TAPA has been focussed on advocacy this week seeking clarity on the restrictions announced on Tuesday regarding Ontario’s new state of emergency and stay-at-home order. In response to the provincial lock down notice TAPA sent a letter earlier this week on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.
The impact to TAPA members and the arts and culture sector is enormous and we recognize that there is confusion on the recent amendment to O. Reg. 82/20 (Reopening Ontario Act, 2020) for venue operations. We have been advised that the City of Toronto staff cannot interpret or advise on the changes to the Act but can only attempt to clarify the situation. TAPA is continuing to work with the City who have also advised us that City Legal Services are engaging the Province for interpretation of the recent updates and Toronto Public Health is updating sector guidance documents with that information when it becomes available.
At present TAPA and the city of Toronto are relying on three documents issued by the Province: previous iteration of the regulations (issued December 26, 2020), the Workplace Safety Measures document (issued on Jan 12, 2021), and the amendment to O Reg 82/20 (issued Jan 13, 2021).
- Schedule 2, Section 68 (Entertainment) of the legislation has been revoked. What was permitted under this section is no longer permitted.
- The Workplace Safety Measures (page 26) and the previous iteration of the act identify sector restrictions and allowances for film and television productions. Whether creation of content (i.e. sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses or film and television production) is considered to fall within these criteria or a theatre/venue could be considered a location for these activities is not reflected in any of this documentation issued by the Province; the city is continuing to seek clarity and will advise as soon as they are able
- Venue owners, etc. can still access their buildings for building maintenance, etc.;
- The state of emergency is expected to last at least 28 days.
TAPA continues to communicate with our contacts at the provincial level and working together strategically with other industry partners. We are continuing to work for clarity and regulatory fairness. In the meantime we advise TAPA members to seek legal counsel for your engagement on these activities. TAPA recognizes that this is causing a lot of stress and hardship. We will keep you posted.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanks so much
Questions for City of Toronto staff regarding COVID impact on the Culture sector should be sent to CultureTO@toronto.ca