JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST
It is an understatement to say that our 2020 concert season has not gone the way we expected. In an alternative reality that would have been this year without the pandemic, we would now be exactly half way through our concert season, having most recently enjoyed a performance by the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge at our summer gala in July.
But things have not gone that way, and our concert studio’s doors have remained closed since last December. However, as of September 26th, that will change. Throughout the summer, co-director Tait and I have been working through a variety of options for safely bringing our concerts back, and we’ve arrived at a solution that we’re confident will work. The most difficult hurdle to jump over was audience numbers: given the small size of our concert space, there was no way for us to fit in the size of audience we’d need to meet our bottom line while still respecting physical distancing regulations. So, we’ve arrived at a three-pronged creative approach that allows for smaller audiences to see our concerts in person, and a larger audience to view our shows online. Concerts at Venturing Hills Concert Studio will go ahead, with a strict audience limit of 25 people. This number will allow us to space out chairs with at least 1.5 meters between each individual/group. To compensate for the reduced capacity, we will be running each concert twice in one weekend: once on a Friday or Saturday evening, and again on Sunday afternoon. We will seat guests one-by-one according to a seating plan, in order to minimize traffic at the entranceway. There are a number of other precautions that we’ll be taking in order to ensure safety - you can read about them HERE. Our evening concerts will be live-streamed, using new state-of-the-art video technology that we have installed in the studio. The live-stream can be viewed on our new VIRTUAL CONCERT HALL, which you can check out here. It will be free to watch the live stream, but we have set up a donation button in the Virtual Concert Hall to help offset the costs of our concerts. The stream will be viewable live, and will remain viewable for a few days following the concert.
Our ticketing system needed to change slightly in order to accommodate this new system, and also to minimize physical contact between guests and our ticket desk host. As of September, tickets for our concerts must be purchased online in advance: there will be no tickets available at the door. On the ticket booking page, you will be asked to indicate your party size, so that we can seat you accordingly. We will assume that parties are in the same social bubble. Masks will be mandatory for guests anywhere in our venues, though you may remove your masks when you take your seats, as per the Quebec government’s regulations.
We will continue to offer our guests a complimentary glass of wine, something non-alcoholic, or water, on arrival. This will be served from behind a bar with a protective screen. We’ll ask you to pick up one of our compostable plastic cups, and we’ll pour for you, so that we don’t touch your glass/you don’t touch the bottle.
In light of the unstable traveling situation and the need to respect physical distancing between performers as well as audience members, some of the programming for our September through December concerts has changed. To see what we have coming up, visit our CONCERTS page, where you can also see ticket booking information and live-stream links for each event. I would like to offer a huge thank you to all of our amazing sponsors.
Despite the many uncertainties of the pandemic, none of our 2020 season sponsors withdrew their support. Their steadfastness has allowed us to go ahead with the plans that I’ve outlined above, and it is no understatement to say that without their support, we would not have been presenting concerts again this year. So, again, thank you!
Notwithstanding the strangeness and instability that this year has brought, we believe that this pandemic has presented us with an opportunity to re-evaluate what it is we do, and how we do it. Going to a concert in the mid-COVID world will be a different external experience than it was pre-COVID, but fundamentally, what we are offering remains unchanged. We invite you to come out into the beauty of the countryside, experience great live music in an intimate setting - glass of wine in hand - and spend time with (small groups of) friends. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Pontiac Enchanté!
Carson Becke, co-director