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Culture still has to wait

While Billie Eilish prepares to sing in front of 125,000 people at Coachella in April, Quebec theaters, theaters and cinemas must wait before reopening their doors.

• Read also: Quebec is tightening the screw again: no vaccine, no department store

During the press briefing announcing the return to class on Thursday, Prime Minister François Legault slipped without further details that the government hopes to be able to reopen the places of distribution for people fully vaccinated “in the coming weeks”.

Since the venues closed before the holidays, dozens of shows have been postponed or canceled.

“We hope to have some news in a week so that we do not have to postpone all our February dates and put our employees and our artists back to work, all of whom are short of work at the moment,” says the owner of the Olympia de Montreal, Patrick Lévy.

The president of the organization RIDEAU, David Laferrière, said he was encouraged that François Legault let hover the possibility of an imminent reopening.

“It is a sign that our community is heard and that we remain present in the discussions,” he says.

Culture still has to wait

AFP Photo

Artist Billie Eilish performs at the Austin City Limits Festival in Texas on October 9, 2021.

Normality in the United States

However, during this time, south of the border, cultural life has resumed its normal course.

In recent days, two major US festivals, Bonnaroo and Coachella, have unveiled their 2022 lineup.

On a site that can accommodate up to 125,000 people, the Coachella Festival, which is held in California in April, has confirmed that its headliners will be Billie Eilish, Kanye West and Harry Styles.

With us, despite the uncertainty created by Omicron, the Quebec City Summer Festival plans to unveil its 2022 grid this winter or early spring.

Moreover, as is the case for the performing arts, Quebec remains one of the few places in the world (along with Denmark, Ontario and British Columbia) where cinemas are closed.

In the United States, cinemas are operating at full speed, aided by the immense popularity of the new film in the Spider-Man saga.

In France, where the fifth wave hit very hard, cinemas were able to continue to welcome moviegoers with a “vaccine pass”. Since December 27, however, it is forbidden to consume food in theaters.


In Belgium, the government had ordered the closure of theaters, cinemas and theaters for a period of two weeks from December 22. However, several owners of theaters and cinemas have decided to challenge this decision by opening their doors anyway.

As a result, the Belgian government finally backed down and authorized these cultural venues to remain open while respecting a 200-spectator level.

– With the collaboration of Maxime Demers and Sarah-Émilie Nault

Elsewhere in the country And in the world

Ontario : performance halls, theaters and cinemas closed

British Columbia : limit of 50% of the capacity in concert halls. Closed cinemas

Alberta : rooms of more than 1000 spectators (50% maximum of the capacity), rooms of 500 to 1000 (500 people maximum), rooms of 500 and less (no limit)

Saskatchewan : masks and vaccine evidence in the rooms

Manitoba : 50% maximum in the rooms

New Brunswick : 50% of maximum total capacity, up to 150 people

New Scotland : rooms and cinemas closed

Scotland : the government announced the lifting of all measures next Monday

France : limit of 2000 people in large gatherings and standing places prohibited