Arts Network Ottawa is pleased to launch the Cultural Venue Recovery Project with funding from the City of Ottawa. This vital Project will focus on building community capacity in non-City owned spaces by offering access to interior air quality expertise for community arts and culture venues in need of COVID-19 technical assistance to re-open and recover.
This project aimed to build community capacity in non-City owned community arts and culture venues by offering access to interior air quality (IAQ) site surveys completed by Bouthillette Parizeau (BPA) engineering firm.
Through our study, we have seen the desire and necessity for the return to in-person experiences of the arts. Yet, there are numerous challenges in determining Indoor Air Quality strategies that address the nuanced needs of artistic spaces.
With the assistance of a jury comprised of diverse artistic community members, Arts Network selected 5 venues for study. The five selected venues – La Nouvelle Scène, The Gladstone Theatre, The Bronson Centre, Live on Elgin, and Studio Space Ottawa – represent a range of different artistic practices, as well as being of differing sizes, capacities, and operating models. Through these 5 site surveys, the engineers created the following general report that features recommendations of improvements that could be made to HVAC systems in cultural spaces to mitigate COVID risks.
While the primary audience of this report is venue owners, cultural centres, or event producers, it is important that all artists and patrons of the arts develop literacy of IAQ as our arts and culture sector reopens to advocate for their safety and assess risk.
With the help of this general report, we hope to see audiences safely and confidently returning to arts and culture venues. Also, we hope that allowing venues to operate again above break-even points will in turn facilitate the economic recovery of this sector and curb the closure of these much-needed artistic spaces.