Capacity Limits Lifted, Enhanced Vaccine Passports and App, Borderless Arts, Portfolio Workshops, and Grant Deadlines
The past couple weeks have brought some dramatic announcements about COVID-19 public health and safety measures, with an increase in capacity limits for performing arts and other facilities, and the introduction of the new vaccine passport and scanning app.
This Bulletin includes details about both of these announcements, as well as some other pieces of news that have come across our desk. This includes some excellent arts programming from the local Borderless Music & Arts Festival, portfolio clinics at OCADU, and a list of upcoming grant deadlines.
Capacity Limits Lifted
The Ontario government has officially raised capacity limits in a number of categories of organizations, including concert venues, theatres, cinemas, meeting and event spaces, and commercial film and television productions. As of Saturday, October 9, capacity limits have been lifted to allow 100% capacity, up to 20,000 people.
The requirement for physical distancing in these spaces is also being lifted, but note that all other requirements are still in place, including: masking, proof of vaccination, active screening, the need to take advance reservations from all patrons, and the implementation of a safety plan. Still, this should make a huge difference for the performing arts and other cultural sectors.
Keith Beecroft, Health Promoter, Family & Community Health at Peterborough Public Health, provided the following explanation of the change:
“We wanted to provide some clarity and insight into the Provincial announcement that was made late on Friday October 9, 2021.
As it relates to the Performing Arts sector, O. Reg. 364/20, Schedule 2, Section 22 will be updated shortly to reflect the new requirements, until then, we are referring to the Order in Council– the technical document that will be used to amend the Regulations – to provide you with direction.
The Order notes that –
1. (1) Section 3 of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 364/20 is amended by adding the following subsection:
(7) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to the following areas:
1. Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres and convention centres.
2. Areas for spectators in facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities.
3. Concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
4. Horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues.
5. Places where commercial film and television production takes place
And then we cross reference that with the section to be amended in O. Reg. 364/20 which strikes out these capacity limits:
Capacity limits for businesses or facilities open to the public
3. (1) Subject to any other requirements set out in this Order with respect to capacity limits, the person responsible for a place of business or facility that is open to the public shall limit the number of members of the public in the place of business or facility so that the members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility.
(2) For the purposes of this Order, the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a business or facility that is operating in an outdoor setting at 75 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of area accessible to the public, dividing that number by 1.33, and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
(3) For the purposes of this Order, the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a business or facility, or part of a business or facility, that is operating in an indoor setting at 50 per cent capacity is determined by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
Plainly – in theatres and concert venues – there is no longer any capacity limit and you may operate at 100% capacity.
That said, our advice is:
- Maintain previous capacity limits until such a time that you are able to safely create the space and systems needed to accommodate an increase in patrons, and
- Ease your way into increasing capacity limits, taking a progressive approach to reaching new maximums, you are not obligated to enact these changes immediately
If you chose to increase capacity limits, you will also need to update your safety plan to account for:
- New/additional staff coming onboard,
- Increased traffic/decreased flow and how you will manage pinch points,
- Decreased space in common areas like hallways, aisles and lounges,
Please note, the only thing that has changed is the capacity limit; these requirements specific to the Performing Arts sector still apply:
- Developing, maintaining, and posting a safety plan is required (conveniently, the Ministry of Health just released this Safety Plan builder)
- Actively screening staff and volunteers before they begin their shift is required
- Actively screening patrons and guests before they arrive is encouraged
- Masks must be worn indoors by staff and guests, with some exceptions
- No member of the public may attend a seated concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema unless they have made a reservation to do so
- Proof of vaccination (2 doses + 14 days) required for all eligible patrons, unless medically exempt
If your performance is happening in an unconventional location (i.e., outdoors, over a meal, at a farm, or at another rural setting), or location other than a theatre or concert venue, please connect with us to discuss additional requirements.
We know that ‘simple’ announcements often come with logistical questions; should you have any questions, or need any clarity on anything – please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
With continued thanks,
New Vaccine Passports and App
Ontario has entered the next phase of its rollout of the vaccine passport program, with the new QR code-enabled enhanced vaccine passports available for anyone in Ontario to download, and the new Verify Ontario app that businesses and organizations with a vaccine mandate can use to scan and verify these passports.
The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, working with Peterborough Public Health, have put together an excellent guide to everything that businesses and organizations need to know. Here you go:
“The province released the new enhanced vaccine certificate last week. This enhanced vaccine certificate has a QR code on it so that it can be easily read by businesses and organizations who use the free Verify Ontario App to check proof of vaccination. (Patrons can download the advanced QR code vaccine certificate to their phone, businesses and organizations would download the Verify Ontario App to scan the enhanced QR codes).
