The Gabriola Arts Council has carefully monitored the evolving situation of the COVID-19 virus over the past few days. We have read the recommendations of experts and governments, consulted with the Gabriola Medical Clinic and artists, and searched our hearts in consideration of the potential consequences of moving forward with the Isle of The Arts Festival (IoTA) in time.
We love our artists and community and want to do everything we can to bring people together to watch a great show, learn a new skill, or just to play! At this time when social distancing has been shown to be a truly effective means of minimizing the spread of the virus, we believe the best course of action is to postpone our awesome little festival until the future time when this concern has passed and all our community members –including our most vulnerable citizens and our superhero doctors, nurses, and other first responders–are free to join us in celebration of community and art.
Our hearts go out to those with compromised immune systems who may feel most isolated in the coming weeks.We are already considering creative ways of using virtual means to connect around art.To our staff, volunteers, presenters and performers who have already put so much energy into this beloved festival, we feel your disappointment keenly. We look forward to the time when we can all work together again, appreciating the joy of art-full reunion all the more.
If you are a GAC member, we will be keeping you apprised of our future plans for the Isle of the Arts Festival through our e-newsletter, which also includes news about arts events on Gabriola and in nearby communities. If you’re not a member, it’s a great time to sign up and support the arts! You can also stay tuned to our website and look for us on Facebook.
We are grateful for the kind words of support we have received from many of you in response to our initial decision to postpone registration. We believe in the transformative, healing, celebratory power of art and encourage everyone to listen to music, go for walks, and create cool things while we ride out our current situation. We offer a big salute to each of you –our big-hearted artists, friends, neighbours, donors, patrons and supporters –who are choosing to act in ways that help people stay safe and healthy.