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COVID-19News in CommunitySpotlight Series

The Port Theatre is closed to the public until the new year

By December 1, 2020No Comments

The Port Theatre is Closed to the Public until the New Year

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!


By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer, all events and community-based gatherings have been suspended. As a result, the Port Theatre Society has postponed two Spotlight shows:

  • Eric Harper (originally scheduled for Friday, November 27, 2020) has been rescheduled for Friday, February 19, 2021 at 7:30pm.
  • Ken Lavigne (originally scheduled for Sunday, December 6, 2020) has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 7:30pm.

The provincial health order is in effect from November 19, 2020 at midnight to December 7, 2020 at midnight. While we remain hopeful, it is a strong possibility this order will be extended beyond December 7, 2020 as Covid-19 cases are still rising. For the good of our community and due to complications in preparing safely for upcoming performances, we have made the decision to close the Port Theatre to the public until the new year.

By closing our doors this December, it means we must also postpone the ballet: Spotlight on Jillian Vanstone. While we do not have a new date set yet, The Port Theatre Society and performers are committed to presenting this event when it is safe to gather again to celebrate live performance. Principal Dancer Jillian Vanstone is looking forward to performing the work of her favourite choreographer Christopher Wheeldon whose creations have been highlights of her acclaimed 20-year career.

Jillian Vanstone shares her thoughts, “We would like to thank The Port Theatre Society for considering the safety of audiences, their staff and the artists. We would also like to thank my first dance school, Kirkwood Academy for The Performing Arts, who have generously allowed us to use their wonderful facilities to rehearse. The Nanaimo community has been so supportive and to those who have already purchased tickets, we thank you. We look forward to sharing our exciting production with audiences when it is safe to do so.”


“The Port Theatre was able to reopen in October 2020 to in-person audiences of 50. Our first Spotlight show, Joelle Rabu & Nico Rhodes took place on October 17, 2020. In addition, we were able to pivot and launch our first live-stream show to very satisfied patrons,” explains Bruce Halliday, General Manager / Director of Programming. “We have invested in excellent live-streaming technology and trained our staff in new ways because our industry is evolving. Showcasing important artistic work in a time of a pandemic, bringing some of the very best to our community and streaming it back out to the world, is inspiring and uplifting.”

Patrons Brad and Mila Skeeles encourage others to try live-streaming, “We highly recommend live-streaming performances from the Port Theatre. The quality of sound and video make the home experience the next best thing to being there in-person. We so appreciate the Port Theatre’s efforts to keep its audience connected and we will definitely be purchasing live-stream tickets again.”


We want to assure patrons that refunds will be available for all cancelled and rescheduled events. Thank you for your patience as we handle a large volume of requests. If you have questions or concerns, please email


Live events are an important part of the cultural and economic fabric of Canada and our community. Like so many industries, the pandemic hit theatres hard as we were the first to shut down and will be one of the last to return to our full capacity of 800-seats. More than ever before, The Port Theatre Society needs financial help in order to keep operating and preparing for recovery. We are a registered charity and if you are in a position to give, you will receive a tax receipt for any donation above $10. It is easy to donate. Call 250-754-8550, mail a cheque, or donate online. Thank you for your generosity!


The City of Nanaimo is actively monitoring and responding to the direction and recommendations being made by the Government of Canada and Dr. Bonnie Henry. The Port Theatre is a city-owned and co-managed facility.

Thank you to our Spotlight season sponsor: Island Savings

The Port Theatre would like to acknowledge The Department of Canadian Heritage,
The BC Touring Council, The BC Arts Council, The Province of British Columbia and
The City of Nanaimo.