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Last updated: August 24, 2020

Reopening Guidelines | August 24

Our primary aim in reuniting this year is to continue our highly valued student training during a very complex time. COVID19 will be with us for a while. In light of this, the School is developing new ways of working that will allow us to be together, learn from each other, and work towards our shared educational goals. NTS is a small school with small cohorts and, as such, can more easily implement distancing measures within the classrooms as well as limit the movements of students throughout the School.

NTS believes that our protocols are responsible and robust and, when followed strictly, will provide us all with a safe environment in which to continue learning. NTS will endeavour to maintain and strengthen these protocols throughout the school year.  You will find these and other safety protocols clearly laid out in the guidelines below.                                                                                         

While NTS feels that these guidelines and protocols provide a solid approach that will help to maintain a safe school environment, it is clear that if students, teachers, and staff are not also careful when they are off the School premises, then the risk of bringing the virus into the School is heightened. We respectfully request that you keep this in mind throughout the school year and that you share in our efforts to maintain a safe school environment each and every day. It will take diligence and care on the part of everyone at the School.

NTS recognizes that this will likely be a challenging year in terms of gatherings and social contact among students. This is the current global reality, so we are not alone in this frustration. NTS hopes to move forward with its training with flexibility and generosity, and to find ways in which to safely gather together and find joy in the process of adapting old ways to new experiences.

NTS is working very hard to ensure an atmosphere that is pleasant and calm despite this exceptional and constraining context and we request that you consider all of the protocols in this document as essential since they are interrelated and work together to create a cohesive plan.

Read the complete re-opening guidelines

2020 Production Guidelines | Sept. 14

This document is an addition to the reopening guide and contains information specific to the productions of the School and the Monument. The current context forces us to review how we function while working on the productions as we know it. Given that we will be among the first to test the protocols related to theatrical production in the context of a pandemic, it is very difficult to predict how long the various steps will take. In light of this, we have decided to reduce the size of the productions in all departments: set design, costumes, lighting, sound and video in order to keep the same schedule while respecting the protocols below and within the Re-opening guidelines. It is important to reduce not only the size of the productions, but also the exercises, workshops, intensives and course requirements to ensure that everyone has equal access to the school's resources; prop storage, costumes. The Program Directors (PDTA, CREATION AND PRODUCTION, SCENEGRAPHY) as well as the theatre TDs will be responsible for ensuring that the protocols in this document are applied and that the artistic proposals are realistic according to this context.

Read the guidelines

Latest Updates on COVID-19

Dear new and returning NTS students,

The first information concerning the reopening of the School is available in the ''Letter'' section of the web page.

Consult it here.

To stay updated with the School's upcoming events and important announcements, stay tuned for new messages on this page and subscribe to our newsletter!  

Q&A: Answers to Students' Frequently Asked Questions

I have questions about proof of enrolment, tuition fees and access to the student portal.

The registrar's office will be closed from June 19th to July 10th, inclusively.

Note that to speed up the process of specific requests, we strongly advise you to send any form as a digital file to madurocher@ent-nts.ca. Paper applications will take longer to process due to the current context. Also, if you need a proof of enrolment, you will have to wait until the registrar's office reopens.

During the month of July, you will receive important information on tuition fees and your access to the student portal. We therefore suggest you check your emails on a regular basis.

If you have an emergency, please send an email to info@ent-nts.ca. Any non-emergency communication sent to this address to obtain documents from the registrar will be processed after July 10. 

Are there CALQ bursaries available for students and graduates to help them during the crisis period?

Yes, CALQ offers bursaries for art school students and graduates.

Among the Council's measures to help artists, writers and organizations overcome the crisis, several bursaries are available.

Find all the information on the CALQ page:

https://www.calq.gouv.qc.ca/en/grants/coronavirus/info/plan-de-relance-mesures/

 

Is there a Canadian emergency fund to financially support students at the moment?

On April 22, the Prime Minister of Canada announced a Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

From May to August, you could receive 1250 $ per month. If you have someone under your care or if you have a disability, you could receive 1750 $ per month.

This emergency benefit is available to those who are in school right now, who will be attending school this September, or who graduated after December 2019. Students who are employed, but earn $1,000 $ or less per month can also receive this benefit.

Payments will be retroactive to May 1st and will be made through the Revenue Agency.

For more information: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/emergency-student-benefit.html

I am worried, stressed or anxious because of isolation: are there resources available to help me?

Student Help Line: 1-855-649-8641

You can contact this line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also download the My SSP student support application.

We recognize that some of you may experience worry, stress or anxiety following a trip, isolation, the announcement of a loved one with coronavirus or any other situation related to COVID-19. This confidential line will allow you to contact professionals who can help you in the coming weeks. 

