They closed their doors in mid-March as the pandemic took hold around the world. Now two major Vancouver attractions are making plans for reopening, but it will be months before visitors can return.
“We’ve discovered it was much easier, although traumatic, to close than it is to reopen,” said Science World’s president and CEO Janet Wood. “We’re such a highly interactive organization. The kids come in and they run and jump and throw things.”
The facility is taking its time to come up with a plan to reopen safely. “We are thinking in the August timeframe, and in that time we’re really looking at how do we ensure our visitors are safe when they come in,” said Wood. “How do we have them flow around Science World, how do we ensure the right physical distancing, and at the same time, we want to ensure they have a fabulous time.”
The Vancouver Art Gallery will have an easier time reopening. “The gallery is a place where you can’t touch objects anyways,” said interim director Daina Augatis.
The gallery plans to reopen June 15 with a capacity of 250 people at a time and a timed, ticketed entry. “We’ve had the capacity of having several thousand people on a very busy day, so it’s a huge huge drop in admissions for us. That’s something that we’re grappling with as we move forward,” said Augatis.
Both attractions are heavily dependent on international tourists, who likely won’t be coming this year.
“So that’s going to definitely impact our visitor numbers, and then when we come to the fall, another big group for Science World is school kids. We usually have bus loads of kids pulling up in front of Science World, piling out and spending the morning or the afternoon here,” said Wood. School groups seem unlikely to arrive in the same numbers this fall.
The federal government’s wage subsidy program is helping Science World pay its employees and stay afloat while the doors are closed. “We are doing everything we can to ensure we can survive. At the same time, once the subsidy ends, depending on our visitor levels, we only have a few months we can survive,” said Wood.
Science World and the VAG are both counting on British Columbians to visit once their doors are open again. “We’re looking for local visitors to come and look at the collection that belongs to all citizens of Vancouver,” said Augatis.
PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism – Vernon Morning Star
A protest against anti-black violence and racism took over the grounds in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday night.
Thousands attended the rally, which Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer said was peaceful.
The protest Sunday (May 31) comes after nearly a week of protests in the United States, which were sparked by a Minneapolis police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe. Derek Chauvin was charged with murder Friday, and all four police officers present during Floyd’s death have been fired.
Floyd’s death was the latest in a series of confrontations, assaults and deaths of black Americans. On Feb. 23, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in Georgia while jogging. On March 13, Breonna Taylor, 26, was killed during a nighttime “no-knock warrant” by plainclothes Louisville police officers. On May 25, a woman called the police on Christian Cooper to tell them he was “threatening [her] life” when Cooper asked the woman to put her dog on a leash in New York’s Central Park.
In Canada, protesters also want answers about Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a black woman fell to her death from a 24th-floor apartment when police responded to a 911 call. Korchinski-Paquet’s death is being investigated by the police watchdog.
— Adam Palmer (@ChiefPalmer) June 1, 2020
— Lindsay Brown (@Lidsville) June 1, 2020
Incredible, hopeful, peaceful, determined crowd (masks on, 2m apart) at #Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism and creeping fascism. 10,000 I guess. Lots of antifascists here @realDonaldTrump, ya can’t arrest us all ✊✊ pic.twitter.com/KshneDRpU8
— Jim Stanford (@JimboStanford) June 1, 2020
Here’s an amazing shot of the crowd outside the Vancouver Art Gallery today. Everyone of you that was there deserves a standing O for showing solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters. #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bNHKdtVd5r
— Tej Dhaliwal (@DrDangles87) June 1, 2020
— S⃣UMMER ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@summersincities) June 1, 2020
Jacob Callender-Prasad, the organizer of the event, had called for Sunday rally to be peaceful.
“We do not need to riot in Vancouver, we do not need to destroy our community – that’s not needed here,” Callender-Prasad said in a video posted to the Black Vancouver Instagram page.
“It’s not the same as the United States. We don’t have cops going around causing damage here.”
Callender-Prasad has asked attendees to wear face masks and practice social distancing as COVID-19 precautions remain in effect in B.C. Organizers had expected about 1,000 to 2,000 people
Callender-Prasad said Sunday’s event would include a social media shoutout to U.S. President Donald Trump “to ask him to actually push the governor in Minnesota, to push them to charge those other three officers.”
Callender-Prasad said that although police brutality may be more prevalent south of the border, there are still issues in Canada to address.
“We still have instances in Canada of these unwanted and unfortunate events.”
The Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter said it was not the organizer of the event but stood in solidarity with those protesting.
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Theatre and film are inherently political, say art critics – CBC.ca
Dictators and autocrats on all sides of the political spectrum have always kept a close eye on what artists do and say.
Oligarchs know that art is dangerous. Art is subversive and anything that makes people think, or question, is a threat to those who wield power.
