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GVPTA recognizes that COVID-19 is on everyone's minds, and we’re inviting the theatre community and the broader arts sector to share information and resources.

Our aim is to:

  • Share with funders the impact the outbreak has had on B.C.'s arts and culture sector; 
  • In response to requests from the community, compile and share policies and action plans related to the outbreak as used by Metro Vancouver and BC theatre companies;
  • Provide links to resource materials on our website to help guide the decision-making of arts organizations.

GVPTA has been working to explore ways that we can help the community to navigate through and beyond the current COVID-19 situation.

Throughout the month of April we invited arts workers and artists from all disciplines and all across the country to tune into a series of webinars we called Working Through This. These free sessions addressed topics related to supporting through and recovering from the effects of COVID-19 on the arts and cultural sector.

On June 4 we hosted a Performing Arts BC Relaunch Town Hall to hear from WorkSafeBC, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Actsafe on emerging questions related to return to work and relaunch strategies for our sector. 

Check back for additional webinar announcements shortly. 

GVPTA is collecting data in order to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on arts and culture organizations across the province. This survey is for all arts disciplines, artists, arts workers, cultural organizations, and museums across B.C. Aggregate data will be shared with funders, and we may also share with other funders and arts service organizations for regional, provincial, and national reporting.

Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey based on the information you have today: gvpta.ca/covid19_survey.

During this unprecedented time, GVPTA recognizes that theatre companies, collectives, and artists seek ways to meet virtually. We also know that paying to access video conferencing software is not an option for everyone. Allow us to help you host a video meeting.

Click here to learn more about making a request for a meeting room booking

Additional Resources

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Canada, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website and consult your local health authority.


The Government of British Columbia issued a Restart Plan outlining the guidelines and steps to relaunch. 

Actsafe Safety Association has a number of resources for the Performing Arts and Live Events industry on returning to safe operation. A full list can be found here. The latest documents released include:

Industry Relaunch Framework
On May 22 Actsafe issued a framework developed to help performing arts organizations in BC complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan as required by WorkSafeBC, and to address public health orders relating to reopening of spaces.  

Worker Health Declaration

Working Remotely Guidelines

Audience Services Guidelines

Risk Assessment Guidelines

Live Event Relaunch Reference

New documents will be released weekly on Actsafe's website.

The Event Safety Alliance in the US has released The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide with much information that can apply to reopening in Canada. They also posted a podcast on reopening here.

Federal Support

Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit, a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to 16 weeks to workers who are sick, quarantined, or caring for someone sick with COVID-19; those who have lost work or who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support; workers including self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for EI; and working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children. 
This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council announced it will provide $60M in advance funding to help stabilize backbone of arts sector as it faces COVID-19 crisis. By May 4, Council will issue advances enabling core funded organizations to: meet their immediate commitments, help ensure cash flow and address outstanding payments to the artists and cultural workers they employ. Ongoing updates from Canada Council can be found here

Canadian Heritage

Information for Canadian Heritage grants and contribution recipients. 

BC Government Support

The BC Government released a $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan (March 23). The BC Emergency Benefit provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for those who receive EI, or the new Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits. Also available for workers who are self-employed and not EI-eligible. 

Community Gaming Grants

Applications are being received and processed as per the 2020 Guidelines, with additional guidance provided on April 3. 

BC Arts Council

The BC Arts Council has FAQs for arts and culture grant applicants and recipients and a summary of changes to the BC Arts Council's programming. Announcements on May 30 included:

  • 50% advance of operating grants for Operating Assistance Clients
  • Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to Operating Assistance Clients & Eligible Project Clients (This one-time grant will range (maximum $15,000) depending on the size of your organization).
  • Program Amendments, Extension of Deadlines and Program Deferrals

Other Resources for the Arts Sector

BC Alliance for Arts and Culture provides a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource page for the arts and culture sector (funding, government response and relief, mental health, data collection, employment, etc.). Check their page for all of the most recent developments. 

PACT presents a weekly Town Hall Zoom session (Thurs, 1–2pm ET) and resource page

I Lost My Gig Canada is a space for creative industries and other vulnerable freelance and gig economy workers to connect and share stories.

The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA) strives to strengthen the local theatre industry. We do this through providing services, promotion of member news and community events, opportunities to connect and network, and our annual theatre conference. Together with our members we are raising the profile of local theatre and building community.

At GVPTA, we acknowledge that our organization is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

#308-237 Keefer Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1X6
604 608 6799