COVID-19 Health Regulations Loosening, Local Arts Events, New Research, Grant Grant Deadlines, and More
It’s March, and as days start to get longer and temperatures start to rise, we are also seeing perhaps the most dramatic loosening of COVID-19 restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic, as the Government of Ontario ends (at least for now) vaccine mandates and capacity limits.
As restrictions lift, we are also seeing more and more arts events happening in the community. This Bulletin highlights some of these exciting upcoming events, along with a roundup of news items from the arts and culture sector, and upcoming grant deadlines.
To keep up-to-the-minute on all the latest arts news and EC3 happenings, keep checking the EC3 Facebook page, @ECThreePtbo on Twitter, @ec3ptbo on Instagram, and the EC3 website, where we are providing daily updates on programs and services available for ACH workers and organizations.
COVID-19 Health Regulation Changes
March 1 sees perhaps the most dramatic loosening of COVID-19 public health regulations since the beginning of the pandemic.
Keith Beecroft, Health Promoter at Peterborough Public Health (PPH), provides the following updates on the new rules, and other topics as well:
“Well, here we are. After nearly two years, the Regulations have changed to permit most activities from happening again, the way we remember them happening before the pandemic was declared. As of 12:01 this morning, we are officially in O. Reg. 364/20, Schedule 4 – “General Rules at the Roadmap Exit Step”. In all iterations of the pandemic response (frameworks, colour coded zones, steps, etc.) – we’ve never come this close to ‘normal’.
That’s not to say that the pandemic is over, and that’s not to say there still isn’t risk in the community – but starting today, these are the general rules that will needed to be followed:
- Capacity limits have been lifted in all indoor public settings,
- Proof of vaccination requirements have been lifted,
- businesses and organizations may choose to require proof of vaccination upon entry,
- Other protective measures, such as mask/face covering requirements and passive screening of patrons remain in place, and
- Businesses and organizations that are open must continue to have safety plans in place
The repeal of these measures signals that we have reached a turning point of this pandemic such that our health system is not at risk of being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, however, COVID-19 is still very much present in our community and transmission is still occurring. Due to the high number of people with 2-doses of vaccine, and many of these with their booster dose, the threat of severe illness and disease caused by COVID-19 has been reduced. There are still many prevention measures individuals will need to consider to protect themselves from COVID-19 transmission.
- Does this mean we can serve food and beverage again? Yes.
- Does everyone indoors, still need to wear a mask? Yes. With limited exceptions.
- Does this mean that we don’t need to physical distance at our arts space? Yes.
- Do we need to do contact tracing? No.
- Do we need to actively screen staff and volunteers and document the passing of their screening? It’s encouraged, but not required. (At the very least, they would be subject to passive screening requirements)
You get the idea!
The changes are likely welcome for some, and scary for others – wherever you land on that spectrum is fine – and PPH remains committed to helping you navigate ‘whatever comes next’; we’ll continue to be in touch as things change/evolve/get updated.
Workplace Outbreak Reporting Tool
The goal of outbreak management is to identify the source of illness, control the outbreak, and limit secondary transmission. This reporting tool will also add to our local data set, and allow PPH to monitor trends such that we can make informed decisions about COVID-19 in our community.
Our goal is to:
- provide a mechanism for workplaces to officially report outbreaks to PPH,
- provide a mechanism to help PPH staff follow up with Infection Prevention and Control supports (if needed), and
- reinforce employers’ awareness/knowledge of existing resources
The purpose of the reporting workplace outbreaks is not punitive or to demonstrate fault. The information collected is done voluntarily and will be kept confidential. It is our aim to protect the health of residents and visitors in our region, while at the same time protecting the economy – workplace reporting allows us to do both.
Please report workplace outbreaks here: PPH COVID-19 Workplace Reporting.
Booster Doses for 12-17 Year Olds
Ontario has expanded booster dose eligibility to youth aged 12 to 17. Appointments can be booked through the provincial booking system and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, as well as at select pharmacies administering the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose.
As the pandemic shifts, so to must our pandemic response; Peterborough Public Health (PPH) is always striving to work in the best interest of the community we serve. As such, we are looking to you, to help inform and guide our work. The feedback you provide in this five-minute survey will help us improve our engagement efforts during our on-going response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note throughout the survey we will use ‘workplace/setting’ to refer to the sectors PPH has been engaging with throughout the COVID-19 response. We welcome your response, and we encourage you to share this survey with others in your workplace/setting that would like to provide their feedback too.
Responses to this survey are anonymous and information provided will be kept confidential. Participation is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. The services you receive from PPH will not be affected by your responses or participation in this survey.
We thank you in advance for your invaluable feedback.”
Arts Sector News Roundup
CARFAC has released a new resource, Indigenous Protocols for the Visual Arts, providing practical guidance for respectful engagement with Indigenous Peoples. The guide is designed for the visual arts, but these ideas and protocols are well worth a look for all Canadian artists and arts organizations.
Hill Strategies’ latest research initiative, Artists in The Pandemic: Recent and Long-Term Labour Force Trends, is an instructive look at the outsized impact the pandemic has had on artists. You can also read a previous research report, Innovation and Resilience in the Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Canada and attend their upcoming webinar, Arts Research in Canada – Insights and Absences.
Nominations are open for the National Gallery of Canada-administered Sobey Art Award. Open to artists across Canada, the Sobey Art Award is recognized as one of the world’s most generous privately funded prizes for contemporary visual artists, with over $400,000 in prize money this year.
Locally, KawarthaNOW put out an excellent article, It’s ‘now about survival’ for the Peterborough arts community as pandemic takes a heavy toll, which includes personal accounts from local artists and arts leaders about the impact of the pandemic on the local scene and what is needed for recovery.
Local Arts Events
With the changing COVID-19 health rules, we are seeing a return to more and more arts events in town. Here is a small selection of some of what’s coming up:
After a winter/lockdown hiatus, the First Friday Art Crawl returns to downtown Peterborough this Friday, March 4. Watch the Crawl’s website and social media for announcements about exhibitions, performances, and special events taking place as part of the crawl.
Artspace’s Book and Zine Fest returns this month, with a slate of panels, performances, and digital vendor booths taking place March 7 to 13. The gallery also reopens its doors this month, with the exhibition José Andrés Mora: The Mornings in Reverse, running March 12 to May 14.
The Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival is offering a virtual workshop for Indigenous artists on the NIFF-specific tech process on March 15 from 11-12pm, hosted by managing director, stage manager and project/production manager Deborah Ratelle. Email email@example.com for details and registration.
Peterborough Performs returns to Showplace on March 20. This benefit concert featuring over 15 local bands and musicians is raising local awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness, and raising funds for the United Way of Peterborough & District. Tickets available online.
See also the slate of events coming up at Market Hall, Theatre on King, and Showplace.
Black History Month Resource List
Black History Month may be over, but educating ourselves about Black history and celebrating Black voices and creators is a pursuit worth continuing all year long. In case you missed it, EC3 has released a Black History Month Resource List to help us honour and inform ourselves about the legacy of Black Canadians, to support Black causes and Black creators, and to celebrate some of the memorable art being created by Black artists in Peterborough and across Canada. We encourage everyone to take a deep dive into some of the websites, books, documentaries, and events listed within.
Also, watch for the return of EC3’s Spotlight on Local Black Artists later this year.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
Here are important grant deadlines coming up soon:
KEEP INFORMED, STAY IN TOUCH
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
Electric City Culture Council (EC3)
705 749 9101