Twenty-eight days without performing arts

After a spring plunged into deep uncertainty, followed by a brief summer clearing up, the cultural milieu on Monday experienced a return to the fateful date of March 13.

In the three regions placed in the red zone, performance halls, cinemas, theaters, libraries and museums will be closed from 1er October. And this for a period of 28 days. The drive-ins, which were among the first to reopen in May, have, for their part, for the most part ended their season.

Julie-Anne Richard, Executive Director of the Professional Association of Show Presenters – RIDEAU, does not hide her astonishment. “We are appalled by the announcement,” she said. The performance halls are extremely secure. They are not centers of contagion and contact, like bars or parties private. People wear a mask, sit still, don’t throw any droplets. We are in shock. “

And the latter is likely to extend beyond the next 28 days, in the headache of postponed productions. Programming directors have already had to juggle the constraints of building their “alternative” fall season. A season which, let us remember, postponed that which was planned to “later”. But later when?

At the Théâtre de Quat’Sous, we were waiting in particular for the reading of Letters from an African woman, by Tatiana Zinga Botao, who was to tarnish the 1er to October 3. Last week, the actress who was then on the bill Cabaret Resistance led by Olivier Kemeid told us: “There are always risks. One person just has to have something, we call everyone, and it’s over. “

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The awareness that everything could change was very present among the artists. The Today’s Theater Center was to launch its Deliveries of pieces to take away. For the occasion, artists were to come and play texts at home, in front of residents of the same address. Impossible with the new regulations.

A few days before the launch, which will not take place immediately (we are not talking of cancellation, but of postponement), artistic director and ideator Sylvain Bélanger observed: “There is a threat that exists. We do not hide it. It holds with strings. “

During the conference, Prime Minister Legault tried to be reassuring. Addressed to owners of rooms and restaurants, he promised to develop “a formula to help financially and to compensate for losses.”

However, with the PCU ending on the federal side on October 3, many artists and cultural workers are worried.

Upcoming shows provided some of them with a livelihood next month. And one way to make up for the lack of a canceled season. “There is always a kind of melancholy in knowing that we weren’t able to do our programming, but we are quite proud of the alternative programming,” Lorraine Pintal told the fall launch at TNM.

The closure will affect in particular the presentation in his institution of Pierre and the Wolf. This show, presented in collaboration with the Orchester Métropolitain, was to be held from October 8 to 11 indoors, as in digital format.

Note, however, that the second option, that of digital capture, seems safe for the moment. The Prime Minister also addressed the issue at the end of the conference, as well as that of filming, giving them the green light, as long as the instructions are respected. “We want as many artists as possible to be able to continue working,” he said.

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