Nanaimo live music and wedding industries welcome eased COVID-19 restrictions

Nanaimo live music and wedding industries welcome eased COVID-19 restrictions
Kendall Hanson/CHEK News
WatchLive music venue The Queen's owner and the Nanaimo Golf Club's wedding coordinator welcome eased Covid-19 restrictions this weekend

With COVID-19 restrictions easing in B.C. July 1 in B.C. July 1, events like live music and weddings are starting to get back to normal.

For the first time since November, a live music show Friday night at The Queen’s in Nanaimo had spectators at half capacity. Which for them, is 100 people.

“It’s been amazing. The difference between 50 and 100 is huge,” said Jerry Hong, The Queen’s owner. “It doesn’t sound like a lot but for our industry it’s amazing and the musicians love having more people because they thrive off the energy of it.”

Hong says he’s been able to book dates quickly with local musicians anxious to start playing again.

“It’s been great for the local musicians on the island that they can actually get some stage time,” he said. “So, for that capacity it’s great but for us to bring any touring acts or anything like that it’s not going to happen until we get back up to full capacity.

However, Hong said he’s disappointed the restrictions haven’t been lowered even more in light of the low COVID-19 case numbers on Vancouver Island as he’d like to see dancing allowed.

“That’s what we thought we were going to have was limited capacity with dancing and interactions with other people,” said Hong. “They’ve lifted the state of emergency so I don’t understand why we’re the only industry being punished. Everyone else is back to normal so that’s kind of disappointing.”

The Nanaimo Golf Club hosted their first wedding of the year Saturday. The bride and groom chose July 3 because they did not want their guests to have to wear facemasks or see them in pictures.

However, the golf course’s marketing coordinator says some couples are still waiting for dancing to be allowed before booking their big day.

“That’s a big one. as soon as people find out they can’t have their dances, that’s a really important part of weddings and the photos you want to keep forever,” said Haley Robinson, the golf course’s marketing and catering coordinator.

But for some couples and many others, the lifting of restrictions is a welcome step towards normalcy.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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