We are incredibly excited to be preparing for a return to HCA in September, with registrations open now.  Please read our COVID-19 Health & Safety measures to ensure a healthy return to HCA!

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols, Policies & Procedures – FALL 2020 

Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts is committed to the health, safety and well-being of our community. Our staff and administration have been working diligently since March to ensure a safe return to the HCA building. All HCA staff have received specific health and safety training to ensure we are following public health guidelines. 

Please review these protocols carefully and thoroughly to ensure that we all do our part to get back to what we love safely. All students are required to read and sign this document indicating that they have read and understand all guidelines and will adhere to all regulations during their time at HCA. That can be signed HERE

Additional Cleaning and Sanitation

Sanitation stations will be readily available throughout the building and in every dance studio, music room, theatre space, and visual arts classroom. We ask that students sanitize their hands upon entry and exit of the building; students will be given opportunities to wash their hands/sanitize throughout their lesson. 

Before and after each lesson, all studios will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, including the cleaning of ballet barres, dance floors, instruments, and any other high touch areas. Washrooms will be cleaned with increased frequency during and after opening hours. HCA has also taken additional measures to ensure a clean and safe environment by increasing the frequency of thorough studio cleaning outside of studio hours.  

Building Capacity

We will be adhering with provincial building capacity regulations at all times. As such, parents/guardians are asked to drop their children off for their lessons no sooner than 15 minutes before the start of their lesson and will not be permitted to stay in the building. Visitors will not be permitted at this time. HCA will maintain diligent records of all persons who enter the building on any given day. 

Common Areas

HCA’s lobby, gallery and all other common areas like change rooms will be closed until further notice. Dance students are asked to come dressed in the appropriate dancewear prior to arrival. (For example, ballet leotards may be worn in jazz class when classes are back to back, and street clothes can be put on over leotards for music lessons). Please keep all personal belongings not required for any lessons at home. 

Lost & Found

We will not be maintaining a Lost & Found bin like past years. Please encourage your child to bring only essential items with them to each lesson. Items left behind after lessons may be disposed of. 

Pre-entry Screening

All students must complete a pre-screening survey online each time prior to entering the building. Students will not be permitted to participate in group or private lessons until a parent/guardian has successfully completed the survey.  A link to this survey can be found HERE

Example of Survey Questions

Does the student, or anyone in your household, have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (feeling hot to the touch)
  • Shortness of breath (out of breath, unable to breathe deeply)
  • None of the above

Does the student have any of the following symptoms?

  • Barking cough (making a squeaky or whistling noise when breathing)
  • Chills
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • Runny, stuffy or congested nose (unrelated to seasonal allergies or other known causes/conditions)
  • Lost sense of taste or smell
  • Headache that’s unusual or long lasting
  • Digestive issues like nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain unrelated to known cause or condition
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue, lack of energy)
  • Falling down often
  • Muscle aches that are unusual or long lasting
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis)
  • Sluggishness or lack of appetite
  • None of the above

Has the student traveled internationally within the last 14 days (outside Canada)?

  • Yes/No

Has the student had close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case?

  • Yes/No

Has the student had close contact with a person who is sick with new respiratory symptoms or who recently travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days?

  • Yes  No

Students will be asked to have their temperature checked using a contactless thermometer prior to entry. 

If your child exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19 and/or has come into contact with someone tested positive/suspected of having COVID-19 and/or has been outside of the country in the 14 days prior to their lesson, we kindly ask that you keep them home until they are safe to return. 

HCA staff are asked to adhere to the same procedures for self-screening. 


Parents/guardians are asked to drop their children off for their lessons no sooner than 15 minutes before the anticipated start of their lesson. Students are asked to enter through their designated entrance where an HCA staff member and/or their instructor will greet them and direct them to their classroom. 

Dance students – enter through front doors on James St. S. 

Music students –  enter through back door near HCA parking lot

Visual Arts students – enter through front doors on James St. S

Theatre students – enter through front doors on James St. S. 

Each dance student will be given a sanitized bin to hold their belongings. They are asked to carry the bin with them to their studio room. We ask that all dance students remove their outdoor shoes prior to entering their studio room and place them on the shoe racks located outside each studio’s doors. Their teacher will direct them where to place their bins in the studio. If your student chooses to remove their mask while dancing, the mask will be placed in the bin with their belongings. At the end of each class, students are asked to carry their bins out with them while the instructor/staff sanitize and disinfect the room. The student will carry their bin with them to their next class or if their lessons are finished, they will  hand their bin to a staff member stationed at their designated exit. 

If a student has multiple classes in one day, with an extended break in between certain classes, they are asked to bring the bin with their things to a designated waiting area (front lobby or Yamaha room) where they can sit and do homework, eat snacks, etc. until their next class. Students who are in the waiting area must stay seated in their chosen area until the start of the next class. 

