COVID-19 Alberta Dance Alliance Response

Mar 18 2020

Dance members in need of help during the COVID-19 public health emergency in Alberta, we are here for you during this time.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Alberta Dance Alliance is beginning a full-membership telephone call reach-out to assess the impact of COVID 19 on our community. If you are an ADA member you can look forward to a one-on-one phone call with ADA staff over the coming days to express your concerns and share your experience. As always, the Alberta Dance Alliance is here for you. There will be an accompanying five-question survey so we can report real numbers to our government and advocate on behalf of Alberta’s dance artists to ensure that your losses are known and responded to at the highest levels with appropriate relief.

Yesterday’s Calgary Arts Development Town Hall Meeting Video indicates that support is available and that funders are working hard to provide support immediately while looking at longer term-solutions. What is clear is that this is new for everyone and we should put people first and offer gentle patience as policies are adjusted to account for evolving changes in the funding system and government support, especially in light of a new provincial budget.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The CDA hosted a Zoom meeting for Canadian organizations and self-employees artists over the last few days. As your provincial organization we are working closely with our national colleagues to share information and keep everyone up to date. Please go to their Resource Page.

Resources: The Federal government are working toward the ability to pass a Financial Aid Package of 80 Billion in spending measures.

Package Announcement will likely be passed by Wednesday and will begin to be processed by the end of this week. For those eligible it will take 2-3 weeks before you have a cheque of approximately $900.00 every two weeks. Be aware there is bridge fund support for artists under the – AFC Emergency Financial Aid – the purpose is a short term financial support to pay your most immediate expenses such as roof over your head and a stable place of other bills. The Alberta provincial government has also suggested bridge funding to help immediately given the fact it may take a couple of weeks for the Federal government funding to be processed. Other solutions and relief supports include: some Utility companies, some communication/phone and some Landlords have offered rental arrangement if needed.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Dance Friends in Alberta,
Choose to stay at home. Choose to self-isolate, if you are showing symptoms or have traveled recently. Choose to practice a physical distance of 2 meters when you come into contact with others.

New recommendations: the federal government is asking you to do your part and only go out of your home for essential services such as groceries and medical needs to protect your health and the health and safety of Canadians. The federal government is asking Canadian businesses of non-essential services and support to work from home if possible until further notice.

Federal Government Update:

  • Meeting with the Ministers of Provinces and Territories to discuss planning positioning and provincial border closures
  • Call for House of Commons will be recalled on Tuesday at 12 p.m. in order to pass emergency legislation to help fight COVID-19.
  • An immediate publicity campaign to provide COVID-19 Virus awareness and best practice education for Canadians
  • Canadian Olympic team canceled in the year 2020
  • 82 billion dollars plan set out for businesses
  • 192 million dollars to support research and production of potential COVID – 19 vaccine
  •  5 billion plan set out for farmers to keep food on the Canadian tables
  • Have mobilized industries business to develop and provide medical equipment and testing support
  • Providing travel for Canadian stranded abroad in specific countries
  • Blue Dot Software will track the spread of the virus in Canada
  • Any support from businesses that can support materials supplies and medical equipment is in effect at

The ADA and other provincial service organizations are working with the Canadian Dance Assembly in monitoring the impacts of the dance community. We are reporting impacts for the dance community, speaking to the immediate financial needs of organizations and self-employed dance artists and the emotional issues that are arising. In addition, the ADA is working with the provincial supports – Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture to support Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Bobbi Westman – Executive Director

Alberta Dance Alliance


Your Health and Well-Being
  1. Unsure of what you need to do? Start here with the self-assessment tool from Alberta Health Services.
  2. Then, continue to check the available reputable resources from the Alberta Government, the Government of Canada, and the World Health Organization, to ensure you are taking the proper precautions to protect yourself and others both at home and occupationally.
  3. For more information on the occupational aspects as they pertain to the dance sector including performance cancellations, work stoppages, and classes, please review this document from CAPACOA, this page about federal relief funding from Canada Council for the Arts and this page about their ongoing updates, this page from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and visit this alert page from the Canadian Dance Assembly and the Canadian Dance Assembly COVID-19 Resource Page.
  4. Mental health is also essential, here is a good starting place for resources in Alberta:

To learn more about the mathematics of why social distancing works, in an easy-to-understand, visual way, check out this article and the accompanying simulations:

(last updated: March 23)


Dance schools that are now closed or are preparing to close:

1. Increase aeration of rooms, move classes outdoors if possible. Advise students to wear masks, wash their hands, not touch others, not touch their face. Read official instructions by the World Health Organization at Ignore unauthorized information by private sources.

