Arts Commons and Resident Companies Announce Audience Vaccination Policy for Indoor Events

September 17, 2021

For Immediate Release
September 17, 2021

CALGARY – This fall marks the official return of live performance to Arts Commons, the largest performing arts centre in Western Canada and home to its six Resident Companies: Alberta Theatre Projects, Arts Commons Presents, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Downstage, One Yellow Rabbit, and Theatre Calgary.

Starting September 20, 2021, to ensure the health and safety of all patrons, staff, and artists, Arts Commons and the Resident Companies will require audience members to show proof of vaccination. Those who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical exemption or sincerely held religious belief must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before attending an in-person, indoor event.

This policy currently only applies to audience members 12 years old and older. However, any child under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult that meets the criteria outlined in the policy. A piece of government-issued ID will also be required upon entry for identity verification. Anyone failing to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the allotted timeframe will be denied entry into the venue and will be directed to the box office; ticket refund or exchange policies will be determined by the producing or presenting company.

Audience members are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after they have received a second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine. The details of the Arts Commons vaccination policy – including which specific vaccines and tests will be accepted – can be found at

This proof of vaccination policy is the latest protocol instated by Arts Commons and the Resident Companies to prioritize the health and safety of our community and complies with the Alberta Restriction Exception Program. It joins existing protocols for in-person, indoor attendance which include mandatory mask-wearing at all times (when not eating or drinking) and parameters that encourage social distancing and frequent hand sanitization. Arts Commons facilities are also employing the highest standards in building-wide air filtration, circulation and sanitization, including hospital-grade Merv 14A Air filters (Merv 15 Air filters to come this fall) and an Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) system – meaning that the air leaving Arts Commons is cleaner than the air coming in.

Arts Commons and the Resident Companies will revisit these policies as needed over the coming months to respond to changes in COVID-19 case rates and expert guidance. Individual organizations and events may have additional audience requirements. Audience members are encouraged to visit the website of the producing or presenting organization prior to attending for the most current protocols.

“These policies are reflective of the current consensus of scientific experts regarding best practices to stop the spread of COVID-19. We have made such progress, but it’s clear that the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet over,” say the Arts Commons Resident Companies. “Thorough clinical trials have proven vaccines to be safe, effective and our best protection against infection. We’re comfortable asking our staff, volunteers, and artists to meet this vaccination policy as well as our audiences, because getting through this final stretch of the pandemic will be dependent on working and cooperating together, on both sides of the stage.”

As a group of organizations committed to presenting exceptional live, in-person artistic experiences to Calgarians, Arts Commons and the Resident Companies are more confident than ever in the importance of this role to protect the wellbeing of our city and our neighbours. The arts are essential in our collective recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we do not take this role lightly, and will explore every avenue possible to ensure we proceed through this recovery thoughtfully and responsibly.

Interviews are available with the management of Arts Commons and each Resident Company. Contact information is found below. 


Arts Commons is the third-largest performing arts centre in Canada, located in the heart of Calgary’s Cultural District in downtown Calgary, with a mandate that includes a commitment to foster, promote, and present the arts across four pillars: Arts Commons Education (school programs), Arts Commons Galleries (visual and media arts), Incubator (artist professional development), and Arts Commons Presents (touring and local performing artists). Taking up a full city block, it is home to six gallery spaces, five theatres, the Jack Singer Concert Hall as well as rehearsal spaces, administrative offices and a set and costume shop. The resident companies of Arts Commons include Alberta Theatre Projects, Arts Commons Presents, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Downstage, One Yellow Rabbit, and Theatre Calgary, and together, they host over 1,800 public performances and events every year. In 2021, Arts Commons achieved the fundraising goal for Phase 1 of Arts Commons Transformation (ACT) project to construct a new building in its home of Olympic Plaza.

For interviews, contact: Alex Bonyun, Communications Manager


Alberta Theatre Projects is a Calgary-based, not-for-profit, professional theatre company. We create live, world-class contemporary theatre from our home in the Martha Cohen Theatre at Arts Commons.  We are a national leader in new play development. Programming is driven by the collision of diverging ideas, points of view, class, gender, or cultural perspectives and is selected from the finest Canadian and international plays, and new works commissioned and developed in-house. Our productions radically explore our space, blurring the line between the audience and the artist through multiple seating configurations each season.

For interviews, contact: Jennifer Merio, Marketing & Communications Manager
            403-294-7475 x 1118 

Arts Commons Presents invites you to discover the transformative power of the arts. As the programming arm of Arts Commons, Arts Commons Presents encompasses the programming and presenting of our in-house series: BD&P World Stage, Classic Albums Live, National Geographic Live, PCL Blues, TD Amplify Cabarets, and TD Jazz. Arts Commons Presents programming also includes the work that we do alongside and in collaboration with community partners, like the summer outdoor pop-up performance series, ArtsXpeditions, and professional development programs to support Calgary’s local artists. 

For interviews, contact: Alex Bonyun, Communications Manager

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated 65 years as a pillar of Calgary’s vibrant arts community in 2020 and has grown to be one of Canada’s most celebrated live music ensembles. Led by Music Director Rune Bergmann, the Calgary Phil presents classical standards, pop favourites, bold collaborations, and cutting-edge new works, and attracts world-renowned guest artists and dynamic conductors. In a typical Season, the Orchestra welcomes over 100,000 visitors to the concert hall and reaches audiences around the world through its free and accessible digital programming and live-stream initiative — an immersive, online concert experience that launched in 2017. Follow the Calgary Philharmonic @calgaryphil on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and register for email updates at

For interviews, contact: Maureen McNamee, Communications Manager

Downstage produces theatre that creates meaningful conversation around current issues and encourages societal awareness and action. We aim to engage artists and the public in theatrical experiences that go beyond intellectual understanding and ignite a heartfelt need for change.

For interviews, contact: Clare Preuss, Artistic Director

One Yellow Rabbit Since 1982, One Yellow Rabbit (OYR) has been pushing artistic boundaries in the creation of original, innovative theatre noted for intricate physicality and originality, while becoming one of Canada’s best-known theatre companies. Producers and presenters of vital works in Calgary and internationally, OYR produces the High Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts; showcasing theatre, dance, comedy, music and multimedia. The High Performance Rodeo is one of the largest festivals of its kind in Western Canada and remains fertile grounds for the progressive and wild. Through mentorship and educational opportunities, OYR supports the next generation of emerging artists. For more information visit and, @oneyellowrabbit and @hprodeo.

For interviews, contact: Ryan Bartlett, Director of Communications and Marketing
            403-264-3224, x4363

Theatre Calgary Calgary’s first professional theatrical company, Theatre Calgary’s mission is to stimulate, provoke, and delight through ambitious programming created to ignite local, national, and international engagement. For more information, visit us at and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

For interviews, contact: Chris Loach, Director of Media Relations



Back to Press Releases click here