UPDATED APRIL 1, 2021
As we continue to evolve with the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, we want to update you on how the current lockdown affects The Westdale. Hamilton has been in either the Red Control Zone or the Grey Lockdown Zone since November 16, 2020. In both zones, we must remain closed for film exhibitions and live events. We offered private screenings in the Red Control Zone, but we have had to pause on those rentals until we are out of the Grey Lockdown Zone again.
Throughout the region, The Westdale and arts and culture organizations have had to be agile and creative in presenting programming and keeping our communities engaged. We are fortunate that you have stayed with us on this journey. Thank you for your engagement over the past year. We are grateful to operate in such a vibrant and supportive community.
Our patrons, volunteers, and staff’s health and safety are our top priority, and we will always follow the guidance and recommendations of public health and the government. As soon as we can offer private rentals again, we will let you know. We very much look forward to when we can gather at our beautifully restored theatre again, whenever that may be.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2020
As of Monday, November 16 The Westdale will be closed in compliance with provincial control red guidelines. WE WILL REOPEN WHEN THE GUIDLINES PERMIT.
Updated September 1, 2020.
The Westdale COVID-19 Safety Plans and Procedures
The Westdale follows the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Government of Ontario and the City of Hamilton. We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers. We welcome your questions at [email protected]
Guests must wear a mask or face covering at all times except when eating or drinking.
The Thursday at 4:00 pm screening is mask mandatory. The concession stand will be closed.
Safety Protocols in place
- Seating is limited to 50 seats out of the 345 available, reducing the capacity of the theatre by 85%
- Assigned seating in pairs to maintain a minimum 2-meter physical distance between occupied seats
- Couples may only sit together if they are from the same household or social circle
- We recommend purchasing your tickets in advance at www.thewestdale.ca
- Reduced showtimes to ensure proper cleaning in between showtimes
- The theatre and facilities are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between every screening
- Signs posted outside and throughout the facility to encourage physical distancing and hygiene measures
- For live performances, should there be an audience, plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier is required between the audience and singers as well as players of brass or wind instruments
- Physical distancing markers have been added to the concession area to remind guests to keep at least 2 meters apart
- Access to the upstairs washrooms will be limited to ensure that physical distancing precautions are met
- Separate entrances for pre-purchased tickets and walk-up purchases
- Plexiglass barriers installed at the ticket stand and concession areas
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility
- All staff and volunteers have received the most up-to-date COVID-19 training
- All staff and volunteers are screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before every shift. Anyone who fails symptom screening must contact the General Manager to inform them, as well as connecting with their family physician or with local public health in terms of indication for COVID-19 testing.
- All staff and volunteers will wear a mask at all times
- All staff and volunteers will practice frequent hand hygiene
- Protocols are in place should a guest become ill
Please adhere to the following protocols when visiting The Westdale
- Stay home and away from others if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have pre-purchased a ticket and cannot attend due to illness, please email [email protected], and we will arrange for you to get a movie pass of the same value at a later date.
- Wear a mask or face covering at all times except when eating or drinking. Wearing a mask or face covering will be required in enclosed public spaces beginning July 20, 2020 under City of Hamilton By-Law 20-155. The mask or face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin, without gapping. Wearing a mask or face covering is an additional measure we can take to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. This means that, with some exceptions, all persons, including customers and/or visitors entering an enclosed premise are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the enclosed space. If you require a mask when entering The Westdale we will provide you with one.
- Practice good hygiene (covering a cough and sneeze and avoiding touching your face)
- Wash your hands frequently
- Use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is provided throughout the theatre
July 13, 2020
The Westdale will safely reopen when the City of Hamilton moves into Stage 3 as recommended by the Province of Ontario. The health and safety of our patrons and staff is our main priority. We will follow all regulations and recommendations set forth by the Province of Ontario and the City of Hamilton. This includes mandatory face coverings when inside The Westdale.
Please stay tuned for further information on opening and our schedule. We look forward to when we can safely welcome you back!
May 7, 2020
The Westdale closed its doors to the public on March 16, 2020. Although we cannot give a firm reopening date, we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow recommendations from our public health officials and local, provincial, and federal governments. When the theatre reopens, you can rest assured that it will be safe for you to visit and share with us in appreciation of film, experience artistic presentation and exhibition, and take part in community arts programming.
Since the health and safety of our community, staff, artists, and volunteers is our top priority, we are unable to provide face-to-face programming at this time. That doesn’t mean we’ve stopped developing those programs, though! From the safety of our homes, our staff, community partners, and artists are hard at work getting programming ready to be up and running when it’s safe to do so. Here are some of the programs that we have been working on:
Memories of the Westdale:
A film-based program designed for seniors, to capture, record, and share their stories about the Westdale Theatre.
An alternative music program working with local sound artist and musician Dave Gould designed for Newcomers to our city in partnership with the YMCA and Environment Hamilton.
This Is Me:
A media-arts based program working with artists Emmy Pantin and Jennifer LaFontaine designed for survivors of gender-based violence in partnership with SACHA.
Facebook Live Film Talk Series:
Launched in late March, every Monday evening at 7:00pm on Facebook, we discuss a film with a prominent filmmaker. Each week, a different film is selected that you can view on your own through a variety of digital viewing platforms.
The Westdale launched an interactive program featuring a variety of weekly clubs to discuss a particular genre of film with industry experts, filmmakers, and special guests. Every week, a different film is selected for each club to view on their own before their meeting utilizing digital streaming and rental platform. The individual clubs then meet weekly to discuss the film through the Zoom app. There is no charge to join. All you need is the free Zoom app, as well as the streaming service that the films are available on.
