A Statement on COVID-19

To boldly clap
In a room full of nothing
You never know
It could be one of those
Poignant evenings

The Tragically Hip “We’ll Go Too”

Performers in Kingston are struggling because of COVID-19, as are those across the province and around the world.

In April, the Ontario Arts Council surveyed over 440 arts organizations to understand the early impacts of the pandemic on their work. They found 94% had cancelled or postponed their live events, which by the end of June will result in a combined revenue loss of $128 million. Looking past July, it is probable that the arts sector will continue to face significant challenges, including decreased revenues for the foreseeable future.

In Kingston, most performances have either been cancelled or rescheduled, educational training programs have been restructured and venues have been closed until further notice. However, performers in Kingston are resilient and have adapted by moving performance and other content online. Great examples include the Juvenis Festival that went online in May, Remote Theatre Experiences presenting streamed productions, and SpiderWebShow, the national leader in digital theatre, presenting their most ambitious edition of foldA, the Festival of Live Digital Art, entirely online and by donation this June.

Despite these efforts, COVID-19 has deeply impacted Kingston artists and arts organizations and the weeks and months ahead are filled with unknowns. It is more important than ever to support your local artists and arts organizations as they navigate this time of transition. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Attend and support online performances, town halls and workshops. Encourage your networks to join in as well!
  • Follow, share and engage with social media posts and articles that highlight what’s happening
  • Donate tickets for cancelled events back to the organization instead of asking for a refund
  • Buy subscriptions, memberships, gift cards and tickets from artistic and cultural organizations to help them stay operating
  • Give directly to the artists, cultural organizations and venues you value
  • Support emergency fundraising campaigns like the Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund
  • Volunteer. Donate your time and expertise!

The arts are more critical than ever and your acts of generosity will ensure Kingston’s culture and economy continue to flourish.

Thank you for your support.

The Kingston Theatre Alliance