Why is the CQT asking for a three-week advance warning before the reopening of venues?
18 février 2021
The CQT's Board of Directors, its Executive Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee have been asking for a three-week warning before the reopening of any venues for several months now. This request is based on specific concerns that define our own needs in order that we can be ready when we return to our specialised kind of work.
The reasons for this request are not artistic: our artists are ready; many projects are continuing to rehearse and are now starting to take shape. The support systems currently in place allow producers and presenters to have work ready to be offered when we are allowed to reopen.
The main reason for our concern is that this lack of advance notice puts venues on a persistent tightrope which in turn creates unending uncertainty.
The situation forces them to keep marketing, ticketing and support teams on stand-by which, for the past year, has created an untenable situation where we are forced to act "as if" while knowing that reality is "probably not".
Finances are also at stake.
This advance notice would continue to allow for the fact that until the opening of the theatres is announced, the present “Mesure exceptionnelle de soutien à la diffusion” would continue to support the venues without penalty until everything is up and running again.
Furthermore, even if there are shows that are currently being presented, without the government officially announcing a reopening date, tickets for these events are selling very poorly. Once an announcement of reopening has been made, the CQT recognizes that theatres will need time for tickets to be made available and then to sell them in a reduced timeframe, as well as being able to properly promote these productions in order to provide an optimal end result for both the public and the companies. As consequence of these specific concerns, we repeatedly emphasized the need for this three weeks' notice.
It is important to underline the fact that we were not consulted by the government prior to last Tuesday's announcement regarding the opening of the movie theatres. As the opening of these particular venues is expected to continue after the March break, it is our view that the opening of the theatres should also be considered.
We also feel that it would be preferable for these reopenings to be flexible, so that the timeframe each company requires can be accommodated in the overall process. We are carefully considering how to do this judiciously and we will bring the results of our discussions to future conversations with the MCCQ.
Therefore, the CQT, with the support of our colleagues from the performing arts sector, request an immediate emergency meeting with the Minister of Culture and Communications, Nathalie Roy, to discuss the reopening of venues in the red zone.
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