Several organizations in the cultural sector would have liked the vaccination passport to allow a relaxation of the measures of attendance at shows, which is not being considered for the moment.

It seems that only libraries and museums will be exempt from requiring the vaccine passport to their customers, according to information obtained by the director general of the Quebec Theater Council, Catherine Voyer-Léger, during a meeting held earlier this week. between fifty representatives of cultural organizations and the Ministry of Culture.

In the midst of large festivals, there are particular complaints about the rule that we must set up areas welcoming a maximum of 500 people each. “There are no relaxations planned […] in connection with the vaccine passport ”, laments Martin Roy, CEO of the Regroupement des évents major internationals (REMI). “We need counterparts, because we don’t see how we’re going to get there. “

Festivals technically have the right to host 15,000 people, but to do so they would have to set up 30 separate areas of 500 people each. “With independent inputs and outputs, it’s impossible to do that. We need flexibility, ”says Mr. Roy. For this same hypothetical festival, it would also be necessary to have a space of 30,000 square meters, while “the Place des Festivals measures a little over 6,000 square meters”, he notes. However, “we do not bring Lady Gaga for 2,500 people”.

In the opinion of the CEO of REMI, with the imposition of the vaccination passport, it would be necessary either to abolish the independent zones altogether, or to modify the minimum square footage, or to modify the number of supervisors required, which is one supervisor. for 125 people.

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“Save the fall, if it can be”

On the side of the Association of independent theaters of Quebec (ASSIQ), we would have liked to see a reduction in mandatory distance with the arrival of the vaccine passport. “Our main concern is to save the fall, if it can be,” says Michel Sabourin, president of ASSIQ. Right now, artists and producers aren’t rushing. “

By leaving one meter of distance between each person, venues operate at an average of 40% of their capacity, compromising the profitability of many shows, he says. “Right now, there are a lot of people wondering if there is a career to be had in the cultural field. The theaters will also have to hire additional staff to check the vaccination passport, in the midst of a labor shortage.

On the side of the Quebec Theater Council, we would have liked small venues to be freed from the burden of checking the vaccination passports of their visitors. We are also worried about the future of student outings. “What we hear is that school trips to primary and secondary would not be affected” by the vaccination passport, says Catherine Voyer-Léger. However, she says she fears that professors from CEGEPs and universities will refrain from planning theater activities in order to avoid penalizing unvaccinated students.

On the side of festivals as on the side of theaters, we also fear possible altercations if we refuse entry to an unvaccinated person.

Already, calls for tenders have been launched by the government for two test shows – one inside, the other outside – which would be held on September 25 in Quebec City in order to measure the possible spread of the virus. However, according to Martin Roy, of the REMI, these tests will be useless if they are held with the current restrictions. According to him, it would be necessary to relax the measures to verify whether a spread does indeed take place.

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