We are writing to you today to keep you updated as we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
First and foremost, we are taking as much action as we can to support you now in this time of crisis, as well as exploring what support will be needed in the weeks and months ahead.
As of end of day today (5.30pm ET), we are vacating the PACT office in order to work remotely – staff will continue to be reachable via e-mail and phone.
Based on the success of our national Town Hall web-call yesterday, we are working towards implementing a weekly Town Hall call, as well as setting up ongoing regional calls in order to share resources and offer each other support. We have created a page on our website to share resources and information that our members have brought up during the call. We will continue to update this page so please check back.
We recognize that many are taking the necessary and/or mandated precaution of cancelling productions and seasons. We applaud you for thinking of the safety of your staff, artists and audiences – we encourage you to look after those that will be personally financially hit by this too. And we will continue to explore and advocate for government support for the losses that everyone will be experiencing. We are collecting information on the anticipated impact from you and the sector at large – when you can, please take a moment to complete our simple feedback form so we can keep relevant Ministers’ offices informed.
In keeping with the advice of local health authorities, we have made the decision to suspend our annual conference which was to be held between May 19-23 in Montréal.
We are currently considering other options such as holding the conference later in the year as well as hosting learning sessions digitally in lieu of the May conference. We will be in touch with you via our newsletter and social media once we have more updates.
In regards to the possibility of live streaming shows, we have had a preliminary but very positive conversation with our colleagues at CAEA. We are moving forward quickly with plans to ease restrictions and contracting requirements in order for Theatres operating under the CTA to be able to offer audiences access to live streams of productions. This does not include any recording or re-broadcast. More information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.
On a more positive note, PACT and CAEA were successful in reaching a mediated solution to one of the core issues brought forward by the PACT membership. We will resume negotiations at the end of April and anticipate being able to reach an agreement at that time.
We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. If you have questions don’t hesitate to e-mail us and we will do what we can.
In solidarity and support,