Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

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(Frequently Asked Questions)


WELCOME BACK! We are so excited to welcome you back and grateful for your patience as we navigate this new world together.

We always welcome your suggestions and feedback through our Box Office email as our suggestion box has been removed for the time being.


What if I do not want to wear a mask/face covering? Or am unable to for medical/personal reasons?

All staff and patrons are asked to always wear a face mask covering your nose, mouth, and chin.

This includes keeping your face covering on during the entire performance or event. If you cannot, we ask that you please stay home and watch our live streamed concert instead. Each Fall concert will be available for seven days following the live performance to watch at your convenience. This policy is for your own safety, as well as those of our staff and other patrons.  

The Isabel reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone that is not wearing a face covering that covers their nose, mouth, and chin.


The Government of Ontario declared a province-wide state of emergency under The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act on March 17, 2020 to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians and to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (or COVID-19). COVID-19 is easily spread by contact with droplets produced by people who have the virus.

In preparation for the return of live audiences this fall, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at and Queen’s University at Kingston (the University) has put in place measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, however the University cannot guarantee that any individual attending the University property, using the University’s facilities, or participating in activities or events organized by the University, whether on-campus or off-campus will not become infected with COVID-19. Further, attending the University Campus and participating in the University Activities/Events, could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. Below is the list of measures we are putting in place to mitigate these risks.


What if on the day of the concert I feel unwell or realize I’ve had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?

Please do not come to the performance if you feel unwell, have travelled or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Each Fabulous Fall Festival concert will be available online to watch for seven days following the live performance and you will receive that link automatically after purchasing your ticket.

Please note that we are also requiring this of staff, for everyone’s safety. As such, we reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone that we feel presents with symptoms. Please self-screen prior to coming to the Isabel to avoid disappointment.


I see there are no coat check services being offered. What do I do with my belongings?

You may keep your belongings with you at your seat. As Queen’s University requires us to have a 6’/2 metre circle around each patron (or couple), there will be empty seats in front of you where you may lay your coat. (Please do not remove the ropes.)

In the case of inclement weather, the Isabel will provide some self-service coat racks in the Lobby. 


I have a scent allergy and am concerned about the products being used for sanitizing. Is it safe for me to attend a concert at this time?

The Isabel is a scent-free facility and have considered scent sensitivities when choosing the products used in our building. We also ask that our patrons be considerate of others and only use scent free hand sanitizers. As such, each of our Fabulous Fall Festival concerts are also being offered online. This way, any patron that is hesitant to attend our limited capacity live concerts can join us from the comfort of home and participate in our online comments during the show.


Will there still be a Question and Answer period with the artists?

Yes! We have received wonderful feedback from our “Ballytobin Live From The Isabel Online Summer Festival” that the Question and Answer periods with the artist were greatly enjoyed. So, if you, the audience, ask questions – we will continue these with our artists. Please also feel free to submit your question via email to our Box Office email ahead of time if you plan to attend the concert in person.


Why do we have to arrive at a designated arrival time?

In accordance with the room capacities we have been given by Queen’s University, we can only have a very specific number of patrons in each room, and the overall building, at any given time. As such, we have developed these arrival times so that patrons are not required to stand outside for long periods of time.

The arrival schedule is also to reduce patrons from walking by each other in the narrow aisles of the performance hall – so we have developed a “First In, Last Out” seating plan that admits patrons closest to the stage first. Until those patrons are seated, the other patrons will be asked to line up in the lobby (according to their row) and if that area is full, they will need to remain outside for a short period.

Please note, in the case of inclement weather, there is no overhead protection outside, but we will be attempting to move patrons through the seating process as quickly as we can. On these dates, it is even more important to arrive during your seating window.


What if I am late for my arrival window?

The Isabel appreciates that sometimes delays happen. You will not be refused entry if you miss your window, but you may be required to wait until it is safe/appropriate for you to enter. This could mean standing outside the building until there is room in the Lobby to allow you inside. You will then wait in the appropriate line until we are able to admit you into the concert hall. You may be required to pass patrons already seated on your way to your seat, so we ask that you give as much space as possible when you do so.


My ticket says Door Two on it – why am I being directed to Door One?

To safely seat our patrons, the Isabel has devised a “First In, Last Out” seating plan that will admit patrons closest to the stage first. To manage this, we will only be opening Door One of our performance hall so our staff can properly admit patrons in a specific order. Once inside the house, our friendly volunteers will direct you to the proper side of the performance hall and aisle to safely seat you with as little contact with the other patrons as possible.


What if I want to move to the empty seat in front or beside me?

Please note that the current seating plan had to go through many approval levels through Queen’s University. It was very carefully calculated to ensure a 6’/2 metre circle around each patron/couple. We have roped off all the seats we are not permitted to use. While you may rest your coat on the seat in front of you, please do not remove the ropes. Our staff will direct you back to your seat if they see you have moved and if necessary, our staff reserves the right to remove patrons at any time. 


I see my good friend on the other side of the Lobby – may I go speak to them?

We totally understand – we have all been away from our friends for too long! The social aspect of a live event cannot be ignored but at this time we require that you stay in your lines and seats and please avoid congregating with friends. We also require that after the show, you leave the Lobby quickly and not congregate to discuss the show. There is plenty of space outside for you to safely chat with your friends once you have left the building. Please do be considerate of your fellow patrons and avoid standing around cars.


I am so confused by all the new rules everywhere I go. Can you please break it down for me? I show up at the front door to the Isabel and then what happens?

