Re-opening of Concert Hall

If Port Hope’s Capitol can re-open for live shows and Film Festivals, why can’t Cobourg’s Concert Hall?  Prompted by someone wanting a wedding on November 27 in Victoria Hall, Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council (CoW) meeting agreed with five delegations that re-opening on November 1st would be a good idea so a motion was passed to do just that.  Re-opening would include the bar and Box-office and would use two of three staff who had been temporarily re-assigned – there are no plans to hire.  The Concert Hall Capacity is 160 but Covid-19 restrictions would limit occupancy to 50% of this – masks would also be required as well as proof of double vaccinations and recording of names.  The cost would be $2,500 for re-stocking the bar although this would be recovered from renters.

Delegations concerning Concert Hall

All delegations wanted the Concert Hall to re-open as soon as possible.

  • Leona Woods, Victoria Hall Volunteers – was keen to resume in-person meetings and also to hold a major event (A Night to Remember) now scheduled for 14 May 2022.
  • Carla Jones, Cobourg & District Historical Society (CDHS) – the group normally hold meetings in the Civic Forum but given capacity limits, this would not be large enough so would like to hold meetings in the Concert Hall starting in 2022.
  • Jeff Halligan and Joel Varty, VOS Theatre (Victorian Operetta Society) – their last show was in 2019 and since they need about 10 months lead time, they need to be sure that they can stage their next performance in November 2022.  They also have a long list of questions.  At stake is the $60K required up front for a show which is mostly recovered by ticket sales.
  • Ross Pigeau (standing in for Micol Marotti), Film Access Northumberland.  FAN plans a weekend film Festival on 3, 4, 5, June 2022 that would be held in the Concert Hall.  This includes a gala opening and the Concert Hall would be an especially good venue.
  • Jack Boyagian, Northumberland Players.  As well as asking that the Concert Hall re-open a.s.a.p., Jack also asked Council to be concerned about Cultural Planning and mentioned the possibility of Brookside as being an Arts Centre.

Although they did not send a delegation, I see that Les Amis has scheduled a Concert at the Concert Hall on January 30, 2022.

At the same CoW meeting, Council approved the requirement that all staff be vaccinated.  When Councillor Nicole Beatty asked what would be done if someone refused, CAO Tracey Vaughan said that they would first participate in an “education” session and if they still refused, would be tested regularly.

In summary, it is now planned to open the Concert Hall, the Courtroom, the Civic Forum and the Box Office for weddings, holiday shows and concerts – maintaining Covid-19 restrictions – starting November 1st and continuing into 2022.

In addition, staff will be reviewing pricing and markups to increase the profit margins. The review will align with the timing of the other user fees study.

All CoW decisions are subject to confirmation at the Regular Council meeting on October 12.

Clarification

A capacity of 160 is given above based on a statement at the Council meeting – this must be the 50% number for a Full Theatre.  The numbers on the Concert Hall web site are:
Concert Hall Capacities

Full Theatre – 318
Dinner Theatre – 156
Cabaret with full Stage – 138
Cabaret – 240

News Update – 8 October

The Province has announced that effective October 10, Concert Venues, theatres and Cinemas may open at full capacity.  Proof of full vaccination and masks are still required.  This would mean that the Concert Hall will be able to operate at full capacity

Links

Capitol Theatre re-opening – 22 September 2021

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10 Comments
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Rob
12 October 2021 4:32 pm

Ontario lifted the capacity limits for theaters, hopefully Cobourg will acknowledge this and do the same.

Engaged
8 October 2021 10:43 am

I believe you will find that the capacity of the Concert Hall is probably 320 and the number of 160 is the 50% allowed under Covid guidelines.

Sandpiper
8 October 2021 9:23 am

I would assume that most reopening’s and meetings involving the Town Hall and staff is due to the fact that the Council Can not get their act together about Vaccinations or leading by Example . As I understand it they have stalled and bantered this one around the Virtual council chambers for months now .

Frenchy
Reply to  John Draper
8 October 2021 10:50 am

It’s too bad that paragraph didn’t read:
“At the same CoW meeting, Council approved the requirement that all staff be vaccinated.” Stop.
Not “that all staff should be vaccinated”… kinda.

Concerned
Reply to  Frenchy
8 October 2021 1:57 pm

That’s easy to stay but town leaders have to look at continued operations. Being a conservative leaning town what happens if 30% of town staff aren’t vaccinated and won’t get vaccinated, say the majority of those are in water treatment? How are we then to ensure continued operation of water treatment. Before the final decision is made on what the final step is they have to know all the information. If vaccination rate is high 85-95% maybe they will say unpaid leave. You cannot make a decision like this without having all information as was done in Toronto when they realized how high the vaccination rate was amongst their city staff. My understanding from the CoW is that they will have that in short order. The final policy is yet to be released.

Leweez
Reply to  Concerned
8 October 2021 2:11 pm

Just curious, does anyone know how many water treatment plant employees there actually are?

Frenchy
Reply to  Concerned
9 October 2021 8:40 am

To Concerned and Gerinator, remember back in 1981 when Ronald Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers? I don’t remember any airplanes falling out of the sky, do you?

Merle Gingrich
Reply to  John Draper
8 October 2021 10:57 am

John, I read what you notedand in my opinion if any staff refuse vacination lay them off without pay, until proof of vaccination is made.

Gerinator
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
8 October 2021 3:37 pm

Don’t agree. As mentioned above there are critical positions that just don’t have backup. Propose: A tally, by name, of who remains unvacc’d. These people have to come in 30 mins early (than normal start time) to get tested, every single day. There will be an incremental cost but we gain folks on the job (who will hopefully tire of this game over time) and become part of the ‘herd’ that they accuse us of being.