Over the next little while, we’ll be checking in with members of our Canadian Opera Company family to find out how they’re keeping busy at home during this time of physical distancing. From their latest Netflix binge to testing new recipes to establishing a work-from-home routine, they’ll share what keeps them grounded and entertained.
Chloe Anderson – COC Costume Coordinator
As a Costume Coordinator with the Canadian Opera Company, my days are usually full of a variety of tasks, and lots of face-to-face interaction!
From assessing the costumes with measuring tape in hand, to ordering supplies for our cutters and stitchers, to working with all the amazing staff at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and in our Costume Shop, there is never a dull moment. As our spring 2020 season came to a premature end, I’ve been keeping busy putting my sewing skills to use in an entirely different way.
The Production Department has come together to provide supplies to a team of stitchers to make non-medical face masks as requested by Michael Garron Hospital. A group of individuals from not only the Costume department, but also Props, Wigs, our Scene Shop, and even friends of the COC, have been sewing up a storm, turning leftover Siegfried pyjama fabric (from the COC’s 2006 production) into masks for our wider community. It’s been a true group effort, and I’m pleased to say that we were able to provide over 1,200 masks. (Learn more about the COC’s mask-making efforts here.)
Sewing such simple projects is a great way to stay grounded. And at the end of the day, having a stack of finished masks to donate gives my mood a nice little boost.
Of course, working from home is quite different from working in the shop, and with most of the outside world inaccessible these days, I have definitely been relying on the power of the internet to keep me connected.
Podcast: Wooden Overcoats
I must admit, it’s taken me a while to get into podcasts, but while cutting and pressing masks, Wooden Overcoats has been keeping me company. The misadventures of duelling funeral directors on a fictitious island in the English Channel – need I say more?
Books: Libby App from Toronto Public Library
As an avid reader and library user, I was kicking myself that my to-read pile had dwindled as our library system closed, but the Libby App has been a life saver. I’m finding short stories and lighter fiction more appealing right now, and they are also easier to read on the tiny phone screen.
Physical Activity: Online Classes
Last, but far from least, I’ve been able to keep “going” to my gym via online classes. Staying active, and seeing my favourite instructors every day, has been a real help. It’s a hint of normalcy in this abnormal time, and my pushups have never been better!
The Canadian Opera Company and other arts organizations in Toronto are facing unprecedented financial challenges due to the effects of COVID-19. If it is possible for you at this time, we respectfully ask you to consider making a donation.