In addition to this:

  • Throughout this period of isolation, the psychological assistance services offered by NTS are always available. Consult the 2019-2020 student guide for more information.

  • In addition, ASEQ Student Care services are maintained,and enrolled students have access to resources from a distance. Simply visit ASEQ's website or call their hotline to know more about coverage and the service register:

    http://www.aseq.ca/   
    514 789-8726 or at 1 844 741-6392 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
  • If you need to clear your head and need help to orient yourself towards the best resources for you, feel free to contact Marc-André Durocher, our Student Services Manager. madurocher@ent-nts.ca
Am I entitled to a refund for a portion of the tuition fees for the current session?

Tuition fees for the current session will not be refunded as classes are still ongoing. Students who still have sums due in their accounts are asked to contact Marc-André Durocher, Student Services Manager, by email at madurocher@ent-nts.ca to set up a payment arrangement.

Is there an assistance program for students who do not have jobs and cannot find work because of the pandemic?

At this time, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is not available for students who anticipate having difficulty finding summer employment. The government is currently looking into this issue to help this group of people. It is therefore possible that CERB might become available to students, or that another type of support be announced in the near future.

We are aware that the pandemic is causing financial hardship for many students and that this hardship will continue long after the social distancing measures are lifted. Please know that we are working tirelessly to find ways to help you. We will have more information about this in the coming weeks and months.

How does Art Apart work?

Art Apart is an initiative by the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) which provides $60,000 to emerging artists (students and recent graduates in the form of 80 grants of $750). This sum comes from an existing fund dedicated to community initiatives. The application period has ended, and artists whose projects have been accepted have already been contacted. We thank all artists who submitted a proposal.

What if I have documents to return to the library?

Due to the exceptional circumstances, all loans from the Bleviss Family library are extended until the start of fall on Tuesday, September 15. 

If you are graduating this year, still have library books in your possession and are leaving the city, we suggest that you leave the books in Montreal to a trustworthy person who can return them for you when the library reopens. If that is not possible, no worries: library staff will be in contact with you later and find a way to get them back.

Can I pick up personal items at the School?

At this time, NTS is not authorized to allow all students to enter the building to retrieve their personal belongings. We do not know when the government will allow all students access to educational institutions to retrieve their personal belongings. If, and only if, an item deemed essential (glasses, medication, orthotics, etc.) is currently at the School, please contact your program Director.

Letters to NTS Community

August 24 | Re-Opening Guidelines

Our primary aim in reuniting this year is to continue our highly valued student training during a very complex time. COVID19 will be with us for a while. In light of this, the School is developing new ways of working that will allow us to be together, learn from each other, and work towards our shared educational goals. NTS is a small school with small cohorts and, as such, can more easily implement distancing measures within the classrooms as well as limit the movements of students throughout the School.

NTS believes that our protocols are responsible and robust and, when followed strictly, will provide us all with a safe environment in which to continue learning. NTS will endeavour to maintain and strengthen these protocols throughout the school year.  You will find these and other safety protocols clearly laid out in the guidelines below.                                                                                         

While NTS feels that these guidelines and protocols provide a solid approach that will help to maintain a safe school environment, it is clear that if students, teachers, and staff are not also careful when they are off the School premises, then the risk of bringing the virus into the School is heightened. We respectfully request that you keep this in mind throughout the school year and that you share in our efforts to maintain a safe school environment each and every day. It will take diligence and care on the part of everyone at the School.

NTS recognizes that this will likely be a challenging year in terms of gatherings and social contact among students. This is the current global reality, so we are not alone in this frustration. NTS hopes to move forward with its training with flexibility and generosity, and to find ways in which to safely gather together and find joy in the process of adapting old ways to new experiences.

NTS is working very hard to ensure an atmosphere that is pleasant and calm despite this exceptional and constraining context and we request that you consider all of the protocols in this document as essential since they are interrelated and work together to create a cohesive plan.

Read the complete re-opening guidelines

July 29 | Tuition Fees and Student Financial Support for 2020-2021

Hello new and returning Students,

The school recognizes the financial impact of the global pandemic on you and on your families. We are putting in place measures to alleviate the financial burden and assist you during this challenging time.

As a result, three types of assistance are being made available:

  1. A tuition freeze and a universal bursary for all students; 

  2. Covering the cost of certain services offered to students, including an additional bursary to cover the entirety of the fee for those who wish to join the Group Insurance offered by ASEQ, if applicable. The school will also maintain the Student Assistance Program offered free of charge, and the reimbursement of psychological consultations (see Students guide); and 

  3. The continuation of individual bursaries awarded annually to alleviate a particularly precarious financial situation, as well as to support people with special needs. These scholarships will be awarded before the end of the first semester. 

Through these actions, we hope to alleviate some of your financial concerns. In total, each student will receive the equivalent of a minimum amount of $1,075 to $1,150 to alleviate the financial burden related to their training this year.