Art is political. In a discussion recorded at the Stratford Festival last year, three New York Times journalists discuss the politics of theatre — the relationship between what’s on the stage, and what’s going on in the lives and the world of the people in the audience.
“What makes theatre inherently political is that it’s an art of conversation and it’s an art of being in a room watching people talk to each other and work issues out,” says Scott Heller, theatre editor of the New York Times.
“I think that that’s why, unlike digital forms or other visual art forms, there’s something small p-political about being involved in watching theatre that leads you to think big P- politically … the art of theatre is the art of people negotiating and that immediately leads to larger ways to think about politics.”
Theatre is at its best when it can both reflect back what is happening in the world and also lead the audience to find a common ground in understanding each other and agreeing on common societal values, says Heller.
Representation in film
The history of theatre suggests that this has pretty much always been the case. The very oldest written plays we have come from ancient Greece nd those plays evoke similar experiences to a play written yesterday: we see characters much like ourselves, onstage, working out personal dilemmas and family feuds, while larger social struggles of the times loom in the background.
All of which means that we don’t always need new plays to understand the present we find ourselves in. Old plays frequently give us unnerving insights into ourselves today, and the modern society we live in. Turns out, people haven’t changed much over the millennia — and nor has human society.
The “kissing-cousin” as it were, of theatre is of course film — a similar story-and-audience relationship being played out, but with some quite profound differences.
Cara Buckley covers film for the New York Times — a medium that puts a premium on new production, and on the relevance of what people see to their own lives.
“What happens on that screen is so important for the audience in terms of how they see themselves and how they relate,” Buckley explains.
” I remember…seeing a film with Meryl Streep about the suffragettes, and I’d never seen so many women on screen doing smart political things that I was kind of taken aback.”
As a woman, Buckley says that experience speaks to the need for representation of different voices which she says is political. She adds the effect on the audience is profound when you see yourself reflected back to you by your own culture.
For both theatre and film, that question of the audience seeing themselves reflected on the stage or screen has become hugely important; in a ‘popular’ art form. The politics demands that the diversity of society needs to be represented in what we see.
“The response theatre had for many years was to try to speak to everyone at once. And that works when you have a big musical of a certain type, but otherwise it doesn’t work,” Jesse Green remarks.
The co-chief theater critic for The New York Times says theatre now is heading in a different direction, one he adds is a good thing.
“Theatre makers are understanding the power of what the other art forms have done, fractionalising and speaking to smaller groups — whether to encourage them in something they already know or whether to show them something that they thought they knew but actually didn’t.”
Guests in this episode:
Cara Buckley is a culture reporter for the New York Times who covers bias and equity issues in Hollywood. Previously, she worked as the Carpetbagger columnist, covering the campaigns and controversies of the film awards season. She has been a Metro reporter, covered the Iraq war and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. Born in Dublin, she grew up in Ireland and Canada, and lives in Brooklyn.
Scott Heller is the theater editor of The New York Times. He joined The Times in 2010 from The Boston Globe, where he had served as arts editor. Mr. Heller, a Brooklyn native, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, where he also earned an M.A. in American Studies.
Jesse Green is the co-chief theater critic for The New York Times. From 2013 to 2017 he was the theater critic for New York magazine, where he had also been a contributing editor, writing long-form features, since 2008. Articles he has written for these and many other publications have been recognized with nominations and prizes from the National Magazine Awards and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, among others.
* This episode was produced by Philip Coulter. It was recorded in 2019 in Stratford by Melissa Renaud. Special thanks to Ann Swerdfager and Antoni Cimolino.
N.B. art festival shifts gears to accommodate for physical-distancing – CTV News
SAINT JOHN —
A popular New Brunswick art festival has shifted its format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The mandate of the gallery is to transform unused spaces, or to reimagine different spaces in the uptown and beyond, to be an outdoor gallery space,” says Abigail Smith, festival associate.
THIRD SHIFT is in its sixth year and has drawn thousands of people to the city of Saint John.
The festival is usually a one-night only event, however, this year it will run for an entire week to accommodate for physical-distancing.
“The idea is that instead of having one event that happens for a few hours for one night, that if you’re not there you miss it, the idea is with the expansion of the festival, in terms of time and in terms of space, that we’ll prevent gathering that way,” says Katie Buckley, the executive director of Third Space Gallery.
“I think it’s really kind of a staple in the summer calendar in Saint John, so we’re really happy that we’re not cancelled and we’re going ahead in a new way.”
This year’s festival will showcase a series of temporary public art installations, along with digital programming.
“It actually has opened up a lot of possibility of having artists across Canada participate because so much of it is going to be online,” says Smith.
The THIRD SHIFT Festival will take place from August 21 to 28.
FIFA calls on organizers not to sanction in-game gestures supporting George Floyd – CBC.ca
A new free-to-play game from Tencent is poised to be the next billion-dollar franchise – CNBC
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