While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in thousands of jobs losses all across the country, many industries have been forced to find different ways to conduct business just to stay afloat. Among them is Edmonton’s arts community, which has taken its creativity to a whole new level.
“We had to cancel or postpone some of the shows that we had planned in the spring,” Daryl Cloran, artistic director with the Citadel Theatre said.
And the list of cancelled shows doesn’t stop there, resulting in some tough decisions.
“It’s been a bit of a heart breaking challenge in many ways, ultimately the Citadel will survive this, we’re long standing, we will live to produce theatre again — but it was challenging to say goodbye to so many of our staff,” Chantell Ghosh, executive director with the Citadel said.
But for the Citadel, the show must go on.
“We started an online series called the Stuck in the House Series and it’s been great, we’ve been doing it for a few weeks now,” Cloran said.
“Every day we put a video by an Edmonton artist up on our Facebook [page], and its been a really nice way to keep the art alive.”
In just a few weeks the series has had more than 67,000 views. A growing way to entertain the masses online while also supporting performers.
“We’re able to pay them with an honorarium, thanks to a partnership we have with the Edmonton Community Foundation and then we’re taking donations online as well for people to donate and that goes straight to the artists,” Cloran said.
The support from theatre lovers hasn’t stopped there there.
A positive response for an industry that isn’t easily adaptable.
“It’s not like a restaurant where you say, ‘Oh the ban is lifted… we’re opening up in a few days and bring back our staff.’
We need a little more ramp-up time, but we’ve built out those plans so we know that the minute the trigger is pulled we’re like, ‘Okay, here we go,'” Ghosh said.