The table below summarizes the information: 

TUITION FEES

No increase for the year 2020-2021

Acting/Production Design & Technical Arts Program/Set & Costume Design
Universal Bursary: $550

Playwriting/Directing
Universal Bursary: $625

ADDITIONAL CHARGES
Full coverage of technological ($50) and student life ($150) fees

GROUP INSURANCE
Full coverage of ASEQ group insurance membership, if applicable ($275)

CAFETERIA CREDIT
Allocation of a cafeteria credit of 50$.


If you have any questions, we invite you to contact Marc-André Durocher (madurocher@ent-nts.ca), Manager, Students Services. Do not hesitate to contact him directly for all matters related to requests for official documents signed by the School, including the documents required for your applications for government loans and bursaries. Throughout the process of reopening the school, he can also direct you to other resources as appropriate. 

Marc-André will contact you during the week of August 10 to give you more information about the Student Service Contract. The amount of the universal bursary and additional fees, will be automatically credited to your account and will reduce the payments you will have to make. 

Stay tuned, we will be sending you more information in the coming weeks and before the start of the school year.

Gideon, Alisa and Frédéric

July 22 | Important Information Concerning the Start of the New School Year

Hello Students,

Please find important information regarding the return to school and the upcoming school year.



School Calendar: 

  • September 1, 2020: All students are required to be in Montreal and available to participate in information and training sessions, both online and in person, regarding re-entry to the school and safety protocols**.

  • Tuesday, September 8, 2020: Classes begin.

  • December 20, 2020, to January 3, 2021: Holiday break.

  • March 1 to 6, 2021: Spring Break.

  • June 6, 2021: Last day of classes. Graduation ceremony to be confirmed.

 

NOTE: Some programs may end prior to June 6, 2021. A complete and detailed schedule will be available to all students as of September 1.

 

**PLEASE NOTE: At present Montreal does not require self-isolation for people arriving from out of province. However, each student is responsible for ensuring that the required quarantine periods are respected depending on the student’s point of origin.

 

Further information will be sent in the coming days, including:

  • Week of July 27: Financial support and tuition-related costs;

  • Week of August 10: Student contract;

  • Week of August 17: Invitation to information sessions, Student Guide and Appendices in the context of COVID-19;

  • Week of August 24: Reminders.

 

All this information will also be posted on the NTS website at https://ent-nts.ca/en/covid-19-updates .

If you have any questions, please contact Marc-André Durocher (madurocher@ent-nts.ca), Manager of Student Services. Do not hesitate to contact him directly for all matters concerning requests for official documents signed by the School, including the documents required for your loan and bursary applications. Throughout your journey, he will also direct you to appropriate resources. Marc-André will contact you during the week of August 10 to give you more information about the student services contract.

Gideon, Alisa and Frédéric

June 26 | Planning for Reopening

Dear new and returning NTS students,

Firstly, we hope you and your loved ones are keeping well and safe in the midst of this unprecedented crisis.  We are sending you this message 101 days since the last time we were all able to be together in one space.  It is an incredible milestone when we think of what we have all experienced and achieved in that time.  We have been so inspired by your resilience, adaptability, creativity and conviction as we watched your final presentations online, felt the engagement you brought to your Zoom classes and saw you reach out across the digital divide in your auditions and interviews … as hard as this period has been, because of your commitment to your training,  it has also been a time full of possibility, opportunity and discovery.

We especially want to acknowledge the difficult and necessary work so many of you have been doing while the world has been gripped by waves of protest and outrage set off by the death of George Floyd.  To our BIPOC students, we want to say that we see you, and that we know that this moment of outrage is directly connected to experiences you live every day.  We recognize the systemic racism you face, the grief, rage and fear you may be feeling and the complicity of this institution in marginalizing voices and cultures, and benefitting from white supremacy. We are also committed to doing much more than recognizing these things.  We want you all to know that, just as with the experience of enforced distancing, this time of protests is also full of possibility, opportunity and discovery for how we will confront racism and social injustice within our communities, our school and ourselves.  This is complex work that will take patience, listening, learning and an understanding in order for us to progress, but we are more committed than ever to do so. 

This School was founded 60 years ago during a time of profound social transformation with the express mission of creating tomorrow’s theatre.  Imagine those early students, such talents as Jean-Luc Bastien, Martha Henry or August Schellenberg, training in the midst of the Quiet Revolution and the Vietnam War, called upon to imagine a theatre for their times.  You ARE the cohorts to imagine a new theatre, one that will bring people together after chaos and upheaval. You will be among those who will create a new theatre for our times.  We are committed to supporting your artistic growth and continued learning as we explore how our art form is to live on and even thrive during difficult times. We cannot sit and wait for things to be “back to normal.” We want to engage in shaping the “new normal.” We are committed to a theatre that speaks to this moment, and we are committed to exploring this while keeping our community’s safety at the forefront of our planning. 

