The Nanaimo Art Gallery announced on March 17 that it is temporarily closing in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo Art Gallery is latest cultural venue to close in response to COVID-19

Port Theatre, Nanaimo Museum, library branches among currently shuttered spaces

The Nanaimo Art Gallery is the latest cultural venue to shut its doors in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On March 17 the NAG announced through its social media channels that the art gallery, gallery store and ArtLab education and workshop space have all been closed to the public and all scheduled programs have been postponed.

“Our first priority is ensuring the health and safety of our visitors, program participants, staff, their families and our community,” the announcement said. “Our staff will continue to work on- and off-site, planning our exciting future programming.”

Some of the other arts, culture and entertainment venues that have shut down for the time being are the Port Theatre, Nanaimo Museum, Vancouver Island Military Museum, Vancouver Island University’s View Gallery, all Vancouver Island Regional Library branches and Casino Nanaimo. The City of Nanaimo has also closed all of its recreation facilities and all registered programs and rentals have been cancelled.

VIU’s Malaspina Theatre and the Vancouver Island Conference Centre are both cancelling or postponing events with more than 50 people in adherence to the orders of B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. health minister Andrian Dix. Henry and Dix also ordered the closure of all bars.

The Yellow Point Drama Group, Western Edge Theatre, Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra and Vancouver Island Symphony are among local arts groups that have cancelled scheduled performances.

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