With this announcement, also came some BIG changes to the proof of vaccination requirements that we wanted to flag for you:
- There have been updates to the implementation documents – many of the businesses you support may find the answers they are looking for: Ministry of Health Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act (UPDATED Oct. 15), Ministry of Health Question and Answer document (UPDATED Oct. 15)
- The Regulation AND the Guidance document now clearly state the following. This means that proof of vaccination should not be kept for any reason.: No person shall retain, record, copy, modify, use or disclose any information provided for the purpose of section 2.1 of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 364/20 under the ROA…. A business or organization may use information provided as above solely for the purpose of confirming that a patron is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or is entitled to an exemption
- Anyone who is verifying proof will need to be aware that there is a new exemption: Patrons who provide documentation that confirms they are currently participating in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial authorized by Health Canada and specified in this guidance, including Appendix C.
- The ONLY app that is allowed to be used to check QR codes is the Verify Ontario App – this is stated clearly in the Guidance document (pg. 9) AND the regulation.
- The app allows you to use 2 methods for checking proof, but paper copies must still be accepted. If there is a failed screen with the QR code, you must see proof via another method (e.g., paper copy) in order for the person to be granted access.
- Click here for any person wishing to download their QR code
- Individuals can also call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have their enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to them.
- If patrons or businesses ask for more information, please refer them to Using your Enhanced Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions or they can call the provincial call centre at 1-833-943-3900.
As a recap, it is the higher risk indoor settings that require proof of vaccine to be shown.
What is the full list of settings (i.e., businesses or organizations) where patrons must provide proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
- Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
- Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs, restoclubs, and other similar establishments
- Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions
- Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions o Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
- Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
- Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
- Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
- Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
- Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences
- Any of the following outdoor areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more people (i.e., where 75 percent capacity would be equal to or greater than 15,000 persons):
- Outdoor meeting and event spaces, with limited exemptions
- Outdoor facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions (Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events)
- Outdoor concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
- Outdoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues”
Borderless Music and Arts Festival
Over the summer, EC3 and Artsweek SHIFT² were proud to be able to assist with a virtual version of the Borderless Music & Arts Festival. This multidisciplinary arts showcase brought us four days of online events, centering women, BIPOC, intersectional identities, and inclusive community-building with an eclectic mosaic of music, dance, visual art, drag, poetry, comedy, circus, and film, all streamed online for free. Now, Borderless has started releasing a ton of these performances to their YouTube channel. Watch along and discover some of the best young talent in town.
Borderless will be returning soon with another livestream festival and are currently raising funds to make it happen – donate to their GoFundMe campaign.
OCADU Portfolio Clinics
Registration is open for OCADU’s Portfolio Clinics at Home. This is a series of virtual studio art and design workshops designed for learners ages 15 and up who are interested in sharpening their technical skills, learning new concepts, and exploring different methods of creating an artwork. Each workshop is taught by OCAD U faculty who are professionals in their field. Participants will come away with a better understanding of how studio-based research and creative process work can come together to support a strong portfolio piece.
There are workshops on a range of topics, each three hours, to take place over Zoom. Register here.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
Here are some important grant deadlines coming up soon:
- Oct 26: Artists in Communities and Schools: Projects (OAC)
- Oct 27: Literary Creation Projects: Works for Performance (OAC)
- Oct 31: Canada Book Fund: Support for Organizations (Canadian Heritage)
- Nov 01: Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program: Indigenous Languages Component (Canadian Heritage)
- Nov 01: Museums Assistance Program (multiple streams) (Canadian Heritage)
- Nov 01: Peterborough Foundation grants (local grant program)
- Nov 03: Visual Artists Creation Projects (OAC)
- Nov 05: Theatre Organizations: Operating (OAC)
- Nov 09: Music Recording Projects (OAC)
- Nov 09: Northern Arts Projects (OAC)
- Nov 10: Supporting Artistic Practice: Sector Innovation and Development – Project Grants (Canada Council)
Please stay well and let us know how we can help.
TRACK THE IMPACT.
As always, keep checking the EC3 Facebook page, @ECThreePtbo on Twitter, @ec3ptbo on Instagram, and the COVID-19 Updates page on EC3’s website, where we are providing daily updates on programs and services available for ACH workers and organizations.
Be safe, stay healthy, and please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Su Ditta and the EC3 Board and staff