It’s no secret that Vancouver’s arts and entertainment industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as film, television and live productions have ceased to a halt with the onset of the government restrictions earlier this spring. The complete shutdown of Hollywood North meant the province lost billions in revenue that would be contributing to the provincial economy.
But it’s not all doom and gloom and there are some key learnings and positive adaptations that Vancouver’s entertainment industry has acquired as a result of the pandemic. Earlier this month, it was announced that B.C.’s film industry is working on a plan to relaunch beginning June through September, along with other sectors of the economy in a phased approach.
So what will this mean for the industry that employs over 70,000 people? Along with extra safety measures being put in place such as mandatory protective gear, food safety handling practices for those on set and other hygiene regulations, all workers and actors coming in from other countries will have to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to work on sets.
Despite the increased safety requirements, some say that once Vancouver’s film industry is given the green light to re-open, it will hit the ground running. According to Creative B.C., the provincial agency that supports B.C.’s creative sector, TV and film production contributes close to $3 billion a year to the province’s economy.
Others in the industry have come up with alternative ways to continue producing and showcasing their craft to audiences in Canada by using technology. Continuing to support local arts and culture is vital to its sustainability and many are taking advantage of live streaming and sharing online content. Many news outlets are sharing links to live online theatre performances, events, music, comedy and live at-home shows created by the actors themselves.
So what does this mean for the future of the arts and entertainment industry in B.C.? Throughout all of this, one thing is clear: Hollywood North is not going anywhere and will continue to adapt and find creative ways to sustain itself. Whether it be through online means or adaptive ways of delivering in-person performances, the industry will carry on and come out stronger than ever.