COVID19 and The Arts – When Will Life Be Back to Normal

We are all wondering when life will get back to normal and what normal will look like as it seems everything has shifted into another dimension.  Our artists speculated on what will happen to the arts once people are once again permitted to gather again.

Independent Film Maker, Todd Davies, has a upbeat take on life after Covid19 was that we should be prepared to celebrate life and the arts.  He says

When the dust settles on this Covid Crisis, We all need to rush back into life with the fullest of hearts. Get out and celebrate the the arts by going to the theatre, the movies, the concerts in doing so celebrate life once again. That’s the best thing any of us could do.”

Not everybody is finding the silver lining…

David Geertz of Penmar Community Arts Society says

The loss or absorption of small to midsize arts groups will cause a melting pot effect, which is the absolute death knell for anyone who works in arts as it simply creates mediocrity within the form.  We will see the decline of activations, sponsorships and partnerships which all arts orgnaizations rely on. When they are hurting, they are the first ones to go.   We’ve been told as of yesterday that one of our largest supporters is now cutting their own staff back to 2 days a week and we were informed that they needed to circle back in 2021.

If and when people are allowed to go to large public gatherings again, I’m sure that there will be very expensive safeguards put in place to make sure people feel safe.  This will drive up the cost of the event and simply make it impossible for lots of event planners to continue operating without significantly raising prices.  Additonally, I think it will be quite some time before the majority of people will have the financial capacity for discretionary spending due to work shortages and layoffs.”


“Financially this will impact me for a long time to come, not just a month or two.  As for dance classes this will totally affect it. More classes will be online and those with already a decent following or already started online platforms to teach will have the up on people that have not.”  Natasha Gorrie, Dance, Choreographer and Teacher.

Mark Manning thinks we will see a great increase in hygiene.

“People selling tickets wearing gloves, more hand sanitizer, rules about seating, and new rules on signing autographs and meeting performers after the shows. Not saying all of these are for sure but they are possibilities based on how extreme everyone feels after all of this.”


Re-invigorating consumer spending into the arts as well as local and other government art investments. Local governments for example though their expenses right now are budgeted for staff support, face an integral revenue decline at the same time. Investments in the arts in the future could be compromised. But the BC Government to a certain extent has kept arts and culture funding a priority through Creative BC funding – however not all art and culture organizations are eligible.”

 Anita Hubberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade

Sami Ghawi, Director of FUSIONpresents and the Manager of SBOT Music City Centre sees this as an opportunity.

“Live streaming and online content has proven its value in the last 2 weeks.  From the biggest artists in the world to local musicians, everyone realizes that they need to feed their community.  Live streaming has given all artists the opportunity to connect with not only their super fans, but also new viewers and listeners who are just looking for something to do.  The move to online streaming has also encouraged a huge learning among artists, many of whom had probably never done it before and will now find it part of their regular entertainment offering moving forward.”

So what can we do to support our struggling artists and arts organizations?

Sami Ghawi would like to invite the world into his world.

Like many organizations, we’ve moved most of services online.   We offer a variety of online music lessons, including guitar, piano, bass, drums and music production and we highly encourage those who have always wanted to learn music to do it now!   We also post multiple quality music content weekly through our social media channels, so everyone is invited to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”

Connect with FUSIONpresents:

Facebook @FUSIONpresents

Instagram @FUSIONpresents

YouTube @FUSIONpresents




David Geertz and Dionne Costanza from Penmar Community Arts Society wants you to look at their music lottery program.

We really like it if people could support us financially in a couple of different ways. Here is how we are raising funds needed to continue operations and support the artists and artist support workers in BC.

We have our Music Lottery program going online. This will allow us to fund things like virtual concerts that are of a premium quality and offer them to people for free – just as long as people buy enough lottery tickets. Think of us as just being like the Canucks 50/50 that went online but only for the Arts.

If you’re a business owner and would like to help we have a handful of activation/sponsorship solutions that are being offered that would also be mutually beneficial. ”

Buy a subscription to Penmar Community Arts Society’s Music Lottery Program at

Make tax deductible donation to Penmar through our Canada Helps Page at –

Gloria and Jeff in Royal Canadian Theatre Companies production of Screwball Comedy

As Ellie King of Royal Canadian Theatre Company says there are lots of things you can do right now to support them through this difficult time.

To support us we need people to understand how fragile the life of an artist is, and to come to our shows when we get back into action. Please don’t ask for refunds – consider donating the cost of your tickets instead. Think about the future – if the theatre companies die now because they have no money to make art going forward, where will you go to see live theatre after this crisis is over? Where will tv shows and films come from? It can take years to build a company and minutes to wipe it out. For us – if people are able, please donate. If you can’t then let us know how much you like our work – how we’ve entertained you, how you’d miss us if we went away. You’d be surprised how good it is to hear that we are wanted plus those testimonials can help us secure funding in the future. “

Ulee of Semiahmoo Arts Society has art for sale.

“All of the artwork at our art shows is also for sale. By purchasing a painting, a pottery piece or photograph, people not only support Semiahmoo Arts, but also the artist. 80% of the sale goes to the artist. We keep 20% to cover our costs.”

The Young People’s Operas Society will be going ahead with their production of The Sound Of Music Concert in the Summer or the Fall.  Their June production, Die Fledermaus, will go ahead as planned.

Check out their webpage at www.

Natalie Pardalis is offering online arts opportunities at

Chris Thornley has a wonderful, community spirit attitude.  He says

“There are some things we can do …if possible one can donate to their favourite group. I believe very strongly in the arts AND believe the government should be much more supportive to the arts specially in the City of Surrey . I would hope that we would transcend any “us and them” attitudes. Sometimes in business I would adopt a policy of if we are going to share the good times, we should also share the bad times.  So in the end we should all do our best to help each other.  One thing I will be doing is offering our musical talent to those that need it for free. For example the world famous “Club Royale“ or heading down to our favourite restaurant “Uli’s” and providing some entertainment.“

Anita Hubberman of the Surrey Board of Trade is encouraging people to support the arts right now.

“Listen to music concerts online, social media and build awareness of the importance of the arts during this time and to our social and economic future, and if possible participate in some online art funding campaigns.”

Royal Canadian Theatre Company

“We exist to bring people joy by the means of all-inclusive live theatre entertainment. When this crisis is over, we fully expect to be there for our audiences once again. And the best means of support is to buy a ticket come out to a show when we’re back, be a season subscriber or consider becoming a sponsor.”

Linda McCrossin, President of the Board for Royal Canadian Theater Company

Todd Davies, Film Maker

In the wise words of the writer and producer, Todd Davies, we will leave you with this thought.

“I believe we will endure. As artists and as people we always have. For now we must be patient, kind, and loving to one another.”






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