Curtis Pendleton is the executive director of the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

Live theatre performances to restart in October at ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge

Registration for summer camps starting June 16

Theatrical performances will once again be taking place at the ACT Arts Centre – if it is determined that the theatre can open safely – as early as October.

An announcement about the continuation of the ACT Presents 2020/21 season is being planned for later this summer, said Curtis Pendleton, executive director of the arts centre, in a press release.

But, due to the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, if the ACT is forced to cancel any of its performances, she wants ticket buyers to know, they will be offered a full refund.

Registration will also be taking place for July and August summer camps starting June 16. Options will include both in-person camps as well as those for virtual learning.

READ MORE: The ACT shuts its doors

In-person classes will meet the 50-person gathering restrictions for the building and will take place in spaces that will allow for social distancing. This means that the facility will only be accessible to registered participants and invited guests.

Other safeguards will include handwashing and enhanced cleaning, as determined by the provincial guidelines.

“Not all programs will be able to restart immediately or concurrently, but we have finally begun to look to the future with hope and excitement, in anticipation of all the things participating in the arts brings to our lives,” said Pendleton in the release.

“As we re-open in stages, our first priority has always been and will be keeping our patrons, staff, visitors, and volunteers comfortable and safe,” she added.

READ MORE: ACT Board cautious about reopening the arts centre in Maple Ridge

Before the pandemic, said Pendleton, The Arts Centre was set to break a 10-year record for participation across their growing number of programs.

The ACT was forced to shut its doors on March 9.

However, the temporary closure of the centre due to COVID-19 pandemic, has had a severe financial effect on the centre’s current fiscal year, and will inevitably have long-term effects to the Centre’s future programs and operations.

“The coming year will likely look different as we regain our footing in this changed landscape,” said Pendleton, noting that she is grateful to the funders and contributors who helped the centre financially, “to build a financial and organizational bridge to the future”.

In the anticipation of gathering restrictions possibly being expanded at the end of the summer, Pendleton will also be exploring financially sustainable operational models for The ACT Art Gallery space for continued community and artist access.

“The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council has been a part of the community for almost 50 years, and has built the organization into its recent success over a long period of time,” Pendleton noted.

“We will do so again. We are patient, tenacious and creative. And we appreciate the public’s support.”

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