Orchestra Toronto’s COVID-19 Response

Core Principles

  • We are a community and we keep each other safe.
  • The health and social benefits of playing together and sharing our music are at the core of what we do.
  • We will treat all members of our community with care and respect. If a member does not feel safe returning to rehearsals right now, we will respect and support that decision, and make space for them when they do.
  • We will continue to refine our protocol and practices based on the best, most current research available.
  • Plans will change as circumstances change. We will communicate changes clearly and promptly.

Rehearsing Safely

Playing together is at the heart of what we do. In close consultation with our medical advisor, Orchestra Toronto has developed careful COVID-19 protocols to allow us to continue to rehearse and as long as we are permitted to do so.

Ways we have responded to COVID-19 at rehearsals

  • Updated programming, to allow for smaller groups playing together: We have divided the orchestra into two small groups, each of which will rehearse and perform half of the material for each concert or recording.
  • Shorter rehearsals: Each mini-orchestra will rehearse for 1 hour, with a half-hour break between groups to air the hall.
  • Mandatory masks, and brass and wind enclosures: Anyone not using their face to play an instrument will wear a mask. We have built enclosures for wind and brass players.
  • Ventilation and HEPA filters: We will open as many windows as possible in our rehearsal hall, and have invested in four high-capacity HEPA filters to scrub the air in rehearsals.
  • Physical distancing: All orchestra members are seated at least 6 feet apart.
  • Health tracking and contact tracing: Prior to rehearsal, all members must fill in a contact-tracing form.
  • Modified attendance requirements: We ask that anyone who has the slightest reason to believe they may be carrying any kind of illness stay home. If a member has had to miss rehearsals in order to keep other members safe, we will not penalize them, and we’ll assess their ability to perform on an individual basis.

Performing Safely

We will assess the risks of any performance using Public Health guidelines and work closely with our venues to create the safest conditions possible.

  • All performances will be recorded and streamed on-demand.
  • Should live audiences be permitted, we will seat audience members with a minimum of 6 feet between parties.
  • Anyone attending an Orchestra Toronto concert in any capacity will wear a mask.
  • To limit mingling, we will present shorter programmes with no intermissions. Instead, the hall doors will be kept open so that audiences can come and go quietly as needed.
  • We will communicate changes in programming or protocol as promptly and clearly as we can.
  • We will require any audience members to provide contact-tracing information.
  • We will promptly and unquestioningly refund ticket fees for any audience members who stay home in order to keep everyone safe.

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