Urge the Manitoba Government to update choral singing guidelines

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Since the pandemic began, Manitoba Choral Association has been working on finding ways to change public perception that choral singing is a dangerous activity. In June 2020, we expressed our concerns with the Manitoba Government’s Phase 2 Plan for Restoring Services, which listed choral singing as a risky activity. In response to our letter, we were granted a meeting with Cameron Friesen, the former Minister of Health, Seniors & Active Living; Kelvin Goertzen, the Minister of Education; and Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.

Since the meeting, MCA has sent several letters to these officials sharing results from prominent studies, and have proposed guidelines and recommendations for the safe resumption of choral singing in our province. We are disappointed that we have received no response at all, and worse yet, no changes have been made to Manitoba’s "Guidelines for Vocalists and Instrumentalists" since Phase 2 was implemented.

MCA is actively advocating for the guidelines to be updated with recommendations from recent reputable studies. These include social distancing, singing with masks, limiting rehearsal times, ventilating indoor spaces appropriately, and ensuring proper hygiene among singers.

Other provinces have already released guidelines for the safe resumption of choral singing. Manitoba must follow suit. Our province has long been known across the country as “the singing province.” We encourage you to help us send a message to the Manitoba Government to update the guidelines today!