Updated: March 30, 2020 – 4:00pm

The Arts Council of New Westminster (ACNW) is currently keeping up to date with the developments surrounding the emergence of COVID-19. We are communicating and coordinating with our members, non-profits, partners, and local municipality to ensure we are guided by evidence-based recommendations published by Fraser Health Authority, BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The health and safety of artists, audiences, and ACNW staff and volunteers is our top priority, and we are carefully reviewing updates to determine our course of action during this time.  We would like to assure our community that we are committed to the safety of all who attend ACNW events and are taking the appropriate measures to help ensure that participants will experience a safe and healthy environment.

Effective, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all City of New Westminster community centres and public facilities have been closed to the public. This has impacted our operations of The Gallery at Queen’s Park. All exhibitions, events, workshops, rental use, and activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

As such, we are announcing that the following events are no longer taking place (cancelled or postponed):

The Gallery at Queen’s Park – Closed until further notice

New West Craft @ River Market
March 21 – Cancelled
April 4 – Made by Mom Market – Cancelled
April 4 – New West Craft Virtual Market – join us on Instagram
April 18 – NWC Artisan Market – Cancelled
April 18 – New West Craft Virtual Market – join us on Instagram

April 4 – New Comers Festival – Cancelled
April 5 – Royal City Centre – Cancelled
April 12 – Easter in the Park – Cancelled
April 15 – Lord Kelvin (original date was April 22) – Cancelled
May 5 – Royal City Centre – Cancelled

Last Monday at the Movies
March 30 – Hope Gap – Cancelled
April 27 – Cancelled
May 25 –
June 29 –
Contact for details about Season Pass credits

Seniors Expressions Through the Arts
March 21 – Out of the Box @ New West Legion – Postponed

Additional events in May and June are currently being evaluated and we will make an announcement next week. If you are unsure about an email, please email for clarity.

We also wish to highlight on-going activities that you can participate in from your home:

  • List to five episodes of the ArtsNW podcast here
  • Call for Participation: New West Craft – Summer Markets – Click here
  • Call for Artists – Artists by the River – Deadline: June 1, 2020 – Click here
  • Call for Submissions – Festival of Healing and Loss – Photography Submissions – Extended Deadline April 30, 2020 – Click here
  • Call for Musicians – ACNW Summer Music program – Deadline: April 3, 2020 –
  • Call for LGBTQ2SIA+ Artists – The Art of Pride – Deadline: July 2020 – Click here
  • Call for Participation – New West Cultural Crawl – Deadline: April 30, 2020 –

If you are an artist being impacted by shutdowns, please know it is important that we as a sector document how this ongoing public health situation is impacting artists.

For artists, arts workers, and arts organizations, the GVPTA has created a COVID-19 Impact Survey where you can give a detailed breakdown on how you have been impacted, financially and otherwise. Click here for the survey.

Canadian Independent Music Industry is collecting data on the impact for the Canadian Music Industry as a whole. Click here for the survey.

This information will be shared with funders, and will be important in advocating to government officials about the needs of artists as the outcomes of this pandemic are felt.

Additional resources and public statements:

Canadian Heritages FAQ (click here)
Canada Council for the Arts FAQ (click here)
BC Arts Council FAQ (click here)
BC Gaming Statement (click here)
BC Alliance for Arts + Culture Resource Page (click here)

What we can continue to collectively do:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily.

As audiences are needing to stay at home. What are their options?

  1. You may donate your tickets back to Arts Council of New Westminster and we will issue you a charitable tax receipt for the equivalent amount. This is a particular gift during a challenging time for non-profit arts organizations like the ACNW.
  2. Give your tickets to a friend! They can pick up the tickets under your name, just call the box office and let us know.
  3. Exchange your tickets for a future performance. Please contact our office to discuss options by calling 604-525-3244 or e-mailing We hope that all of you stay healthy – and we look forward to seeing you safely soon.

As new Governmental directives require additional cancellation or closure of our events, participants will be advised, and updated messages will be posted on the ACNW website. Artists are exploring exciting ways to continue creating; many arts organizations have begun live-casting and podcasting (including the ACNW ArtsNW Podcast). We encourage you to practicing social distancing as we continue our lives and responsibly enjoy arts activities.


Stephen O’Shea
Executive Director