COVID-19 Alberta Dance Alliance Response

Apr 22 2021

Changes Announced for Calgary

Starting this past Monday, April 19, Grade 7 – 12 extracurricular youth sport, recreational and performance activities in Calgary must either take place outdoors or be paused for two weeks. Indoor activities in Calgary will be suspended for two weeks until Sunday, May 2nd when it will be revisited.

After May 2nd:
As of now, groups of up to 10 including the instructor, 3m distanced, masked will be permitted. 1:1 will also be acceptable. If the space is used for curriculum-based activities, the school rules apply.

This is subject to change.
You can find more information here.

Changes Announced for Edmonton

On April 22, Edmonton public and Catholic school boards moved Grades 7 – 12 online for two weeks.

Consistent in the approach in both Calgary and Fort McMurray when they shifted these students to online learning, all extra-curricular, youth sport, recreational and performance activities for these ages are now required to either take place outdoors or be paused in Edmonton.

This requirement will stay in place for the same two-week period to assist in slowing down transmission in this population.

You can find more information here.

What else you can do 

Continue following existing public health measures to keep everyone safe:

  • Stay 2 metres apart from others
  • Wear a mask in public spaces, indoor workplaces and places of worship
  • Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your symptoms every day
  • If sick, stay home, get tested, and follow mandatory isolation requirements while waiting for results:
    • if positive, isolate for 10 days or until symptoms are gone, whichever is longer
    • if negative, stay home until you’re better
  • Download and use the ABTraceTogether contact tracing app when out in public

Alberta Dance Relaunch 2020/21

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant offers financial assistance to Alberta organizations (businesses, cooperatives and non-profits) that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30%, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program offers the following:

  • Up to $20,000 in funding for organizations established before February 29, 2020, including unregistered sole proprietors.
  • Up to $15,000 in funding for new organizations which began operations between March 1 and October 31 2020, including unregistered sole proprietors.

Businesses, cooperatives and non-profits can use these funds as they see fit to help offset a portion of the impact of new public health measures or their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, which could include:

  • physical barriers
  • purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies
  • paying rent and employee wages
  • replacing inventory and more

Get more information here.

Application intake will remain open until March 31, 2021.

Relaunch Documents

On or before September 25, 2020 the Alberta Government removed the document linked to below (from Sep. 11). Please revert to the earlier guidance document for dance until further notice.

On September 11, 2020 the Alberta Government released NEW guidelines specific for dance in the province of Alberta under the current COVID-19 pandemic. You must read and comply with this new document to be operating within the correct provincial guidelines.

The Government of Alberta has released the Stage 2 Relaunch Guidance Document for dance. It is important to familiarize yourself with the concept of “cohort” as defined by the government in relation to Social Distancing and relaunching the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are relaunching your dance practice as an organization or individual and require any assistance in understanding the best practices please connect with the resources/contacts in the above-linked document and with the Alberta Dance Alliance.

On Friday, July 31, ADA held a Zoom Meeting about relaunching dance in Alberta. You can watch that meeting here:


These are essential resources and ideas from the community for developing your relaunch of dance (when safe to do so):

    1. COVID-19 General Relaunch Guidelines (Gov. AB)
    2. Sep. 11, 2020 Alberta Relaunch Guidelines for Dance Updated (Gov. AB)
    3. Alberta Relaunch Guidance: Dance (Gov. AB)
    4. Pivot Online: a toolkit for artists and non-profit organizations (Gov. AB)
    5. Alberta Relaunch Guidance: Sport, Physical Activity, and Recreation (Gov. AB)
    6. Guidance for Cohorts (Gov. AB)
    7. Alberta Health Daily Checklist (Gov. AB)
    8. The New Experience Economy Study (Stone-Olafson for AB)
    9. Informal Survey for Dance Artists on Conditions for Reopening Studio Activities (Les Réservoirs/Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique & CADA/West)
    10. ActSafe COVID-19 Resources (ActSafe)
    11. DJD Dance Centre Relaunch Protocols and Policies (Decidedly Jazz Danceworks)
    12. Shumka Dancers Covid Protocols Video (Shumka)
    13. Atlantic Ballet COVID-19 Recovery plan (Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada)
    14. Relaunch Plans from Theatres in Alberta (Theatre Alberta)
    15. WorkSafe BC Relaunch Protocols (WorkSafe BC)
    16. Reopening Guidelines (Saskatchewan Dance)
    17. Arts and Culture Reopening Guidelines (Nova Scotia)
    18. Companies Are Rethinking Live Performance—and Coming Up With Many Creative Solutions

Alberta Dance Community Relief Options

Note: Information is updated daily and pertains largely to the non-profit/public sector for those engaged as artists, although some of the assistance is also applicable to private business.

