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VIDEO: A cry for help from a Kelowna musical theatre venue

Federal pandemic help has come to an end, but regional restrictions, limiting ticket sales to 50% of capacity remain in place.

The Kelowna Actors Studio says unless there's a plot twist, this storyline is heading in a bad direction.

"We face the potential of irreparable damage to our financial situation and potential permanent closure," said theatre co-founder Nate Flavel, in an open letter to elected officials and the BC Health Office.

Flavel points out that the Actors Studio hasn't had a single case of COVID since the onset of the pandemic.

In his letter, he said the "...continued restriction in our region is more for optics and vaccination motivation than actual overall safety of our community."

"We still do support the Public Health Office," Flavel told KelownaNow in an interview Thursday.

"Our real issue came when they opened the majority of Canada really," he said, "and not some local areas. And then they ended the funding at the same time."

Flavel argues that the vaccination rates and infection rates aren't that far apart and it's time to face the ongoing threat of the province as one.

"When I look at the fact that I can hop on a plane and move out of this market, I can jump on a plane with 150 other people, fly to Vancouver, go to a hockey game with 20,000 other people and fly back and that is acceptable, but I can't drive down to the theatre in my own home town and sit with 200 vaccinated people to see a theatre performance, that doesn't add up."

The Interior continues to lag behind the rest of the province by about 5% on vaccination rates, but Interior Health has noted that transmission rates are trending in the right direction.

So there have been assurances that the restrictions are constantly being reviewed.

But Flavel is looking for some certainty as they try to plan for the 2022 season.

"We've run this race with everybody else," added Flavel. "It would just be really nice to cross the finish line and not fall off a few hundred metres before."



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