By Justin Seward
The Blues at the Bow hasn’t entertained fans in months.
That trend will continue for the foreseeable future as COVID-19 health protocols do not allow singers to perform inside without a mask on.
“I don’t know anybody that sings well with a mask on,” said Jason Riddell, Blues at the Bow president.
“As of now we can’t have shows.”
The impact of the temporary closure is not having their entire income coming in and only have some grants funds.
“Most of the grants are based on our shows,” said Riddell.
“We only have one or two, but they’re based on how much you spend on shows, and the government can give you a little bit.”
Those grants cover artists’ costs, he added.
Artists have done online shows for Blues fans at no cost throughout the course of the world health crisis.
“We reached out to some past artists and they did an hour live stream,” he said.
“We’ve been trying to stay current and do a little bit of stuff just for our patrons.”
He would like to host more live online concerts.
Despite trying to do online shows, it has not been a great feeling being closed for this long.
“It’s terrible,” said Riddell.
“We’re all just wishing we could have shows. We talk about it every time we get together. The logistics don’t line up right now. Even if we could have a show-which is a grey area- it sounds like the Esplanade has a couple shows listed in October, November, so we’re going to kind of watch and see what happens there. It’s not going to be Blues at the Bow, it’ll be more sit down watch somebody play their music and no dancing, no cheering.”
Colin James was set to hit the stage over a week after the shutdown happened in March, but has rescheduled shows for Nov. 24, 2021.
A May show was cancelled and a scheduled August show has been postponed. Rentals are available for groups.
“It’s just the fact that someone is using our building, which is a part of our mission statement, is to have the building there and available if they want to use it,” he said.
“It’s just the fact that we love that old place. It’s such a great place to want people to be able to use it when it’s just sitting there idle.”
The theatre has installed a new air conditioning system and electrical upgrade since being temporarily closed in mid-March.
Additionally,a new coat of paint was added to the bathrooms.
Some of that was paid for by the Canadian Heritage grant we applied for last year,” said Riddell.
Riddell said, “Don’t forget about us. We’ll be back.”