Throughout the coming weeks, we will be working hard to keep you informed of all the adjustments and plans we are putting in place for next year.  In this email, we will begin to explain our planning process, as well as share some of the complicated questions we are trying to address.  As we progress, our communication will become more concrete, but we want to work in total transparency and collaboration with you so that we are all equipped to start working safely together as soon as possible.  As you can imagine, the staff and faculty have been working incredibly hard on the almost impossible task of planning our training programs in a constantly changing context.  We would therefore like to take the opportunity to recognize the hard work of the entire team in what have been incredibly difficult circumstances.  What follows is very complex and we ask that you take the time to read it carefully and that you reach out to us with any questions or thoughts you may have. Please pay attention to the action items in bold.  

This email will provide key information on the following areas:

  1. Planning for Reopening
  2. Student Support
  3. Building Accessibility
  4. Next Steps
  1. PLANNING FOR REOPENING
  1. All planning is based on health measures put in place by the Government of Quebec with rigourous safety protocols to be enforced at all times.
  2. We are assuming that all students will return this fall to continue/begin training in all programs across both sections.
  3. All students should plan to be in Montreal and available as of September 1.  A start date for classes will be confirmed soon.  
  4. We are developing a training schedule that prioritizes maximum flexibility in the event of further closures, with a hybrid of online and in-person work.  We are also examining how to lighten the schedule to support this modified plan. 
  5. We are examining the possibility of extending either or both of the sessions to accommodate any unforeseen circumstances or further closures. An end date will be confirmed soon. 
  6. Students who have acute health concerns related to COVID-19 (ex. immunodeficiency disease) should immediately contact their program directors to discuss it.
  7. The student registrar office will be closed from June 19 to July 10, after which time you can proceed with your requests related to attestations and confirmations.  After this date, you will also receive access to Chronos, our student portal, where new students can retrieve their official acceptance letters, and all students can access their educational contracts and medical information sheets.  
  8. Further information will soon be provided for international students.

ACTION:

  • Contact your program director immediately if you have acute health concerns.
  • Begin planning for your presence and availability at the School as of September 1, 2020.
  • Prepare to have appropriate computer and tech tools and internet connectivity to undertake some of the training online. 
  1. STUDENT SUPPORT
  1. We recognize the unpredictable and challenging nature of this crisis, and are working to ensure the safety and well-being of all students and staff.
  2. Anti-racism, equity and accessibility are at the core of our commitment to our community’s well-being.
  3. We will be announcing a financial support package available to all students that aims to, among other things, reduce the burden of student tuition and provide free access to services in support of improved mental and physical health.
  4. A survey will be sent out shortly to assess student concerns to determine what additional support is needed.
  5. The FAQ page of the website - https://ent-nts.ca/en/covid-19-updates - will be updated on an ongoing basis.   

ACTION:

  • Promptly respond to the survey once you receive it.
  • Review the FAQ page regularly and send any further questions to your program directors.  

 

  1. BUILDING ACCESSIBILITY
  1. Next year, training will take place at both campuses (5030 Saint-Denis and the Monument-National).
  2. During the first term, there will be an ongoing construction project at 5030 Saint-Denis to build a new elevator that will make all Annex floors accessible. Construction starts in July.  This is part of an ongoing Accessibility Plan that will include further studies and construction projects in the future.  

ACTION:

  • Incoming students should familiarize themselves with the location of both campuses. 

  1. NEXT STEPS
  1. Complete health and safety protocols will be announced progressively over the coming weeks.
  2. You will receive an updated student contract that reflects the adjustments in progress. 
  3. You will receive information about the financial support package soon. 

ACTION:

  • Check email frequently for important updates. 

 

In some ways, this communication marks nothing less than the beginning of a new chapter for the National Theatre School.  We want you to know that we are very much looking forward to welcoming you (or welcoming you back) to the School, and to learning how to grow together in all safety over the coming months, and to dream of the resilient and vital theatre of tomorrow.

Thank you,

Gideon, Alisa and Frédéric    

May 7 | End of Semester Message

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020 for the end of their journey at NTS!

We are proud of you!

To all students further pursuing their journey at the School, we are impatient to meet again with you and our new cohort who will be selected in the coming weeks.

To stay updated with the School's upcoming events and important announcements, stay tuned for new messages on this page and subscribe to our newsletter!

May 1st | A note of farewell to the graduating students by the Artistic Directors

On the eve of what would have been graduation day for the Class of 2020, Artistic Directors Alisa Palmer and Frédéric Dubois as well as CEO Gideon Arthurs, pen a heartfelt note of farewell to the graduating artists.

