Home Time Doesn't Have to Mean Alone Time

With the COVID-19 situation, social distancing and self-isolation are becoming necessary tools in the fight against spreading this virus. And while working from home and decreased social contact can be a new experience for many of us, it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. In response to this situation, many arts & cultural organizations and groups have taken to the online scene to ensure that we can remain connected to our communities.

Here are some ways to connect with others, and still enjoy arts & cultural programming, from the comfort of your home.

  1. The Social Distancing Festival – The creation of playwright Nick Green, the Social Distancing Festival is a collection of live-streamed and pre-recorded events from across Canada. From artist talks to live-theatre, there is a packed schedule of events that will have something for everyone.
  2. Virtual Museum Tours – In addition to great Canadian content, if you feel like you’d rather be exploring the world, there are many options for you to do so. The Louvre, the Guggenheim, the Van Gogh, the Smithsonian, and The British Museum all have virtual tours and digital exhibit displays that allow you to explore the museums without leaving the couch. In addition, Google has assembled access to over 500 art institutions to provide digital tours and access to collections. 
  3. Online Communities – In addition to connecting with arts & culture, it’s equally important to connect with one another as much as we can. In today’s digital landscape, thankfully, we have many options to connect with those who share our interests. Websites like Reddit, which operates like a forum, allow users to post in communities of interest (such as a place for people in Saskatchewan) and connect with people through online text. From communities like Books to Music, there’s plenty of opportunities to discuss with others who share your interests.
  4. Children’s Writers & Illustrators Readings – If you have young children at home during this time, keeping them engaged and educated is made a little bit easier with writers and illustrators making digital readings of their works. The CBC has assembled a collection of some of these items, and more are being added by authors and illustrators to social media channels daily.
  5. Netflix Party – For Netflix subscribers with a computer and Google Chrome, movie nights with friends and family can still be on your schedule. Using the Netflix Party Chrome add on, you can watch a film with friends and chat with them at the same time.
  6. Video Conferencing with Friends & Family – And of course, our smartphones have provided us with a great tool of staying in touch with friends and family through video phone calls. From built in apps like Facetime on iOS devices, to Skype or even Snapchat, it has never been easier to see and talk with friends and family at a distance.

While these suggestions are not all you can do to keep yourself occupied and entertained while at home, they’re a first great step. And regardless of how you spend the days, be sure to take a break every once in a while and take a moment to reset and recharge.