We’re about to do this whole thing again: Another lockdown, aiming to curb a spike in cases in a province that, so far, has been a leading example of how to do this whole COVID thing right. It’s been a combination of personal vigilance, pre-existing factors and, often, individual privilege (like the ability for office workers to work from home) that has carried us through—along with a sense of hope and a commitment to optimism.
Related State of the arts: Why did it take a global pandemic for us to start seriously talking about cultural funding?
Related Halifax goes back into lockdown to fight community spread: The third wave has arrived, bringing with it four weeks of restrictions.
“By keeping your tickets for the show, or the event or the concert you’ve invested in, what you’re doing is you’re saying to the arts community: ‘You matter and I have this 20 dollars, 30 dollars, whatever it is, and I can leave it with you right now, as an investment and as a belief that you’re going to come through this,’” explains Neptune Theatre’s artistic director, Jeremy Webb, speaking with The Coast this morning by phone.
“Because, as you know, the arts community—theatre, dance, music, tourism—all those events, all those festivals and concerts, are hurting the most right now. Because we were the first ones out, completely, to shut down and we’re guaranteed to be among the last to reopen again and to be at capacity again—because we are all about gathering and communal experience.”
Related Are online shows live music's new lifeline?: Halifax's Side Door is "hoping to be a life raft for artists" during the pandemic.
Related O funding, where art thou?: How are all levels of government going to support the arts sector? And is what they're doing enough?
Eventually, the stay-at-home order will end. We will have been jabbed twice in the arm with a vaccine. But, what will be returning to? What will our city be like in The After Times? Every ticket not refunded, every note of support to a local arts organization sent, helps ensure it’ll be a Halifax with a rich, resilient arts and culture sector—something that helps our city economically and also makes it the sort of place worth living in and experiencing.
Webb exhales, as tired as all of us are today, as tired as anyone who’s been fighting for over 370 days to keep their place of work and place of community alive would expect to be. “If you can afford to right now—and that’s a big if—leave [that ticket money] where it is,” he says. “It basically shows the arts community that you get it and you’re with us.”
Full disclosure: The Coast owns local ticket company Ticket Halifax. If you want to have a Ticket Halifax ticket refunded, you can do so here.