The Performing Arts Centre is revisiting its earlier decision to continue with shows in light of the announcement that all events with 250 people or more be postponed. (Morning Star file photo)

The Performing Arts Centre is revisiting its earlier decision to continue with shows in light of the announcement that all events with 250 people or more be postponed. (Morning Star file photo)

UPDATE: Jane Goodall, and more Vernon visits, postponed due to COVID-19

A number of shows have been postponed at Performing Arts Centre and other venues

The lights won’t be coming on at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage for a while after several shows have been cancelled or postponed amid growing COVID-19 concerns.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society (VPAC) is re-examining its earlier decision to continue with upcoming shows despite COVID-19.

In light of the March 16 announcement from the B.C. health admistration to postpone all events with more than 50 people, the VPAC is taking a second look at which performances will be postponed.

Show changes include

• Thrash Wrestling, March 20 at Schubert Centre cancelled

• Dino-Light, March 22 postponed

• Jane Goodall, March 24, postponed to Sept. 28

• Irish Mythen, March 24 at the Vernon Lodge postponed

• Colin James March 26 postponed

• Fred Penner March 27 cancelled

• NOCCA II Violoncello Italiano! March 28 cancelled

• Birthday Present for Myself April 1 postponed

• Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Bach’s Playlist April 2 cancelled

• The Great Benjamins Circus April 7 cancelled

• The Rocket Man – Tribute to Elton Jonn April 7 postponed

• Elvis on Tour Live April 11 cancelled

• Afrique en Cirque April 22 postponed

• Ben Hur at Powerhouse Theatre postponed

“Dr. Jane Goodall remains in good health at her home in the United Kingdom and expects to resume her global outreach when the risks associated with the disease have abated,” the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada wrote in a statement. “In the interim, Dr. Goodall will continue her work, albeit remotely, as a global advocate for the health of the planet.”

Tickets to An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall remain valid for Sept. 28, 2020. Guests are encouraged to contact the Ticketseller box office directly for information and instructions on handling tickets and processing reimbursement if this rescheduled date does not suit your availability.

The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with Cod Gone Wild slated for March 13 at Powerhouse Theatre was also postponed.

“This was a very difficult decision to make as we are all full-time musicians who rely on playing and performing shows for a living, but the well being and safety of our audience is most important at this time,” said Cod’s Andrew Mercer. “We hope this passes quickly so we can reschedule and get back out there soon.”

The North Okanagan Neurological Association also cancelled its March 13 Talent Show.

A couple of other more intimate events have also cancelled: the March 21 Coldstream Coffee House Live Music and the March 27 Paddlewheel Coffee House.

“Lots of older, senior people come out so we want to take all precautions,” organizer Carolyn Anele Dickson said.  

READ MORE: Coronavirus halts Vernon Talent Show

READ MORE: ‘We are in this together,’ Vernon mayor says amid coronavirus concerns



The show must go on.

The Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society confirms that currently, all public Spotlight presentations and visiting touring concerts, performances and events as listed are proceeding as scheduled. The centre started receiving calls Thursday, March 5 to see if the shows were still taking place.

“These have been well-attended and without any concerns directly expressed by patrons to front-of-house staff or our ticket agents until today, when we began to receive calls as a result of all the news coverage and whether shows have been cancelled,” said the Society’s executive director Jim Harding, “so we felt it was appropriate to issue a public statement that public performances will continue as scheduled.”

At this point, Harding says any cancellations that may occur over the coming weeks and days would be at the discretion of the artists out of their own concern for COVID-19. Any ticketing policies and re-bookings would be negotiated between the Performing Arts Centre and artists’ representatives. Show by show updates, if applicable, would be posted to the website.

“The safety and enjoyment of live performances by our patrons, artists, sponsors, staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us,” said Harding. “As such, we are closely monitoring developments around COVID-19 and following the Public Health Agency of Canada and HealthLink B.C. for recommendations, advisories and direction. We are also in close contact with the B.C. Touring Council and managers for artists touring B.C. and under contract.”

The Performing Arts Centre has successfully continued with the Society’s own Spotlight season presentations, school shows and visiting tour performances since the onset of COVID-19.

“We are also pro-actively assuring scheduled tour managers of our current situation and extra measures we have already implemented,” said Harding. “All publicly accessible, backstage and ‘staff only’ areas, all door handles, handrails, washrooms, countertops, hydraulic lift, balcony bannisters and all seating armrests – which all get cleaned thoroughly normally – are all receiving extra disinfecting. We have also added hand-sanitizers for patrons when they enter the main foyer.”

The Society is nearing completion of its second season under its re-branded Spotlight presentations with the cabaret-style OnSTAGE Concert Series this weekend (March 14 & 15) featuring Juno Award-winning Big Little Lions; America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Lightwire Theatre’s Kid Series performance of Dino-Light (March 22); the final Theatre Series production of Birthday Present for Myself (April 1); and the near-sellout performance of Afrique En Cirque by Montreal’s Kalabante Productions to close the Spotlight season on April 22. Details of visiting concerts tours and special events can be found on

“We sincerely appreciate the continued trust and support of the community for the Performing Arts Centre,” said Harding, “and we look forward to continue welcoming audiences to the theatre.”

READ MORE: Big Little Lions take Vernon spotlight

READ MORE: COVID-19 concerns cancels Vernon’s ski nationals


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