VIVA's Safety Policy
Updated as of July 6, 2021
The Board of Directors and the staff of VIVA Singers Toronto will implement and enact this COVID-19 policy in accordance with all regulations for health and safety as outlined by Toronto Public Health and Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.
The Board recognizes that we are in a dynamic and evolving situation where the facts and risks must be constantly re-evaluated in light of new and emerging evidence and experience. Information on how to best control the virus is subject to constant revaluation and possible change but reasonable precautions must be taken based on the available evidence at this time.
VIVA Singers Toronto plans to return to ‘in-person’ rehearsals during our 2021 - 2022 season. The return to ‘in-person’ choral programming will differ for each of our choirs based on the diverse needs of choristers, however most choirs hope to meet once per month to start, from September to December. The winter concert will be online. For more complete information and season’s plans, kindly refer to the Season Summary pertaining to each choir, distributed in May 2021.
For all in-person choral rehearsals
1. All choristers 12 and up must have both of their vaccinations two weeks prior to attending any ‘in-person’ rehearsals. Those who cannot get vaccinated due to a bona fide health condition will be evaluated, case by case, by the VIVA Board of Directors.
2. If you or your singer is ill, please stay home. You can access the once-per-month ‘in-person’ rehearsal over Zoom. Also, your conductor will update the ‘Chorister Corner’ portion of the website with a rehearsal summary and online materials to keep all choristers up to date.
3. Singers will be pre-screened for health symptoms before every rehearsal using the VIVA Passcard System.
4. Choir start times will support physical distancing during sign-in and sign-out, to allow freer movement in hallways, subject to room availability at Trinity - St. Paul’s Centre. Only one VIVA choir at a time will rehearse at TSP Centre on a Monday evening.
5. There will be no early sign-in to rehearsal in order to minimize the number of rooms we are using and reduce the contact between different groups of individuals; there will be no pre-rehearsal supervision of children by VIVA conductors or Teaching Assistants (T.A.’s).
6. Contactless sign-in, rehearsal, and sign-out will occur in the same room, and will be overseen by designated Teaching Assistants. Singers must sign in and sign out, regardless of age. An “in” door and an “out” door will be utilized.
7. In the event that a singer must go to the washroom during rehearsal, youth choir choristers will be escorted to washrooms by a T.A.
8. Hand sanitizer must be used by all choristers upon sign-in, and will be provided. You may also wish to keep a small sanitizer bottle in your singer’s music bag. Anyone going in or out of the rehearsal space during rehearsal will sanitize their hands; and staff will be disinfecting surfaces (doorknobs, work surfaces, writing utensils, etc.) regularly throughout rehearsals.
9. Singers must wear their designated singer’s mask to each ‘in-person’ rehearsal. Regular face masks do not protect singers adequately for indoor singing.
All VIVA choristers will be provided with the appropriately sized singer’s mask at the beginning of each rehearsal. The 3-layer construction includes a melt-blown PP filter layer, but -- most importantly for singers -- is its very high filtration performance, ≥98%, with 3D shape for enhanced volume and filtration surface area. It is extremely light and comfortable to wear, with negligible impact on sound production. More details available here.
10. Chairs will be labelled with name tags and spaced generously, in accordance with guidelines from Toronto Public Health, for the health and safety of choristers and staff.
11. Singers will go directly to their chairs after sign-in/screening. All of the singer’s belongings will go directly under or behind their assigned seats.
12. No food is permitted in rehearsals. Personal water bottles are permitted.
13. Regardless of ‘in-person’ rehearsals, theory classes will be conducted online for the duration of the 21/22 season, and all theory work will be submitted to each week for evaluation. A schedule will be provided in the theory book’s inside cover, distributed in September. Choristers are expected to keep up with the theory schedule, even when there is no class.
14. Caregivers/Guardians will not be permitted to wait for their chorister at TSP Centre. As soon as the caregiver/ guardian has dropped off their chorister, they must leave the premises and come back when it is time for pick up. There is no safe waiting area for caregivers/guardians.
15. All materials distributed at rehearsals will have been prepared according to current guidelines by Toronto Public Health.
Rehearsal Formats for 2021/2022 Season
Hybrid Rehearsals (This model applies to Main Chorus, Senior Treble Chorus, Community Choir, and Chamber Singers.)
will be synchronous; specialized equipment will be used
‘at-home’ singers will see, hear, and participate in the rehearsal as it occurs, hearing the other choristers singing ‘in-person’
A VIVA Teaching Assistant or other staff will be on Zoom, connecting ‘at-home’ singers with the ‘in-person’ activity, relaying the chat content, etc.
‘In-Person’ Rehearsals (This option offered a minimum of once per month to Junior, Main, EVM, Community, Chamber.)
singers will attend, in person, at TSP Centre, while observing all regulations noted in this document
'At-Home’ or Online Rehearsals
Singers sign in on Zoom, as in Season 21
‘At-Home,’ Online Rehearsals while others are ‘In-person’ (This model applies to Junior Chorus and EVM Chorus.)
Junior Chorus and EVM members will be provided with the option of an ‘at-home’ rehearsal once per month, during the ‘in-person’ rehearsal at TSP Centre. This will not be a hybrid rehearsal where choristers observe and participate in the ‘in-person’ activity. Rather, the choristers ‘at-home’ rehearsal will be taught directly over Zoom by the Assistant Conductor (Junior) or Teaching Assistant (EVM), covering the same material as those attending the ‘in-person’ rehearsal. This format is better suited to the needs of the Junior and EVM choristers.