Government of Alberta eases COVID-19 health restrictions

Date: Jan 8, 2021

Effective February 8, 2021, Alberta entered into Step 1 of the Government of Alberta’s four-step framework to ease restrictions. Alberta Health is responsible for establishing and enforcing current health restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Artists and arts organizations are encouraged to review Alberta's "Path Forward" plan on Alberta.ca; however, a short summary of what remains restricted and what is now permited as related to the arts sector is below.

What remains restricted

Entertainment businesses and entities must remain closed. These include:

  • Art galleries, libraries and museums
  • Movie theatres, auditoria and concert halls
  • Gyms and studios

Performance activity for adults remains restricted. Alberta Health defines performance activity as theatre, dance, singing and playing wind instruments. 

  • Performances for an audience is prohibited in any setting. 
  • Rehearsals and practices are permitted in outdoor settings to a maximum of 10 participants. Physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed.
  • Rehearsals, practices and lessons in indoor settings involving 2 or more are not permitted unless it is 1-to-1 with a coach or instructor.
  • Lessons cannot occur in a facility that is closed under the current measures. 

What restrictions have eased

There have been some easing of restrictions for school-related and limited indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance activities.

Children’s performance activities are permitted if related to school activities, such as music class. K-12 schools and post-secondary children’s sport and performance activities, such as physical education classes, can now use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.

Lessons, practices and conditioning activities, but not games, may occur for indoor team-based minor sports/activities and school athletics. In this case, fitness activities can  also applies to some dance activities. 

  • Can participate in any indoor group training for team sports and other activities with up to a maximum of 10 people participating (including the coach/trainers)
  • Mandatory physical distance of 3 metres is maintained between participants at all times for indoor fitness activities.
  • Participants can remove masks when engaged in high intensity physical exercise (any coach/trainer must remain masked at all times).
  • Activities cannot occur in a facility that is closed under the current measures. 

The AFA encourages its stakeholders to consult with measures and restrictions outlined at www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx. Alberta Health may update policies and protocols listed on this page without notifying the AFA. 

Restrictions on "group performance activities"

Alberta Health defines this as any organized activity consisting of two or more persons who come together, whether as part of a practice, rehearsal or performance, to sing, dance, play wind instruments and/or perform live theatre including but not limited to choirs, wind instrumental groups, dance troupes and theatre groups.

  • This does not apply to an individual student and teacher setting (e.g. singing lessons).

What activities are restricted?

In-person performances for audiences are not permitted, either indoors or outside.

Virtual and drive-in performances, where the audience members stay in their vehicles, are allowed.

For performance activities, outdoor rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants, and physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed; however, indoor rehearsals or practices are not permitted. One-to-one, in-person lessons (indoors) are permitted, but virtual lessons are strongly encouraged where possible.

Do these restrictions apply to rehearsals and practices?

Group rehearsals and practices taking place indoors are banned. Outdoor rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants, and physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed

Can performing arts groups continue practicing for upcoming events?

Rehearsals and practices taking place indoors are banned. Outdoor rehearsals and practices are permitted up to a maximum of 10 participants, and physical distancing and other relevant guidelines must be followed

As an alternative, you are also welcome to hold remote or virtual practices.

Are school-based performing arts groups required stop all activities?

Children’s performance activities are permitted if related to school activities, such as music class. Performances and concerts for a live audience are banned.

Band and drama classes are permitted.

Additionally, K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions are now allowed to use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.

Can non-school based performing arts instructors continue teaching?

Instruction may continue in a 1:1 setting or where members of the same household are in a lesson together.

Questions?

Staff are available to help. Please contact Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women by emailing artsbranch@gov.ab.ca if you have questions.