Remai Modern, Persephone Theatre remain closed during coronavirus pandemic

The Remai Modern art gallery and Persephone Theatre remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The usually busy entertainment district in the River Landing area has come to a standstill.

Many artists and live performances have had to cancel or postpone.

Like many businesses in Saskatoon, they have taken a hit in revenues due to pandemic restrictions.

That is the case for the Remai Modern, which has been open since October 2017.

Roughly 310,000 visitors came to the art museum in 2019, in its second full season of operations.

However, they have gotten creative in connecting with their audience.

“We quickly pivoted to doing what we could do to expand our digital presence engaging our audiences with our artists at the forefront,” Remai Modern interim CEO Lynn McMaster said.

She added they have a section on their website called fields, which allows for interaction between local and international artists and audiences who would otherwise interact with their work in the Remai Modern.

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It consists of digital work, questionnaires with artists, Zoom interviews with paintings as the background, and Spotify Thursdays where art is showcased.

She said because art can’t be shown the way it has in the past, artists have had to find other platforms to show their work.

She added their plans for the 2021 lineup remain the same at this point.

Live performance production for 2021 has been put on hold at the Persephone Theatre. The theatre has been in operation for the last 45 years.

General manager Kristen Dion said they announced their production for live shows on March 9 and roughly a week later were forced to close and cancel those plans.

While live production has been put on hold, some of the events planned for the later in the summer like their yearly youth tour is set to go at this point.

When the doors do reopen people, can expect some changes to the theatre and how it’s run — not just face masks and temperature checks.

“There will need to be an investment in our infrastructure to maintain safety for our concession, our lobbies,” Dion said.

Reopen Saskatchewan dates are still up in the air at this point, as both fall under Phase 4 or Phase 5, meaning it could be well into the summer before that happens. Phase 3 is expected to start June 8.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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