2. Open a new section at your school’s website with advice on what to do during the school’s closure. Ask students to visit it regularly for updates. Give them a phone number to call for instructions. Assure them that risks for young persons are minimal.

2.1. Include online classes on dance history, anatomy, music, costuming, makeup for dancers and other topics you do not have time to teach usually.

2.2. Post exercises to keep fit and ready to continue when school reopens.

2.3. Give instructions to parents on encouraging their children to repeat exercises or routines they have been taught, or improvise.

2.4. Post videos with routines to learn so time at home will not be entirely lost. Some online course platform options are listed below under “Keeping Dance Alive (Online)”. But you can certainly just make use of free services such as Vimeo, Facebook, and YouTube to post content for your students.

3. Keep in touch with your students

3.1. Send emails or text messages regularly, make sure they keep dancing and do not get bored or depressed from having to stay at home.

3.2. Call them or their parents if necessary, tell them what you will do when the schools reopens.

3.3. Use the period of closure to reorganize, to plan for new programs, to promote your school and to attract new students.

(last updated: March 18)

Financial loss due to Cancellations and Closures

Keep a detailed record of all of your cancellations (performances, events, workshops, classes, etc.) and losses (financial and in any other ways) as a result of measures taken by your organization or as a self-employed individual in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is working to provide a way of disbursing relief through the proper channels and you should keep detailed records including at least dates, times, accounting (attendance and financial), and all other details pertaining to loss of revenue/income and citations of which health advisories they pertained to. We will publish more information about this here in the weeks to follow as more information about eligibility, relief, and application templates become available.

Some information collected at Dance Magazine (USA) on the topic of How Dancers and Dance Organizations Can Prepare for the Financial Fallout of COVID-19. We will be looking at what can be done specifically in Canada. ADA has called upon CDA to help update this page from the Canadian Dance Assembly with equivalent resources specific to Canada.

Thanks to Pam Tzeng for sharing the following resource:

//// RESOURCE ///

For self-employed/contractors to track losses due to COVID. Template courtesy of Tau S. Bui, with English translation, provincial update by Pam Tzeng.

This resource is adaptable to taxes across provinces.
****Do the following to be certain that taxes are calculated automatically on all three tabs:

1) At the top of the FORECASTED REVENUES Tab, be sure to indicate whether you charge taxes to your clients/engagers, and what province you live in.

2) Select whether your listed expenses are taxable (YES/NO) in both the FORECASTED REVENUES and ADDITIONAL EXPENSES tabs.

Please do share with any of your national peers that may find it useful.




(last updated: March 18)

Online National Meeting with the Canadian Dance Assembly – Tuesday, March 24th @ 1 PM EST

CDA will host a call tomorrow for individual members at 1pm EST via zoom. You can register here and the Zoom login details will be circulated in the morning.

Please feel free to share the link, it is open beyond just CDA members.

Guest speakers: David Hope (Executive Director the AFC) and Dr. Blessyl Buan

Kate will also talk a bit about the EI program and any government updates.

(last updated: March 23)


Calgary Arts Development Town Hall – Tuesday, March 24th @ 3 PM MST

(last updated: March 23)


ADA’s Office and Operations

Until further notice, the office of Alberta Dance Alliance will continue all operations remotely and our physical office will be closed, some programs are also currently on hold until notice is given by Alberta Foundation for the Arts for budget allocations following the acceptance of the Alberta Budget 2020. Staff will be working from home and will be checking email and telephone messages regularly. We ask for your patience if e-mail inquiries and communication take longer than usual.

For those who have had to cancel performances, workshops, and classes, or are otherwise experiencing economic distress due to COVID-19, please contact us so we can gather a log of the impact to the dance arts in Alberta and so we can work to offer whatever support we can in recovering from the fallout. Those who are set to receive Community Workshop Program support from ADA will be contacted to ensure support continues in light of postponements, or cancellations followed by rescheduling or workshop reenvisioning.

(last updated: March 18)

Support Network

The ADA is setting up a volunteer support system for those in the dance community who are most vulnerable. If any member is able to help or is need of help, please send us an email – We anticipate this assistance will at least take the form of helping those who require assistance with groceries and errands but there may be other opportunities to help, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. The Canadian government has released a support package announcement (March 18, 2020).

(last updated: March 18)

Keeping Dance Alive (Online)

During this time of social distancing, there is a movement toward keeping dance alive online for all to enjoy, as evidenced across social media and in amalgamations of content such as that found in this excellent article from Dance Magazine:

If you are sharing your performances or classes online, please let us know. If you are curious about platforms for bringing your classes online, consider the following options: Zoom, Acuity Scheduling, Skill ShareThinkific, Udemy. There are many options out there and if your studio has found success with another platform please let us know so we can include it here.

(last updated: March 18)