April 29 | Art Apart – The National Theatre School of Canada launches online theatre classes, graduating class shows and virtual design exhibition

After offering emergency financial support to emerging artists affected by the coronavirus crisis, the National Theatre School (NTS) is proud to announce the next phase of its Art Apart initiative. Online classes for theatre artists, an exhibition of set and costume design artworks will be presented online for the first time, as well as two performances by graduating students. 



FREE ONLINE CLASSES

In keeping with its mission to provide incomparable theatre training delivered from artist to artist, NTS will provide 10 online training programs covering all the theatre disciplines.  Professional  actors, directors, designers, composers and theatre makers, artists who are part of the teaching team at NTS, will offer free online classes  available to all artists,  to support the deepening of their craft during this time of isolation. This is another way to continue sharing knowledge and having a dialogue among artists across Canada. “We have a responsibility to constantly interrogate ourselves on how best to meet the needs of our community,” says Alisa Palmer, Artistic Director of the English section. “In the current context, it’s more important than ever to foster a sense of community and to provide creative work opportunities for artists.

Here are the teaching artists who will be leading conferences, conversations and classes online in the coming weeks:


  • Tamara Marie KucheranStand Back! Physical Distance and Fashion: from Paniers to Punks to Pool Noodles - A brief history of "physical distancing" inspired clothing

  • Brenda Bazinet, JoJo Rideout and Martha Burns

  • Debashis Sinha, Periphery of the sound designer’s world

  • Dean Patrick Fleming, Writing for Young audiences

  • Arianna Bardesono, Brewing ideas on scenic space : the director’s prep up to meeting the set designer

  • Dany Boudreault, Initiation à la poésie pour les acteurs (3 séances)

  • Xavier Huard (2 entretiens en baladodiffusion)

  • Daniel Canty (2 conférences : la mise en ligne et le théâtre des éloignements)


Monument-National Campus : 

  • Caroline Ferland et Julie Marie Bourgeois, Réflexion, Réflexion

  • François Vincent et Stéphane Longpré, Conversation
More details will be announced soon. 



NEW WORDS FESTIVAL


The New Words Festival is the culminating project of the graduating class of the English Section. This year, social distancing measures have forced our campuses to close and students to stay home. But we’ve decided that the show must go on – online that is. We are so proud to share these plays with you, albeit in a different environment.

In only a few short weeks, the Directing, Acting and Playwriting students have boldly explored what it means to stage these plays in a virtual setting, adapting quickly and creatively to a challenging situation. We invite you to experience these innovative new plays and explore what intimacy, spontaneity and togetherness mean in a lockdown digital age.



The Game, May 1st and 2nd, on Zoom, live with audience interaction
by Gillian Clark (Playwriting 3, Halifax, NS), directed by Angelica Schwartz (Directing 2, Winnipeg, MB), performed by graduating students from the Acting program

i am entitled to rest, May 4 to 6, on YouTube
by Kalale Dalton-Lutale (Playwriting 3, Toronto, ON) and directed by Murdoch Schon (Directing 2, Montreal, QC), performed by graduating students from the Acting program



DIGITAL EXHIBITION


Each year, 2nd-year students in Set and Costume Design present works created in the first two years of their training: costume sketches, set models, life drawings, paintings, etchings, and more! This virtual event is part of their exhibition design class. In the current situation, the exhibition has been transformed into a website, which is an equally relevant learning experience in their training.

Don’t miss expo-pigments.ca starting May 1st.

April 21 | Power Corporation of Canada and CBC partner with NTS to support emerging artists affected by coronavirus crisis

The National Theatre School (NTS) is pleased to announce that Power Corporation of Canada and Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC, will contribute to NTS’ Art Apart project to support emerging artists who are facing increased financial precariousness because of cancelled contracts and lack of job opportunities due to social distancing measures.

Power Corporation’s generous contribution to enhance NTS’ Art Apart program will enable NTS to select 20 new artists to receive a grant among those who have already submitted their application. A total of 100 Art Apart works will be shown. The newly selected artists will be announced shortly. In the meantime, meet the first Art Apart artists on TheatreTraining.ca.

This partnership will also serve to share the Art Apart works more widely, as each work will benefit from national advertising, advertising in the artists’ community of origin, and amplification to a national audience by CBC through the public broadcaster’s newly launched ART UNCONTAINED collection, featuring a diverse range of innovative content supporting the Canadian artistic community and inspiring audiences during these unprecedented times.

Finally, this donation allows NTS to launch online theatre classes offered by the teaching artists of NTS’ professional training programs and to share online the work of students in the professional programs. Details of this second phase of the project will be announced at a later date.

