Arts + Music » Arts + Culture

Don’t refund your local event ticket

Lockdown advice: Consider standing in solidarity with Halifax’s arts community by keeping it as a goodwill gesture.

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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.

Are your internal reserves of hope and optimism running dry? There is good reason to lower the well bucket into them anyway, because it’ll replenish the depleting stock for both yourself and your community. And here’s a no-effort way to do it: If you bought a ticket to an in-person local arts event before yesterday’s lockdown announcement—maybe a concert at The Derby Showbar you were looking forward to, or a play reading at Neptune Theatre you couldn’t wait for—keep it, if you’re financially able. Even though the show must go on pause, hold onto that stub, e-ticket or email like the promise for tomorrow that it is.

“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.”

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.

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