A COVID-19 update from Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Note: since publishing this statement we have suspended all events at Buddies up to May 1, 2020. You can read that statement here. The statement below appears as originally published.

The health and safety of our patrons, artists, volunteers, and staff is very important to us. In response to the spread of COVID-19 and the provincial immediate suspension of gatherings of more the 250 people, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is taking direction from Health Canada, Public Health Ontario and Toronto Public Health to ensure our communities remain as safe as possible.

Currently, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is not planning to cancel any upcoming productions that are programmed as part of our 2019-2020 theatre season. In keeping with the provincial immediate suspension of all gatherings of more than 250 people, we are planning on cancelling our late night programming on Saturday evenings, as well as rentals that exceed an  attendance of 250 for the duration of the suspension. For cancelled shows or events we will immediately notify all ticket holders by email and post a notice on our website/social media channels. The decision to cancel shows will be made according to the directives issued by public health authorities.

This situation is changing daily. Our current response outlined below will be revised as needed. We are being proactive and taking the following measures to ensure the safety of everyone who visits our venue:

  • Increased cleaning and sanitation in our performance spaces, washrooms, offices and all common areas.
  • Daily cleaning of equipment and hand held devices such as radios, keyboards and mice, POS pin pads, and phones.

As per public health guidelines and best practices, we are also encouraging the following behaviour from  staff, artists, and patrons:

  • Strict adherence to hygiene practices. Hand hygiene should include 20 seconds of contact with the disinfectant hand cleaner. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.
  • Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into the sleeve of your arm.
  • Encouraging staff and patrons to stay home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoiding shaking hands and hugging.
  • Avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Allowing staff to work from home whenever possible.
  • Ensuring staff and volunteers who may be immuno-compromised, or otherwise at-risk, be scheduled during low risk shifts or work remotely.

Should performances be cancelled, refunds will be considered on a case by case basis. Due to the financial impact on our artists and operations it’s never an easy decision to cancel performances or the run of a production. We encourage our patrons to please consider one of the following options in lieu of a refund:

  • Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is happy to exchange tickets for future season performances at no cost.
  • We are happy to consider converting your ticket purchase into a donation and we will issue you a tax receipt for the full amount.
  • You can gift the Buddies experience to a friend (or yourself!) by converting your ticket into a gift certificate for future use.

We understand that this a time of uncertainty and fear for a lot of people. In addition to the practical measures outlined above, it’s important right now to practise kindness, patience, and care – check in with friends and loved ones who may need assistance. “Social distancing” shouldn’t mean social isolation.

We will provide further updates as the situation evolves.

Take care,