Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan:

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Performing Arts Guidelines

For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. The information below provides guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in activities including, but not limited to, music, dance and theatre, and apply to all individuals involved, such as performers, instructors/directors, staff, assistants, volunteers and members of the general public. 

The COVID-19 virus is mainly spread between individuals from exposure to droplets and aerosols generated in an individual's respiratory system (mouth, nose, throat, lungs, etc.). Droplets are created when talking, singing, playing instruments that require air to be blown into them, and through activities that require physical exertion, resulting in heavier breathing. The greater the force that droplets are expelled from the respiratory system, the greater the distance they can travel.

These guidelines provide specific guidance for safe return to performing arts activities. The Performing Arts Event Guidance section of these guidelines contains information for a limited return to public performances in large public venues. If COVID-19 activity increases in your area, responsible person(s) must be prepared to cancel and/or scale back events. All guests are responsible for assessing personal risk when attending any type of gathering.

For the purpose of their operations, dance schools and students should refer to the Sport and Activities Guidelines for current guidance on restrictions.

Responsible Person(s) – The organizer(s) of the event and/or the owner/operator of the facility that is responsible for ensuring these guidelines are followed. This person(s) must make themselves known to all attendees and, when required, to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. All attendees, staff and volunteers be familiar with the guidelines.

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1. General

  • All requirements of the public health order(s) must be observed.
  • Participating individuals must self-monitor for illness and stay home when sick. Those who become unwell with symptoms related to COVID-19 must immediately return home and call HealthLine 811.
  • One-on-one lessons must follow the relevant guidelines in this document as they relate to the specific activity (i.e. private vocal, instrumental, theatre, dance lessons).
  • Effective June 20, 2021, in Step Two of Saskatchewan’s Re-Opening Roadmap, capacity limits will increase to 150 from 30 people. Occupancy must be maintained that allows staff and customers to maintain two metres of physical distance.
  • Venues that offer in-house dining must follow the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines.
  • Unless otherwise indicated in these guidelines, physical distancing of two metres must be maintained between individuals.
    • Visual cues for distancing, directional flow of movement through areas, and cordons or other barriers are recommended in common areas.
    • Signs and warnings about the risk of COVID-19, including mandatory masks and frequent handwashing, must be posted.
    • Commonly touched surfaces and shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected after contact between individuals, even when not visibly soiled. Special attention should be paid to commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, rails, etc.
  • Follow proper hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette:
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Scrub for 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN).
    • Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
    • Cough/sneeze into the bend of your elbow and then wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Designate one or more people to be responsible for ensuring compliance with these guidelines. All organizers/participants/videographers must self-monitor for symptoms and use the self-assessment tool at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.
  • Attendee lists must be collected and kept for a minimum of 30 days. Contact details must include date, time, name, address and phone number or email address.
  • At-risk populations, such as seniors and people with underlying health conditions, should avoid activities that increase the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
  • Whenever possible, performing arts activities should be moved outdoors due to the lower risk of spreading the virus.
  • All participants in performing arts must wear a mask per the requirements in the public health order.
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2. Choir/Group Vocals

Caution: multiple confirmed and suspected outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus have been linked to choirs.

  • Choirs should be broken into smaller vocal ensembles wherever possible. However, they must not exceed 150 people.
  • Choirs are permitted to hold public performances provided performers are separated from patrons by four metres.
  • Audiences should be advised to avoid singing along with the choir.
  • Please refer to the Public Health Order related to Face Coverings for masking requirements.
  • Singers must be positioned in a staggered manner to avoid standing front-to-back or face-to-face.
  • The conductor must wear a non-medical or procedure mask and maintain at least three metres of separation from other participants.
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3. Orchestras

Air blown into woodwind instruments follows a relatively short and direct path through the instrument. As such, respiratory droplets can be ejected from the instrument. Brass instruments require blown air to follow a more convoluted path, which reduces the risk of ejecting droplets. However, moisture accumulates in the instrument and can be manually ejected through the water key or spit valve, which can create droplets.