On behalf of the entire NTS team, I want to thank Power Corporation and CBC Arts for their valuable support of the Art Apart project,” said Gideon Arthurs, CEO of NTS. “Since the beginning of this crisis, the NTS team has been working tirelessly to continue to support emerging artists and to offer them the opportunity to continue to create and be financially supported. These two partnerships will allow these artists to continue working and to come together, digitally, with audiences.

April 2nd | Impact of the COVID-19 on documents borrowed from the NTS library

Hi,

 

Regarding the books and other documents borrowed from the school library, we have extended ALL loans until Tuesday, September 15.

 

So there will be no late fees for documents that were to be returned after Friday March 13.

 

If you are graduating this year, still have library books in your possession and are leaving the city, we suggest that you leave the books in Montreal so a trustworthy person can return them for you when the library reopens. If that is not possible, no worries: we will be in contact with you later to arrange to get them back.

 

We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well. Take care of yourselves, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Simon and the library team

April 2nd | New about NTS Merch

Good morning, everyone,

 

I hope you are all at home, socially distanced and healthy.

 

This communication is to advise you that we have had to cancel the order of merchandise (Long Sleeves, Hoodies and T-shirt) for this year. In the coming months, we will contact you to give you more details about the next merchandise order. Even though some of you will be graduating this year, you will receive the information so that you can order at the beginning of the next school year.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Have a nice day,

Anne-Marie Bizier
Manager, training and administrative support

April 1st | Letter to students: finances, graduation and more

Dear students,

This short note is to welcome you back to your training and to offer a little context and clarity as we try to move forward together during these unprecedented times. As we head into a brave new world of online training, we want to recognise the hard work and ingenuity of your coaches, teachers and program directors who have turned on a dime to create new and meaningful pedagogy within weeks of global school closures. We also want to recognise that what we can offer you is not a straight equivalent to what we would be able to accomplish together, in person. Like you, we are trying to figure out the best way to navigate the complexity of this moment and are discovering new possibilities and limitations every day (and sometimes every hour).

Thank you for your patience, your flexibility, your resilience and your openness. We will learn together what is and is not possible to do together while physically apart.

We know as well that this crisis has deeper impacts than just upending your training. Many of you have lost your upcoming summer jobs, have had to travel home at great expense or cancel leases, and are called upon to support your families as they too are out of work. We know that this has caused financial challenges for many of you, and that those challenges will continue to be felt long after social distancing protocols have been called off. We want you to know that we are working day and night to figure out how to help you. As you know, we launched the Art Apart project, an initiative that will inject $60,000 into the community thanks to funds from existing sources that must be directed to community initiatives. 80 projects will be selected and the artists will receive a $750 grant. We are also working with private and public partners to support you in the long term to ensure that financial capacity is never a deciding factor in your ability to complete your training. We will have more information on that front in the coming weeks and months.

On a brighter note, we want you to know that we are thinking about what will happen when all of this has ended. We are so looking forward to being together again, and want you to know that we are committed to providing you with everything you need to feel like your time at NTS has not been less meaningful, less rigorous, less worthwhile than any other cohort’s in our 60 year history. Please note that while we hope things return to normal after May 1st, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the graduation ceremony. However, we are already thinking about how to throw the best graduation party in living memory when we are all back together, which will incidentally coincide with the School’s 60th anniversary festivities.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and hopefully we can meet again under better circumstances very soon. We hope that the online classes offer you an opportunity to create a necessary routine, to keep working, exploring and developing the tools you will need to lead our audiences and communities from isolation to togetherness in a post-pandemic world.

Alisa, Frederic and Gideon

April 1st | ART APART: 575 emerging artists submit projects to the National Theatre School

575 artists from 10 Canadian provinces and 2 territories have applied for the Art Apart project. This initiative by the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) will provide $60,000 in support to emerging artists (as 80 grants of $750), who are facing increased financial precariousness due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Artists help keep the social fabric alive, even from a physical distance, said Gideon Arthurs, CEO of NTS. Their work is essential to bringing our communities together even in times of isolation. We want to thank all applicants for their courage and desire to share their work and artistic practices with a wide audience during this difficult time. »

We will get in touch with selected artists shortly.

The works will be broadcast throughout April and May on TheatreTraining.ca and on the National Theatre School's and the artists’ social networks through the hashtag #artapart. Please follow along. We hope you will find as much pleasure as we did discovering these artists!

ABOUT THE SUBMISSIONS

Artists who have submitted artistic projects come from all areas of theatre (acting, directing, lighting design, production design and technical arts, playwriting, set and costume design, sound design) and from all genres (performance, musical theatre, puppet theatre, clown, improv, devised theatre, monologue).

These students and young graduates come from dozens of educational institutions across the country (National Theatre School of Canada, Concordia University, Dalhousie University, George Brown, Humber College, John Abbott College, McGill University, Queen’s University, Ryerson, Sheridan College, University of Ottawa, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Windsor, York University and more). Other artists have received mentorship or culturally specific learning.