Students will be dismissed promptly following their lesson(s) and will be directed to their designated building exits so as to reduce traffic in all exit and entryways. Students ages 12 and under will be accompanied by an HCA staff member to ensure a parent/guardian is present before a child leaves. We ask all parents/guardians please wait outside the building to receive your child(ren) and to kindly arrive on time to ensure prompt dismissal. 

Dance students –  exit through front side doors on James St. S (near washroom)

Music students –  exit through back door near HCA parking lot

Visual Arts students – exit through basement doors near south side of building

Theatre students – exit through front side doors on James St. S (near washroom)

Face Masks

In accordance with the City of Hamilton’s bylaws, all entrants of HCA, including all staff, will be required to wear a face mask/covering when travelling throughout the building. Masks may be removed during dance lessons, if physical distancing can be maintained. Masks must promptly be put back on when lessons finish. If a dance student needs to use the washroom during a lesson, they must put their mask back on before going to the washroom. Students may choose to keep their masks on throughout the lesson. 

Masks must be worn at all times during visual arts, theatre and music lessons (not including vocal and woodwind instrument lessons). For those that take private vocal lessons, a face shield or mask is optional while in class; however, a mask still must be worn in all common areas of the building and while not singing. 

Vocal lessons and woodwind instrument lessons will occur in rooms with exterior airflow and plexiglass impermeable barriers will be positioned between student and instructor, in addition to regular physical distancing measures.

Social Distancing and Maintaining Safe Space

Group class sizes have been capped to ensure adequate physical distancing among students can be maintained. 

All studio floors will be marked with tape to create 6 x 6 foot squares (or the equivalent) and each dancer will dance within their own square.  The perimeter of the room will also be marked to ensure dancers can see and maintain appropriate physical distance for classes that require barre and/or across the floor work. 

Exterior air flow will be introduced in each studio during classes where possible. For example, we will be opening exit doors and windows to allow outside air into the room. Fans will further facilitate air flow with open windows and doors. 

Students are required to bring their own water bottles to class. 

Instructors will only be supporting students from a safe distance. 

Students are expected to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres or 6 feet from others when travelling throughout the building. Floor markers will be placed in waiting areas, hallways, and bathrooms to ensure safe distancing. When travelling up and down stairs, we ask all students to stay to the left of all laneways. 

We ask that all students avoid touching walls, doors, light switches unless specifically directed to do so to lessen touch points throughout the building. 

Vocal lessons and woodwind instrument lessons will occur in rooms with exterior airflow and plexiglass impermeable barriers will be positioned between student and instructor, in addition to regular physical distancing measures. 

Desks in the visual arts studio are arranged to ensure a minimum 6 feet between each student’s work station. The sharing of visual arts supplies will be prohibited within lessons. Each student will have their own set of materials needed for each lesson (eg. paint tray, pencils, paper, brushes, scissors, glue) and they will be the only one to use those materials during their lesson. All materials will then be cleaned and sanitized before use in the next lesson. 


We ask that all parents/guardians encourage your child to use the washroom before entering HCA. Washrooms are not permitted to be used as a dance changeroom. Only one person permitted in washrooms at a time. We ask that students do not go to a different floor than the one where their lesson is taking place to use the washroom. Washrooms will be cleaned with enhanced frequency. 

Studio B/Visual Arts Studio – first floor washroom near lobby

First Floor Music Studios – first floor washroom near backdoor exit

Second Floor Music Studios/Recital Hall – second floor washroom

Studio C/Attic Atelier – third floor washroom

Outbreak Protocol

Should a student or staff member test positive for Covid-19, HCA will work diligently with Hamilton’s Public Health unit to ensure swift contact tracing and communication of potential exposure to all HCA patrons. Rigorous sanitation procedures will continue to ensure no further spread. Students or staff who test positive will be required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days before returning to in person classes and a doctor’s note clearing the individual for entry may be required. Should circumstances allow, the student may wish to continue taking classes online from their homes. An instructor may be required to teach their classes online from home, should they be able. Each potential situation will be evaluated on an individual basis with the safety and well-being of all parties at the forefront of all practices. 

Sale of Clothing/Footwear

Shoes, clothing and tights cannot be tried on at this time. If you do not know you or your child’s size for certain, we suggest visiting a local dancewear store whose policies may allow for these items to be tried on. 

Trial Classes

Trials of any group classes must be scheduled prior to attending to ensure that all health and safety guidelines are relayed to new students. Please contact HCA administration to arrange an appointment. Trial students must complete pre-entry screening prior to entering the building. We will not be accepting “walk-ins” for trial classes at this time. 


HCA has collaborated with professionals in Hamilton Public Health and the Department of Infectious Diseases at McMaster University to ensure our health and safety guidelines meet all municipal and provincial standards. 

We will continue to monitor government updates as they arise and share any new information with you as we receive it. Thank you for your cooperation and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at anytime by calling 905-528-4020 or emailing info[at]hcarts.ca 


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


©2023 Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?