An Update on Paprika Festival and COVID-19 - March 15

Re: An Update on Paprika Festival and COVID-19

Dear friends,

The health and safety of our participants, facilitators, staff, and patrons are our top priority. We have been communicating internally with our participants, facilitators, and staff to assess changing needs and to explore and introduce new methods of working and creating collaboratively. 

We have been watching the progress of COVID-19 closely, and following Health Canada, Public Health Ontario, and Toronto Public Health for up-to-date information about local risk. We recognize that the situation is changing day-to-day, and we want to do our part to keep our communities as safe as possible. 

With that in mind, we are talking to our various partners and stakeholders to address the feasibility and safety of maintaining our scheduled program meetings and workshops. We are assessing how and where we are delivering our programs, while ensuring our participants receive the skills development and support promised through Paprika. Though we are already experiencing the impact of COVID-19 on our organization through decreased access to space for workshops and rehearsals, we are committed to working with our participants to find solutions that encourage their growth as artists and administrators. 

As of now, we are planning to move forward with the Paprika Festival, which will run May 25-31, 2020 at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio. As more information is provided, we will reassess and make decisions based on recommendations and directives of public health officials. 

We have asked all participants, facilitators, artist mentors and staff to take the following precautions when considering attendance at any program events: 

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Hand-washing is the best method, but if it’s unavailable, please use a hand sanitizer with a minimum alcohol content of 60% - the natural ones will not suffice.
  • Wipe and disinfect your cellphone and other surfaces you touch regularly.
  • If you have a respiratory illness, are immunocompromised, or otherwise at-risk, please think carefully about your attendance at public gatherings.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow rather than your hand, if you cough or sneeze, please.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, eyes, and nose.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid hugging and hand-shaking.
  • Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
  • Consider phone/facetime/skype meetings as an alternate method.

We encourage all participants, facilitators, artist mentors and staff to make decisions that are best suited for them; Paprika, as an organization, will support their choice and work with them so we can move forward together. Social distancing does not mean a loss or lack of community or togetherness. 

We will provide more updates as the situation evolves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Paprika’s General Manager, Daniel Carter.  

Much love,

The Paprika team

Where You Can Find Additional Information:
Toronto Public Health
Government of Canada
World Health Organization