Health Minister Dix speaks to rural theatres in the Boundary-Kootenay region about concerns over COVID restrictions
Last week, six local theatre owners met with Adrian Dix, Minister of Health in British Columbia, and Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen, for a discussion on easing restrictions placed on theatres in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Business owners of all kinds have faced significant challenges as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MLA Russell.
“Having the chance to connect owners of our small community theatres with the Minister was a great opportunity to share the issues they’re facing, and for us to collaboratively look for ways to reopen safely once we start to turn the dimmer switch back up for the small businesses that are so important for our rural communities.”
Representing theatres at the meeting were:
- Maureen Paquet, The Gem Theatre, Grand Forks
- Lisa Milne, The Royal Theatre, Trail
- Lyle and Kandise Miller, Oliver Theatre, Oliver
- Noel and Sydney May, Kootenay Centre Cinemas, Castlegar
- Lowell Bradley, Old Theatre, Castlegar
- Eleanor Stacey, The Civic Theatre, Nelson.
“For the little GEM and Grand Forks, it was quite an honor. Even if there wasn’t any resolution to anything yet, at least they know we are still here and wanting to open as soon and safely as possible,” said Paquet.
During the lunchtime meeting, attendees expressed their gratitude to the Minister of Health, shared their concerns about how their businesses are classified and outlined the ways their businesses could operate safely within COVID guidelines.
Minister Dix received their suggestions and indicated that theatres are being considered in the development of British Columbia’s gradual restart plan.
More details are set to be announced on the province’s reopening plan next week and the group will meet again for further collaboration.
Province-wide public health orders and guidelines remain in place until midnight on Monday, May 24.