Working Together to Protect Our Artists
January 26, 2021
Tanya Howard. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
“It’s been incredibly comforting to see the company going to such lengths to keep us healthy and safe. Before the provincial lockdown, we were training and rehearsing in small groups at the Walter Carsen Centre, where everything is thoroughly cleaned and marked to ensure we keep our distance. We even had a nurse come in to administer COVID-19 testing. This has been a great help to us mentally as we try to tap back into everything we know and love about dance without risking our health or that of our loved ones.”First Soloist Tanya Howard
The health of our artists is of paramount importance and donor support has been essential for the implementation of our COVID-19 safety measures. We continue to adjust our planning, operations and schedules as needed so that we can employ and protect our artists as well as stay connected with audiences, youth in schools and the broader community through the digital realm.
Here are some of the steps we’ve taken to ensure a safe working environment when the Walter Carsen Centre is open:
- The dancers are classified as elite professional athletes and, as such, access the Walter Carsen Centre for distanced training and rehearsals (outside of the current lockdown measures). They work in pods of up to 6 people to limit the number of contacts. Where possible, dancers who live together are grouped together. A teacher and pianist lead ballet class in one studio and the class is broadcast to dancers in other studios.
- Dancers entering the Walter Carsen Centre must undergo regular health screening measures, temperature checks and COVID-19 testing as required. They continue to have access to multiple physical therapies and mental health supports safely in person or through virtual appointments.
- The company has installed high efficiency filters for improved ventilation, plexiglass dividers at reception and touchless fixtures for water fountains and washrooms, among other building upgrades.
A temperature check before entering the Walter Carsen Centre for the National Ballet. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
Artists of the Ballet in a physically distanced rehearsal. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
We look forward to providing more updates in the coming months about the ongoing Together for Ballet campaign and how your generosity is keeping the company strong until we can resume regular performances.