Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Return to Step Two: A Detailed Look at What the “Modified” Stage Means for Artists and Producers

A new year, but old regulations.

On January 3, the provincial government announced a return to a “modified Step Two;” a stage of reopening that Ontario hasn’t seen since late June. 

You’d be forgiven for not remembering the details of Step Two. Announced in late June, it lasted only a few weeks before the province advanced into further reopening. But from January 5 until at least January 26, Step Two is our new world. 

The rules are still as unclear as they were in the summer, and there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what exactly is allowed and what is not. We’ve attempted to break down the Provincial Reopening Act (as of January 1, 2022) and provide some analysis; however, where uncertainty may exist, we always recommend seeking legal advice.

General

  • Public libraries limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Social gatherings are limited to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
  • Organized public events are limited to 5 people indoors.
  • Indoor teaching and instruction (such as dance classes, youth orchestras, etc.) are closed to in-person activities.
  • Site visits for potential venues are allowed with an appointment.
  • Meeting and event spaces cannot be rented out for rehearsals/performances, as they are distinct from performance facilities.
  • Employees must work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be in-person.

Indoor Performances

Offstage

  • Indoor performance facilities (including theatres, cinemas, museums and concert venues) are closed to audiences.
  • Indoor rehearsals and streaming/broadcasting/recording can take place in performance facilities.

Onstage

  • Active screening and records required for performers and staff.
  • Impermeable barriers are not required between singers, players of woodwind and brass instruments and other performers.
  • No limit on the number of performers or workers allowed in a space (other than those set by fire codes)
  • Two-metre distance required onstage unless “necessary for the purposes of the performance or rehearsal,” or “necessary for the purposes of health and safety.”
  • Performers onstage are not required to wear masks

Outdoor Performances

  • Outdoor activities at performance facilities are permitted (with conditions as noted below)

Offstage

  • Events are limited to 50% of their “usual” seating capacity.
  • Audiences are required to be seated during the performance.
  • Reservations are required for all seated performances.
    • Workers and performers do not count towards this capacity limit.

Onstage

  • Active screening and records required for performers and staff.
  • Performers must maintain a physical distance of at least 2-metres from any audience members, or are separated from the audience by an impermeable barrier (such as plexiglas).

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