Currently, we offer 10 different genres: Hollywood Classics with Fred Fuchs, Documentary Films with Charlie Tyrell, East Asian Films with Shahryar Asqardoust, Sports Movies with Dan Fournier, Steve McQueen Films with Harris Goldberg, Blockbuster Hits with Nathan Fleet, The Elevated Genre with Robert Werthheimer, Music in Film Club with Alysha Main, Cinema Insieme Italian Film Club with Ernesto Virgulti, and Coen Brothers Film Club with Carl Feldmann. We’re working on expanding current clubs and getting some new genres up and running!
For more information on the program, about each club, and how to join, please visit: https://www.thewestdale.ca/film-club/. If you are interested in volunteering as a moderator for a club, please send an email to [email protected].
Live Performances, Talks, and Exhibitions
We are working diligently to reschedule planned events and continue to develop and schedule a dynamic range of programming.
We will keep you up-to-date on these programs as well as others we continue to develop. For more information, please contact [email protected].
Thank You for Your Support
We at The Westdale cannot begin to express our gratitude towards our community, our staff, our volunteers, and our community partners. In particular, we would like to thank the thousands of front-line workers who work tirelessly every day to keep us safe. From healthcare to emergency response to grocery store to city to pharmacy to restaurant to delivery service to convenience store, you are the individuals who provide us with health, safety, and nourishment—and all with a smile, making it possible for us to continue to live our lives. Thank you!
We would like to invite community members to share messages of thanks and stories about these amazing front-line workers on our social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or to provide a front-line worker with a night out at the movies with a Front-Of-The-Line Movie Pass that can be used when we safely reopen. Each pass provides a front-line worker with two movie tickets, two drinks, and two popcorns, and we will personally share your words of thanks when we distribute them. For more information on the Front-Of-The-Line-Movie Pass, please visit www.thewestdale.ca/front-of-the-line-movie-pass.
Until we see you again at the theatre, please stay safe, keep well, and be happy.
If you have tickets for the Pavlo Convert on April 26, 2020. You have 2 options for your tickets
1) Keep your tickets and they will automatically be valid for the November 14 concert
2) Request a refund by emailing [email protected]
Please include your name and the email address that you used to order your ticktes.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Please stay safe.
March 18, 2020
The Westdale and its administration office will be closed until further notice. We will make decisions on the Pavlo Concert and the Andrew Martin Concert by April 5, 2020 and we will communicate with all patrons once we have determined the course of action. We appreciate your understanding and wish you all health and safety.
March 16, 2020
THE WESTDALE IS NOW CLOSED TEMPORARILY
To our valued patrons,
Like you, we have been following the updates on COVID-19 closely. We have taken measures to help protect our staff and audience. Today, we take the extraordinary measure of temporarily closing The Westdale along with its programming, as of Monday, March 16.
This has been a heartbreaking but necessary decision. The health and safety of our community remain of the utmost importance to us. Medical evidence and guidance from all levels of government tell us that we can slow the progress of the virus by gathering less in groups. We want to do everything we can to contribute to safeguarding our collective well-being. We continue to monitor news of the pandemic daily, and will follow the advice of Hamilton Public Health and provincial and federal authorities.
We love Hamilton and feel fortunate to be part of such a supportive and caring community. We stand with our fellow film and arts organizations that have seen their events cancelled or postponed.
We have already been in contact with patrons who purchased tickets to an event at The Westdale.
The following options are available for those who have already purchased tickets to a film:
-Please consider your ticket purchase a donation
-Please email us at [email protected] if you would like a refund and we will gladly process it
We understand that these are difficult times for everyone. We have only been open for one year as a not-for-profit charity and this will be a major challenge for us financially. Please consider donating anything you can to help us when we reopen.
You can donate and receive a tax receipt here:
Please visit our website for the most up to date information about the closure. We will be in contact with you to let you know when we reopen.
We look forward to when we can welcome audiences back to The Westdale to celebrate film and community.
We are wishing you all good health.
The Board and Staff of The Westdale
The following events have been cancelled. We will be in contact with all ticket holders for refunds in the following week.
St. Patrick’s Day Live with Scantily Plaid – March 17
One Night Only! A Monthly Comedy Show at The Westdale – March 25
The speaker for the Jewish Film Festival screening of Leona on March 22. The film will still be screened.
McMaster Improv event April 3
McMaster 1917 Event March 26
March 12, 2020
Dear patrons of The Westdale,
The health and safety of our patrons, staff, volunteers and guests is our top priority. We want to let you know that we have initiated measures in response to COVID-19, and will continue to monitor how to best protect our patrons, staff, volunteers and guests.
At the time of this statement, the risk of contracting the virus within the GTHA remains low. Our efforts to mitigate its spread are guided by Hamilton Public Health Services, Ontario’s Ministry of Health , and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Westdale is open for scheduled films and events
• All visitors and staff with symptoms such as a fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, are asked to remain home and report symptoms to their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000).
• Frequently-used surfaces such as doorknobs, door handles, railings, telephones, tables, and chairs are cleaned and sanitized with increased frequency.
• Staff and volunteers are reviewing and practicing protocols to ensure safe engagement and interaction with all patrons and guests.
As visitors, we encourage you to practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette at this time.
Follow these steps as you would for the common cold or flu:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
• Dispose of tissues appropriately and wash your hands.
• Look to alternative ways to greet friends, family, and business visitors.
Thank you as always for your support.