This great diversity of languages, cultural backgrounds, provinces, regions and fields of theatre studies will be reflected in the 80 selected works.

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March 30 | Notice to NTS students: online learning

Despite the distressing circumstances right now, we are proud to announce that we are launching online learning today! Even if theatre is first and foremost an art form that invites us to be together in a room, we are adapting to the circumstances and connecting digitally. Students and teaching artists can now resume their work together to complete the school year. Putting this new curriculum in place has required thinking outside the box… WAY outside the box, and sometimes even throwing the box away entirely and proposing a whole new container. There is a sense of loss that comes with not being able to share a room with fellow artists, but creativity has emerged from the constraints we’re facing. This bold experiment, a first in 60 years of NTS history, brings forth opportunities to reimagine the future of theatre and new ways to bring audiences and artists together. It involves some risks, but with good faith, discipline and commitment, we’ll make this work together.

Happy “first day of school” to all students!

March 24 | Letter to NTS students

Dear NTS Students,

We hope you are taking good care of yourselves and keeping your spirits up. We are thinking of you and your families during this trying time.   

As this crisis unfolds, our priority is the health of our students, employees and community. The government of Quebec announced yesterday that schools will remain closed until at least Friday, May 1st.

We are therefore announcing that, in collaboration with all program directors, NTS will do everything possible to offer classes, discussions and follow-up meetings online which will allow you to complete the current year from home.

This week, we will deploy the necessary resources, whether human or financial, to ensure the implementation of this plan and to make sure, as much as possible, that we have the tools you may need. Each Program Director will contact you with details on your training program. To this end, we will also contact you to find out more about the tools you already have, whether it be in terms of access to computers, internet connections, smart phones, space for personal practice and/or tools and materials you may need to use, etc.  We’ll make every effort to accommodate everyone so please respond to the survey as soon as possible when you get it. We plan to roll out our online learning Monday, March 30th.

We will also let you know how you can retrieve any belongings from the school. No one is permitted to enter either of our buildings this week, but after that we will propose a plan that will work within the public health guidelines. We will be in touch about that at a later date.

We know that many of you may be considering where “home” is for you at this time. We encourage you and your family to determine what is most appropriate for you regarding where you need to be right now within the guidelines for public safety.

We also want to assure you that we are already planning a great Graduation Ceremony. In all likelihood, this ceremony will be postponed to the beginning of next year, but we will keep you informed as soon as more information becomes available.

We would also like you to know that we are standing in solidarity with the entire cultural community, its artists, artisans, self-employed workers, organizations and businesses, which we know are being severely affected by the unprecedented events we are experiencing collectively. By prioritizing the health and safety of everyone, we remain present for you and do everything possible to continue our personalized support.

To conclude on some good news, we are pleased to share with you this new NTS initiative: https://ent-nts.ca/en/art-apart, which we invite you to apply to. 

As previously communicated, go to the School's web page to find a wealth of information related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

All the best,

 

Alisa, Frédéric and Gideon

March 23 | Art Apart: Urgent support for emerging artists

Because physical distance shouldn’t mean total isolation, the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is allocating $60,000 in support of emerging artists (as 80 grants of $750). These funds will be granted to theatre artists in training, or artists who have completed a theatre training program within the past five years, to present a piece of art online.

Learn more 

March 17 | Letter to NTS students, artistic directors, teachers and staff

Dear students and NTS community members,

As you know, we have had to suspend all our operations at 5030 Saint-Denis and the Monument-National until this health crisis has passed. We are working quickly to put a resource guide online for your reference, but in the meantime, we want you to know that your Artistic Directors, CEO, Program Directors, support staff and teachers are working hard to adapt to the rapidly changing situation.

For now, we have been given the indication that all pedagogical activities and public performances are suspended until after March 29. Our staff is working remotely to ensure that our essential services continue, including communicating with our community, working with our government partners and developing contingency plans. As of today, we do not know anything more than that we are closed, and we understand how destabilizing this can be for students and staff alike. As soon as we have information on how to proceed, we will pass it on to you. For now, take this time to take care of yourselves and each other, and maybe even get some rest!

We also want to express our profound sadness that this year is turning out in a way that none of us could ever have predicted. Given that we do not know yet when we will be able to resume our activities, we know that the prospect of the cancellation of end of year productions is a source of deep concern and anxiety, especially for graduating students. We will do everything in our power to make sure that this does not happen, but if it does, please know that you are training for a lifetime of shows and that our community’s health is more important than any production.

Ours is a community of creators and innovators, and we must apply that creativity to proceeding differently but with confidence, to bend and adapt as only artists can. Please write to us or your program directors if you have ideas for how we can stay connected, and please stay in touch with each other to ensure that as a community, we are there for each other. You can also reach out with any questions or concerns you have about the unfolding situation.

