COVID-19: Updates

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.


Consult the latest updates

Latest Updates on COVID-19

Last updated: April 2, 2020

The School pavilions are closed until May 1st. Professional program classes are currently taught online.

Following the notice issued by public authorities concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), NTS will be closed and its activities temporarily suspended from Friday March 13 at midnight until May 1st. 

Classes, student productions, pedagogical activities of the Monument-National, events, and assemblies previously scheduled in Chronos are therefore all suspended. The Bleviss Family Library will also be temporarily closed.


Letters to NTS Community

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



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 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!


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.

Learn more about what's next by subscribing to the newsletter

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:, 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, you can call the toll-free number 1 877 644-4545.

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 


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


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

ART APART | Urgent support for emerging artists amid COVID-19 crisis

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.

Apply online:

Please note that the School's activities are suspended until May 1st. Subscribe to the newsletter to find out about the latest developments regarding the crisis.