Pandemic: the concert halls are grouped

Pandémie: les salles de concert se regroupent

It is midnight less one for the theaters independent. In the black since the beginning of the pandemic, many of them are struggling for their survival. To support in these hard times, a thirty private rooms come to be grouped under the Association of performing arts venues, independent Quebec (ASSIQ), learned The Newspaper.

While Quebec is déconfine little by little, the future of the show rooms is always disorder. Since they do not benefit from subsidies, and that their current situation is very precarious, the halls have decided to support with the ASSIQ.

Thirty institutions are part of it, including the Club Soda, the Olympia, the Gesù, the Golden Lion, the Fairmount, the MTelus, the Corona, the Astral and the Théâtre St-Denis, Montreal, as well as the Capitole de Québec, the Zenith of Saint-Eustache and Vieux-Clocher of Magog.

“All of these rooms important note the president and founder of Club Soda, Michel Sabourin. If they were to disappear, this would be disastrous. ”

The help of Montreal

Since the beginning of the crisis, governments are rather silent about the situation of the show rooms. A few days ago, the City of Montréal has announced an aid of $ 500,000 to the theaters and private cinemas of the city.

“We are in discussion with the City to assess how we will distribute this amount, indicates the director-general of the Golden Lion, Sara Castonguay. […] Since there is not a lot of money in the envelope, it is necessary to think about to invest it. The City is listening to our needs, to the height of its means. ”

“This offer from the City of Montreal sends the signal to other levels of government as the halls are at risk, said Michel Sabourin. But currently, there is no message of Quebec or Ottawa that you are going to receive help. ”

No recovery before a year ?

Operating the Club Soda since 1983, Michel Sabourin is quite pessimistic about the resumption of the activities in his room. “I don’t see any potential for re-opening before the spring of next year,” he said. We still talk about a year. […] In what state will we be if it reopens ? I don’t know. Is it that it is the end of the show alive ? This is the question to ask. It’s going to be what, the behavior of people ? They will continue to be afraid. ”

Without being too pessimistic, the other rooms in montreal contacted by The Newspaper [the St-Denis Theatre, Place des Arts, Olympia, MTelus] recognize that government assistance is paramount in order to ensure their survival. “Without extra help of the local municipal authorities and/or government, our future is grim “, said Marie-Eve Dury, Theatre St-Denis.

4 conditions for the survival of rooms

Cinemas are private are threatened with extinction if governments don’t come to their rescue. The new Association of theaters independent of Quebec (ASSIQ) mentions that it will meet these four conditions prior to a possible re-opening :

1 A helps to absorb the fixed costs

Venues like the Club Soda and the Golden Lion have fixed monthly fees of approximately $ 45,000. The ASSIQ would like to help until it reopened for the rooms to return to a financial position similar to what they had at the time of their closure required.

2 The maintenance of the wage subsidy emergency

The ASSIQ request to keep in place beyond the June 30, the wage subsidy emergency for the companies in the sectors that will continue to be affected by the pandemic in addition to forgive the part of entrepreneurial 25 %.

3 An announcement of re-opening several months ahead of time

The halls believe that it will take between two and three months to resume their activities when the government will give the green light to gatherings of 500 people and more. It is the time it takes to complete a program, to sell tickets and reach a critical mass of sales.

4 public support to stimulate demand

In order that the bid is attractive for the spectators, at the time of the reopening, the ASSIQ would like to obtain public aid in order to keep the concert tickets at affordable prices.

Ideas for the re-opening

The theaters will probably be able to resume their activities, even if the virus is still circulating among the population. How to ensure the safety of spectators until a vaccine is found ? And how will they be able to reopen it ? The owner of the Olympia of Montreal, Patrick Lévy, submitted to the Journal of different ideas.

Temperature sensors

Patrick Lévy has ordered 10 new metal detectors that can also take the temperature. Designed in China, they indicate – without contact – if the temperature of each person is low or high. The Olympia will accept it within two weeks and must have the approval of the public health before the use.

Hybrid performances

If the rooms were to reopen at a reduced capacity, the Olympia is considering the possibility of holding intimate concerts for 250 spectators who have paid up to three times the usual price. The shows would then be sold on the web or for the tv.

Two shows per evening

With shows at a reduced capacity, the Olympia offered to the artists to give two performances per night during their passage in the room. “The artists could reduce their show at 1: 10 pm, said Patrick Lévy. They should work more, but they would also work in the industry. ”

Seniors denied access

This is the idea the most controversial. Since these are the people over 65 years of age who are most at risk, Patrick Lévy suggests not to admit them to the shows. After you have “mapped” the young for the events 18 years and over, it would be as well to carter to the elders.

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