Theatre BC president Peter Wienold, of Port Alberni, officially opens Mainstage Festival 2019. The festival, which features eight of the best plays in B.C. in eight days, has been cancelled for 2020. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Theatre BC president Peter Wienold, of Port Alberni, officially opens Mainstage Festival 2019. The festival, which features eight of the best plays in B.C. in eight days, has been cancelled for 2020. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Theatre BC cancels festivals in response to COVID-19

‘Provincials’ of community theatre set to take place on Vancouver Island in July 2020

Mainstage BC, the “provincials” of community theatre, has been cancelled for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Theatre BC board of directors made the decision to cancel the 2020 series of regional zone drama festivals, as well as the Mainstage festival, on Sunday, March 22. Mainstage was set to take place in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island this July for the second year in a row.

READ MORE: Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options over coronavirus

“It’s an extremely disappointing situation for us and our member clubs,” said Theatre BC president Doug Perri in a press release. “We want to make sure our members, volunteers and audiences stay healthy and safe. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we want to do our part to help protect everyone. We strongly request that everyone follows the advice and guidelines set out by BC Health and Health Canada.”

Mainstage is made up of the “Best Play” winners from the Central Interior, Fraser Valley, North Island, North Shore, Okanagan and Peace River Zones.

The Theatre BC board will be meeting in the future to discuss the best way forward, which will be dependent on the length and outcome of the pandemic itself.

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