“Like renting a Boeing 747 for 40 people”

«Comme louer un Boeing 747 pour 40 personnes»

Even if they can now accommodate up to 250 people, several entertainment venues of Quebec will remain closed because of the sanitary measures in place would not allow them to leverage a raise.

These are mainly larger rooms who do not plan to present performances in the current conditions.

“250 people, it will not open. It is too expensive. I don’t have a programming prepared for 250 people. It is impossible. And even if it were possible, it is necessary to prepare”, slice the owner of the Olympia of Montreal, Patrick Lévy.

At the Théâtre Saint-Denis, Claude Chabot also provides a quiet autumn. Only the hybrid version of the Just for laughs festival, in early October, could prompt it to open its doors.

“To be performing in a big room with 250 people, it is like renting a Boeing 747, for 40 people. […] To resume the normal activities, as long as it will not have the famous vaccine, I think that you will not be able to do much of anything. I expect that it is not until at least next summer,” observes the owner of the Théâtre Saint-Denis, Claude Chabot.

In the Centre Videotron, in Quebec, there is only one remaining concert in the program of 2020, that of Lara Fabian, 5 December, which was originally scheduled to take place on 4 April. Again, “we can’t even guarantee that it is going to take place,” says the publicist Gabriel Marchessault.


Others will offer performances tailored to the limit of 250 people and distancing physical required. This is the case, among others, of the Star National Bank Brossard, qc, Place des Arts Montreal’s Palais Montcalm and Grand Théâtre in Quebec city.

“Our programmer is working on a suitable offer, be it classroom, online or hybrid,” stated Claudie Lapointe, publicist of the Palais Montcalm in Quebec city, where the largest room can receive 170 spectators, observing a gap of 1.5 metres.

On the side of the theatre, the institutions based in Montreal and Quebec city, will unveil, during the next few weeks, a fall programming line-up based on the rules in force.

“There will be readings, drama, musical concerts, but not of major forms of theatre nor of the great spectacles of the circus”, said the director general of the Diamond, at Quebec, Bernard Gilbert.

It remains that broadcasters are campaigning openly for a déconfinement more generous. A rift reduced to one metre between the spectators would give a significant boost, advance Claude Désormeaux, the salle Albert-Rousseau.

“This would enable a considerable increase of the tonnage.” If such a measure was accompanied by a further increase of the limit of the gatherings, it would be possible to present shows to a larger scale, judge-t-it.

Under supervision

Questioned about this in the press briefing, on Monday, the national director of public health has indicated that it wants to first see if there will be outbreaks related to entertainment. Still, it does not close the door.

“I have confidence that if people follow the instructions and that there was no outbreak, you can release him,” he said.

With the collaboration of Sandra Godin, Nora T. Lamontagne and Yves Leclerc

  • Quebec has announced, Monday, a temporary financial assistance of 6 million intended for cultural places. The program will be posted online Friday and will be administered by SODEC.
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