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Local theatre owners meet with Health Minister about restrictions

A total of six theatres, five in the West Kootenay, are discussing COVID-19 restrictions with the province’s Minister of Health.

Through Zoom, the six owners, Adrian Dix, and Boundary Similkameen MLA Roly Russell discussed concerns and gratitude about how their business is classified and gave suggestions on how they could re-open safely.

“Business owners of all kinds have faced significant challenges as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MLA Russell. “Having the chance to connect owners of our small community theatres with the Minister was a great opportunity to share the issues they’re facing, and for us to collaboratively look for ways to reopen safely once we start to turn the dimmer switch back up for the small businesses that are so important for our rural communities.”

The owners representing their theatres during the meeting were:

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  • Eleanor Stacey
    • The Civic Theatre
      • Nelson
  • Lowell Bradley
    • Old Theatre
      • Castlegar
  • Noel and Sydney May
    • Kootenay Centre Cinemas
      • Castlegar
  • Lisa Milne
    • The Royal Theatre
      • Trail
  • Maureen Paquet
    • The Gem Theatre
      • Grand Forks
  • Lyle and Kandise Miller
    • Oliver Theatre
      • Oliver

“For the little GEM and Grand Forks, it was quite an honor. Even if there wasn’t any resolution to anything yet, at least they know we are still here and wanting to open as soon and safely as possible,” said Paquet.

After listening to the suggestions of all the owners, Minister Dix said theatres are being considered in the development of British Columbia’s gradual restart plan.

The province-wide public health orders and guidelines will remain in place until midnight on Monday, May 24th, with the province set to announce the re-opening plan sometime after that.

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