Check your eligibility and apply for:



GoC: Employment Insurance

GoC: Canada Emergency Response Benefit CLOSED

Actors’ Fund of Canada (AFC): Emergency Support for Artists (Incl. Dance)

CCA + CBC: Digital Originals  CLOSED June 15, 2020

CCA: Cancellation and Reimbursement of Grants

CBC: Creative Relief Fund CLOSED April 24, 2020

CADA/West: Training Subsidy Program

CADA/West: Studio Subsidy Program

GoA: Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Support Sheet (.pdf)

GoA: Emergency Isolation Support CLOSED Early April

AFA: Information Only

CBC Benefits Guide: Information and Links to Benefits

Calgary-Area Only

Calgary Arts Development: Short-Term Artist Relief Fund CLOSED April 8

Edmonton-Area Only

EAC: Creators’ Reserve


Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance CLOSED

GoC: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

GoC: Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

GoC: Work-Sharing

GoC: Indigenous Community Support Fund CLOSED April 13, 2020

CCA + CBC: Digital Originals  CLOSED June 15, 2020

Leadership Emergency Arts Network (LEAN): Information Only

CCA: Cancellation and Reimbursement of Grants

CBC: Creative Relief Fund CLOSED April 24

CADA/West: Studio Subsidy Program

AGLC: Casino Fund Impact Information

GoA: Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Support Sheet (.pdf)

AFA: Information Only

CBC Benefits Guide: Information and Links to Benefits

Calgary-Area Only

Calgary Arts Development: Information

Edmonton-Area Only

EAC: Connections & Exchanges Initiative CLOSED April 17

CoE: COVID Recovery-Funding

Existing resources and additional regional support will be updated and expanded upon as more relief is released.

A word from the Alberta Dance Alliance

The arts offer peace, perspective, joy, and the humanity that we crave, especially during times of crisis. Despite the dutiful, if regrettable, closures and cancellations, dance has never been more visible online, with studios, companies, and individual artists and dancers from around the world sharing their work, their practice, and their classes; with others joining in to share their dance in many ways. Still many more, who may not be posting, are benefitting from seeing professional and amateur dance and bodies in motion, during this pandemic and the global isolation efforts. When anxiety creeps in and we are concerned about the fragility of our bodies and the health and well being of our loved ones, dance eases and comforts us all.

The Alberta Dance Alliance continues to meet daily with the various arts councils and foundations of Alberta, the Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture, the Canadian Dance Assembly, Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, our members and the dance community at large in an effort to advocate for the needs of dance artists at this time of crisis and ensure that a voice for dance is present at all of these key meetings regarding relief funding, recovery, and supporting the health and safety of our community.

Dance members in need of help during the COVID-19 public health emergency in Alberta, we are here for you during this time. Obtaining an ADA membership is not a barrier at this time for access to our services. Do not hesitate to contact us, regardless of your ADA membership status.

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. Do not gather in groups.

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.

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

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:

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 for tracking losses. English Version / French Version

Alberta Dance Community Impact Survey

On April 30th, ADA completed our first COVID-19 impact survey, which gathered current/estimated impacts and losses from Alberta’s dance community members. There will be a follow-up survey later this summer/fall to track the actuals reported by the community.

Thank you to the 80+ respondents representing their own practice and that of organizations, who gave their time and perspectives on the outlook at this time. These data will support arguments we will make on behalf of our community to Alberta’s Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women, and other stakeholders who play a part in our move toward recovery.

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 have been contacted to ensure support continues in light of postponements, or cancellations followed by rescheduling or workshop reenvisioning.

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.

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 so that we can share them widely. 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 including Facebook and YouTube, and if your studio has found success with another platform please let us know so we can include it here.