More official and technical information will soon be circulated, but for now we wish you all the best in the coming weeks,

-Gideon, Alisa, and Fred

March 13 | Letter to NTS students, artistic directors, teachers and staff

Dear students, teachers and staff members, 
 

Following the decree of the public authorities, all NTS activities are temporarily suspended FROM FRIDAY MARCH 13th AT MIDNIGHT, until Sunday, March 29th: courses, student shows, events and gatherings initially planned in Chronos are therefore cancelled. The Bleviss Family Library will also be closed.   

 

Please note that if you leave the country in the next few days, you must first notify your director and upon your return you must stay quarantined for 14 days by staying at home. 

 

On Monday March 16th, all regular staff members are convened to an information session on working procedures for the next two weeks. 

 

Anyone who cannot attend this meeting in person will be able to do so via Zoom by following the procedure which will be sent shortly to all staff members. 

 

Take care of yourselves.  This too shall pass! 

 

Gideon Arthurs

Useful links

If you are worried about COVID-19 or if you have a cough or fever, call 1 877 644-4545 and please notify the head of human resources.

Student Help Line: 1-855-649-8641

You can contact this line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also download the My SSP student support application.

We recognize that some of you may experience worry, stress or anxiety following a trip, isolation, the announcement of a loved one with coronavirus or any other situation related to COVID-19. This confidential line will allow you to contact professionals who can help you in the coming weeks. 

Employee Help Line: 1-855-480-2240

Also, we would like to specify that the assistance services offered by OPTIMA for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) remain active at all times, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We recognize that some of you may experience worry, stress or anxiety following a trip, isolation, the announcement of a loved one with coronavirus or any other situation related to COVID-19. Your EAP is there to provide you with confidential psychological support. 

Information about the pandemic

How COVID-19 is spread

While it is believed that the virus originated in an animal, the general outbreak has been caused by person-to-person contact. 

As with other respiratory diseases, COVID-19 can trigger mild symptoms, such as a cough and fever. The virus can also affect certain people more seriously and lead to pneumonia or difficulty breathing. 

Coronaviruses typically infect the nasal passages, throat, and lungs. It is generally spread by: 

  • Close contact with an infected person who coughs or sneezes; 
  • Direct contact with the hands, or indirect contact with contaminated surfaces, then to the mouth, nose, or eyes;  
  • Coronaviruses can typically survive 6 days on objects whose surface is moist 

Preventive measures
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  • Cough or sneeze onto your sleeve at the crease of your elbow, not into your hands. Or else cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Properly dispose of the tissue as soon as possible and wash your hands thoroughly. 
  • If you are sick, stay home to avoid infecting other people. 
  • Avoid all close contact with people who are unwell. 
  • Avoid greeting with a kiss or shaking hands, and limit unnecessary travel.  
Symptoms which require immediate medical attention
  • Fever; 
  • Cough;
  • Difficulty breathing.



Symptoms may be mild (similar to those of a cold) or more severe (such as those associated with pneumonia or respiratory and kidney failure). In rare cases, the disease may lead to death. Persons most at risk of complications are those who are immunosuppressed, have a chronic health condition, or are elderly. 

If you have been diagnosed with the virus, immediately inform your manager as well as Sanmohini Pellerin, Human Resources Lead Manager. You will need to work from home (hence in quarantine) until you no longer exhibit any symptoms and are no longer contagious. A doctor’s note will be required to be able to return to the School 

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for the human diseases caused by coronaviruses. Most people who contract the current coronavirus diseases recover on their own.  

Travel

The Public Health Agency of Canada is actively monitoring the situation and is working with the World Heath Organization (WHO) and other international partners to compile additional data. The situation is rapidly evolving. Please check the travel health advisories periodically because they may be updated while you are travelling as new information becomes available. 

Personal travel 

If you travel for personal reasons and develop symptoms when you return, please self-quarantine for 14 days and work from home. Please note that if you travel to a region where COVID-19 is active, you may not be covered by our group insurance. Any travel to affected areas is at your own risk. Please consult the Canadian Government website to find out which countries are affected by the virus and check with the insurance provider for your group insurance plan to find out what limitations apply. 

Business trips 

Until further notice, all international business trips must be pre-approved by your manager. Should the spread of the virus in Canada increase, we may also decide to limit   business trips within the country. Whichever the case, you must inform Sanmohini Pellerin, Human Resources Lead Manager.  

Until further notice, please inform your program director as well as Sanmohini Pellerin, Human Resources Lead Manager, of all planned trips abroad as well as of any potential absences in connections to an infection of COVID-19. 

More information

For information: 

For World Theatre Day

A message from Gideon Arthurs, NTS CEO

Watch the video