I’m having a lot of trouble following him,” Legault said before the media asked him questions. He’s done twice [annuler une rencontre avec le gouvernement] in a short time. “
“What he tells us is that he would have asked us to have the Attikamek chiefs with him [pour discuter de la tragédie de Joliette]. But I checked my entourage, and we never had this request! I spoke yesterday to the leader of the Attikamek community in Manawan, Paul-Émile Ottawa, and told him that we would have a meeting next week. And he was satisfied. So I don’t really understand what Chef Picard is doing and why. “
To be entitled to this money, broadcasters and producers will have to give us the assurance that artists, and all artisans, will be paid, including makeup artists.