  • Live music – including singing – should be separated from patrons by a distance of four metres.
  • When indoors, all musicians must wear a non-medical mask at all times during the performance, except for musicians playing a woodwind, brass or other instrument operated by breath. All musicians must maintain a distance of three metres from others while playing.
  • Instrument bell covers made of a tightly woven fabric with at least two layers are recommended.
  • Instruments, drum sticks/mallets, music stands and other items must not be shared between participants, unless cleaned and disinfected between uses. Items that can't be disinfected (e.g. sheet music) must not be shared, laminated to allow for disinfection, or held for 24 hours before sharing. Hand hygiene must be completed prior to handling common items.
  • Instruments should be cleaned and maintained at home or off site.
  • A designated area must be established where onsite cleaning or maintenance is necessary. This area must be used individually and cleaned/disinfected frequently. Liquid expelled from water keys must be captured on an absorbent, disposable material.
  • While 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol can often be used for disinfecting instruments, musicians should consult manufacturers or other professionals to ensure they aren't damaged.
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4. Bands

Air blown into woodwind instruments follows a relatively short and direct path through the instrument. As such, respiratory droplets can be ejected from the instrument. Brass instruments require blown air to follow a more convoluted path, which reduces the risk of ejecting droplets. However, moisture accumulates in the instrument and can be manually ejected through the water key or spit valve, which can create droplets.

  • Live music (i.e. bar/pub) – including singing – should be separated from patrons. People in the band must be four metres from patrons.
  • When indoors, all musicians must wear a non-medical mask at all times during the performance, except for musicians playing a woodwind, brass or other instrument operated by breath. All musicians must maintain a distance of three metres from others while playing.
  • Instrument bell covers made of a tightly woven fabric with at least two layers are recommended.
  • Instruments, drum sticks/mallets, music stands and other items must not be shared between participants, unless cleaned and disinfected between uses. Items that can't be disinfected (e.g. sheet music) must not be shared, laminated to allow for disinfection, or held for 24 hours before sharing. Hand hygiene must be completed prior to handling common items.
  • Instruments should be cleaned and maintained at home or off site.
  • A designated area must be established where onsite cleaning or maintenance is necessary. This area must be used individually and cleaned/disinfected frequently. Liquid expelled from water keys must be captured on an absorbent, disposable material.
  • While 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol can often be used for disinfecting instruments, musicians should consult manufacturers or other professionals to ensure they aren't damaged.
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5. Theatre (including Musical Theatre)

  • Requirements apply to all 'front of house' and 'back of house' operations.
  • Please refer to the Public Health Order related to Face Coverings for masking requirements.
  • When performances involve singing or projecting voice, performers must be separated from patrons and other performers by a distance of four metres.
  • Performances that require close contact between individuals must be avoided, where possible. Adjust performances or select performance options with limited participants, such as solos, spoken word, etc.
  • Carefully manage the use of dressing rooms, makeup areas, etc. to ensure proper distancing.
  • Makeup should not be shared at this time.
  • Shared items, such as costumes and props, should be avoided where possible. Shared items must be laundered or cleaned and disinfected after each performance.
  • Masks, microphones or other items likely to be exposed to respiratory droplets must not be shared.
  • Where possible, auditions and rehearsals should be conducted remotely using video conferencing systems.
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6. Dance

  • Dance competitions and recitals are permitted for all age group and must abide by the required mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants at all times.
  • Interprovincial competitions are not permitted at this time.
  • Effective June 20, 2021, maximum capacity per facility is 150 not including staff, coaches and building staff.
  • Discourage spectator mingling between non-household/close contact groups (e.g. posters, announcements, directional signage, etc.).
  • Consider remote rehearsals/practices using video conferencing systems.
  • Areas for dancers should be marked, and dancers should be instructed to remain within their designated areas.
  • Dance styles, forms and moves that require direct physical contact must be avoided at this time.
  • Props and other items must not be shared between dancers, and they must be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Dancers should be encouraged to arrive and depart in their dance clothing to minimize crowding in change areas.
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7. Performing Arts Event Guidance

