January 17, 2022

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Restrictions on concert halls |  "Very, very hard blow to our industry"

Restrictions on concert halls | “Very, very hard blow to our industry”

For teams of auditoriums and theaters that were less excited Thursday evening, the gauge return room was reduced by 50% and the distant family bubbles represent a real headache.




Leah Carrier

Leah Carrier
Press

Arian Kroll

Arian Kroll
Press

David LaFerrier, chairman of the board of directors of the RIDEAU Association, which brings to 350 theaters and festivals in Quebec, responded, “This is a very difficult blow to our industry.”

As of next Monday, theaters, theaters and theaters will have to reduce their tonnage by 50%. Dancing and karaoke will again be banned and will be considered high risk activities.

Many players in the field on Thursday evening underlined the enormous work that the new action will impose on their teams, already at the end of their knowledge.

This means that all ticket holders must contact each other: “Your seat is no longer there. You have fallen between two bubbles. We have to replace you because we do not have the capacity”.

David Laferrière, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the RIDEAU Association

“We have no place in our calendars, shows are sold out at full capacity, we are ahead of the Christmas holidays and our teams are tired. […] I have no question of forcing them to return to the new seat table, ”he said. Laferier added.

The general manager of Theater Gilles-Vigneault will be looking at “different options” with the producers this weekend. In the minutes following the announcement of the Legault government, he was also considering canceling some shows.

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During the press conference, it was not ruled out that the events scheduled for this weekend will be subject to risk reassessment. Discussions regarding the Cowboys Fringants event to be held at MTelus on Saturday will take place this Friday, according to our information.

A perfect storm

For Michel Sabourin, spokesman for the Association of Independent Theaters of Quebec (ASSIQ) and president of Club Soda, the new restrictions create a “perfect storm” for the management of a hall.

He cites an example of an event scheduled for next week, for which 800 tickets have been sold. How do they choose the public who can attend on the day they buy tickets? Would artists agree to perform in front of a half-empty room? Then all of these shows are scheduled for February, March or April. Need to redo the seat table now?

We have already acted in that film. Not only is it insurmountable, it is also unprofitable.

Michael Saborin, spokesman for the Association of Independent Theaters of Quebec and President of Club Soda

While financial aid programs are in place and unsold tickets will be refunded due to the measurements, the industry is worried about uncertainty in the coming seasons.

“It’s very worrying about the future because, in fact, all of our winter-spring seasons are for sale. Me and most of my colleagues are ready for our 2022-2023 seasons,” said David Laferrier.

His theater wants to ensure that artists receive a fixed fee and that “all businesses will be assisted to obtain their fair share”.

Photo by Sarah Mongkow-Birkett, The Press

There was a huge audience for the Louis-Jean Carmire show on MTELUS, where Salome Leklerk (on stage) confirmed the first part on Thursday evening.

“Absolutely not encouraged”

“If my reaction tonight is a little strong, this is not the first time we’ve experienced it,” David Laferrier said. The cultural community has recovered from the pain and grief caused by the fall of advertising last year. “Maintaining a bond of trust with a customer becomes very difficult,” Mr. LaFerrier continues.

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The morale of the troops is also at a very low level. Retaining staff is increasingly difficult, and artists are reluctant to create for fear that everything will end up again.

⁇ [L’an dernier], We have lost our whole world, we will not hide. After working like crazy and getting there, we fall into the same situation again. I’m totally exhausted, ”says Michael Saborin.

For his part, David Lauren, the artistic director of the Duchess Theater, sees the move as a “necessary evil”.

“This is another tough blow for us, our teams and the artists. […] At the same time, we look at the statistics as well as others, and we accept the pace at which the government is asking us to change course, ”he said.

Theaters, however, did not act quickly on Thursday night. Denise Hardubeys, president of the Quebec Theater Owners’ Association, said she would like to “wait for an explanation” before commenting on the measures announced by the Prime Minister. For his part, Mario Ford has not responded to the appeal of La Press, president and CEO of Cinema Fubian, Cinema to Park and Cinema to Music.