Holiday season

Back to dance, karaoke in bars “saves the whole holiday season”

The owners say getting rid of the masks is the next step.

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Let’s dance.

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The Quebec government’s announcement on Tuesday that dancing, karaoke and even standing will be allowed in bars as of November 15 was greeted with relief by the owners.

“I wasn’t expecting it so quickly, but I’m really happy,” said Renaud Poulin, president of The Corporation of Quebec Bar, Brasseries and Tavern Owners.

“It saves the whole holiday season. It is difficult to take reservations (for Christmas holidays) with companies. They come to socialize, sing and dance, not just to have a beer with their employees. This is what the end of year celebrations are. Businesses were reluctant to book. Now it will be much easier. It changes everything. “

Quebec bars and restaurants have been authorized to operate at full capacity again, effective Monday. The next step, Poulin said, is to eliminate the requirement that people wear masks when they are not seated.

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“Dancing in clubs is more complicated with a mask,” he said. “But it’s a step in the right direction.”

Allowing karaoke will also help a lot of bars, Poulin explained, noting that there are 400 to 500 establishments in the province dedicated to giving patrons the chance to take the stage and sing along.

These combined measures will allow bars to retain customers later in the evening.

“After 10 p.m. people don’t necessarily drink a lot of alcohol,” Poulin said. “They want to socialize, dance, do karaoke. They want activities. We couldn’t offer any activities so far so it was very hard. People won’t just have a beer after 1 a.m., they want to meet other people.

Éric Le François owns a dozen bars in Montreal, including Pub West Shefford, Bar Social Verdun and Bar de Courcelle. He said allowing dancing and karaoke is “a big step,” but there is a way to go before things get back to normal.

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“Now we can have some semblance of a business,” said Le François. “Dance is a major element, but there are still constraints. It is not ideal to dance with masks. The next step is to (get rid of) the masks.

Peter Sergakis agrees. The owner of many establishments and president of the Union of Quebec Bar Tenants welcomed Tuesday’s announcement, but urged the government to ease matters further.

“We want to eliminate the wearing of masks,” Sergakis said. “The dance and the masks are a bit difficult. And we need the passport (vaccine) to stop. The economy must start over. We have to make money. We have suffered enough over the past two years. But it is a step in the right direction.

Montreal DJ Fred Everything last performed records for a crowd of dancing Montrealers at a club on March 14, 2020.

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“It was perhaps the last underground house (music) event in Montreal,” he said. The DJ-producer has spoken out to get club owners, other DJs and club goers talking about the importance of bringing back dancing.

He praised StereoBar and the other organizers of Open Dance Floors, a “Right to Dance Protest Parade,” which drew thousands to Jeanne-Mance Park on October 23. The message of the highly publicized event appears to have been heard. .

“It’s awesome,” said it all. “We can finally start to get back to work. It’s been 20 months.

Allowing dancing is more than just bringing more stuff to bars, he noted. It is about allowing artists like him to play music and clubbers to have a physical outlet to express themselves.

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“What irritated me the most was this lack of conversation (about the role of dance clubs in society), where we were just not included in any conversation. Our culture is not seen as It’s not seen for who we are in Montreal’s nightlife, so I think it’s important that we are recognized.

tdunlevy@postmedia.com

twitter.com/TChaDunlevy

  1. Montrealers urged Quebec to open dance floors during a protest last week.

    Josh Freed: It’s time to get out of your caves, Montrealers, if you haven’t already

  2. Patrons Omer Moussaly, left, and Aida Vosoughi enjoy a beer and the last rays of the sun at Little Italy's Vices & Versa bar on Monday, November 1, 2021.

    Customers and staff toast relaxed rules for Quebec bars and restaurants

  3. Sophiane Campbell is co-owner of the restaurant and bar, Le Drinkerie.  She and her partner are happy to take things one step at a time as Quebec's restrictions are slowly lifted.

    Quebec will lift many restrictions on bars and restaurants as of November 1

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