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.
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
Capitol Theatre re-opening – 22 September 2021