General

  • Effective June 20, 2021, venues are permitted to have 150 individuals (not including event staff, volunteers) for performances where assigned seating is in place and two metres of distancing is managed and maintained. A checklist submission or COVID preparedness plan is required for all public entertainment and performance events (see: COVID-19 Large Public Venue Event Preparedness Checklist).
  • A COVID-19 checklist of COVID preparedness plan is to be completed by event organizers for events that will welcome up to 30 people.
  • Any business, community group or other organization hosting an event must designate one or more people to be responsible for ensuring compliance with these and any other applicable guidelines.
  • Attendees must be made aware of the name and contact number of the person(s) responsible for the event.
  • Attendees must be notified upon entry of the necessary measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within the event area. Signage should be posted in visible locations at entrances and throughout the event areas.
  • The organizer shall establish a response plan should a patron or staff/volunteer become ill and display COVID-19 symptoms while at the venue. The plan shall be made available for review upon request by local public health officials.
  • Where possible, the organizer should provide attendees with the option to attend events virtually using online/social media platforms and consider supporting vulnerable populations with dedicated showings or performances.
  • Online admission ticketing should be used, where possible.
  • Cashless or no-contact payment should be used as much as possible, with physical distancing being observed at all times.
  • Limit the duration of the event. Organizers should provide attendees with a suitable timeframe for arrival to the event to ensure crowds/line-ups are minimized. Attendees should leave immediately following the event/gathering to discourage gathering in common areas.
  • Seating areas are subject to the following:
    • Physical distancing is required between individuals with the exception of household.
    • In stadium or bleacher-type seating areas, leave rows empty and provide signage where necessary.
    • Use assigned seating.
  • Where food and beverage is offered, the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines must be followed. Where any of these facilities offer food or beverage service, they must keep the activity separate (i.e. cordoned off) from the food and beverage service. No food or drink may be in the activity area.

Contact Tracing

  • Responsible persons are strongly encouraged to collect attendee names and contact information, such as a phone number and/or email address. Where possible, this information should be collected prior to the event to prevent line-ups. Information will be requested by the Saskatchewan Health Authority only for the purposes of contact tracing if a COVID-19 exposure is linked to the event.
  • Attendee records should be retained for at least 30 days after the event.
  • Downloading and using the COVID Alert tracing app is recommended.

Crowd Management

  • Responsible persons for the event must:
    • Manage crowds in common areas, especially during breaks in ceremonies, entertainment, etc.
    • Manage crowds as they exit an event area so physical distancing can be maintained. This may be done through visual markings and calling areas/sections to limit the numbers of persons exiting at a time.
    • Limit the duration of an event and/or limit participants.
    • As an additional safety measure, install barriers (e.g. Plexiglas window at a booth/kiosk/cubicle higher than head-height).
  • Where possible, event access areas should also be controlled (e.g. parking areas, erect barriers, set maximum occupancy, signage).
  • Avoid activities that do not allow physical distancing, such as party games or crowding together for photographs.
  • Ensure processions have adequate space to move while maintaining physical distancing.

Food and Beverage Service

  • Food services that are licensed under The Food Safety Regulations (i.e. restaurants, mobile food vendors) are subject to the requirements contained in the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines.
  • Where any of these facilities offer food or beverage service, they must keep the activity separate (i.e. cordoned off) from the food and beverage service. No food or drink may be in the activity area.
  • For all other food service, see the Temporary Food Vendor Guidelines.
  • For events that are not considered a temporary food event, but still intend to provide food and beverages:
    • No buffet style or self-service foods or beverages permitted.
    • Single portions and pre-packaged foods may be provided.
    • Common touch items are not permitted. This includes self-serve beverages (including mix and ice), napkins, utensils and condiments. The exceptions are single-use items that are wrapped (e.g. ketchup, mustard).
    • Provide single-serve refreshments only.
    • Close drinking fountains. Water bottle filling stations are acceptable if appropriately and frequently sanitized.

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