We so glad you asked! Here is a step by step guide to your new journey into the Isabel Concert Hall!

  1. You will walk up to our new Outside Line Usher at our front doors. They will ensure your face covering is in place (we have extra disposable masks if you forget yours) and ask you to present your ticket or purchase confirmation so they know if you are in the current arrival window. They will also check your vaccination status. To enter, you must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination with photo ID. Once you are ready to enter, they will open the door for you (using the accessibility button) to reduce shared surface touching. Please note the set of doors closest to the Tett Centre will be locked. We are only permitting entry through one door so we can keep an accurate count of patrons.
  2. You enter the vestibule and there is a sanitizer station on the wall to sanitize your hands. Our Greeter will open the second door for you.
  3. Once inside the Upper Lobby, you will either line up at Box Office to pick up your already purchased tickets (please be reminded there are no “in person” sales) or you will proceed down to the Lower Lobby. There are no coat check services currently provided and in the case of inclement weather, we will provide self-service coat racks in the Lower Lobby.
  4. At the bottom of our grand staircase, you will meet another new face – the Lobby Line Usher. They will offer you sanitizer (in case you held the banister on your way down), remind you to use the facilities prior to entering the Performance Hall or direct you along the left to the stanchions that lead to the queues. Please show them your ticket so they can direct you to the proper queue. There is a table for you to put your ticket on, if needed, to keep our staff from touching your ticket. They will sanitize the table, as required.
  5. We have grouped the audience into various lines to allow for proper physical distancing and to place people in the order we will admit patrons into the Performance Hall. Each circle on the floor indicates a seating position.
  6. Our staff will ask each line to enter the Performance Hall in order. You will go to Door One and place your ticket on the table. If your ticket is on your phone, please make sure the brightness on maximum and place your phone on the table. The Outside Usher will scan your ticket and direct you into the Performance Hall.
  7. There is extra staff inside the Performance Hall so there is always help available. The Inside Usher will check your ticket and direct you to your seat. Please note, there will not be paper programmes this fall – we will have the programme on our screen above the stage.
  8. Take your seat and enjoy the amazing talent we have for you this fall! We are so excited to welcome you back and grateful for your patience as we all navigate this new world together.


If there is no intermission, may I leave the performance to use the washroom facilities?

We are asking all patrons to please use the washroom facilities prior to going to their seat as our performances will only be about one hour in length. We also ask that once you are seated in the Performance Hall that you remain in your seat until the end of the show.

That being said, nature calls when it calls. You may use the washroom facilities during the show but please note that you will not be permitted back into the Performance Hall until an appropriate break in the performance. You will be ushered back to your seat by our staff and we ask that you return to your seat quietly to avoid disturbing the other patrons and the artists.

Please note, we reserve the right to seat you in a different seat if we deem it necessary.


Since there is no intermission, will there still be bar services?

There will be no bar services at any time. It is important to note that Queen’s University will also be deactivating the water fountain mouthpieces. You can still use the faucet part to fill your reusable water bottles, however food and drink are not permitted to be consumed inside the Performance Hall.


I use a mobility device and in my past visits to the Isabel, the ushers have taken this from me during the show and brought it to me at the end. How is this working now?

Our friendly staff will still be assisting with mobility devices. They will sanitize their hands before and after handling your device, but they will not be sanitizing the device itself. As always, the Isabel makes accessibility a priority so please contact our Box Office ahead of your concert date so that we may make your visit a smooth and comfortable one.


How many people are allowed in the elevator?

Due to the size of our elevator, only one person may use the elevator at one time. People that live together may share an elevator. 


Am I able to buy tickets in person?

Currently the Isabel is still closed to the general public except for limited capacity performances. However, the Box Office is now open for in-person sales via Debit, Visa, or Mastercard only; no cash sales. We would also be more than happy to assist you by phone (613-533-2424), email (, or you can purchase tickets online at  

Please note, there are no in-person ticket sales available at performances. The Isabel is not currently accepting cash and cannot provide change for the parking meters.


What is the current parking scenario at the Isabel?

Due to the limited number of seats we are permitted to sell, we will not be having official event parking for our shows. As such, parking will be pay and display, and patrons are asked to follow the instructions and parking regulations on the parking meters. Sometimes you may not be required to pay at all!


Do you have charge stations for electric cars?

We sure do! We have four spots chargers for electric cars and the spots are first come, first serve. As electric cars are becoming more common, we do ask that you only use these spots when you are actively charging your car.


Do you have accessibility parking spots?

Yes. The Isabel makes accessibility a priority. We have increased the number of accessibility spots and guests using the accessibility spaces in the lower lot are welcome to enter our venue through our stage door. We will have a staff member there to assist and direct you.


How exactly do I watch the concert online?

The Isabel has made your online experience as simple as possible.

  1. Go to the Isabel website and purchase the “online ticket” for the concert you would like. You will be emailed the private link to the performance.
  2. Watch this wonderful tutorial ( our production team has put together for you!
  3. Enjoy!


Do I have to buy a ticket to watch the concert online?

We will be offering a mix of free and paid performances and events. Please see the individual event listing for details and as always, never hesitate to reach out to our Box Office email for assistance.


There was a power outage and I couldn’t watch the concert – can I get a refund?

All our ticket sales are final but do not worry! Each of our Fabulous Fall Festival concerts will be available online for seven days following the live performance, so you can watch it at your convenience.




PALENAI DUO - Ballytobin Concert 1/7/2021

2020, the year of the piano! Thank you, Joan Tobin and the Ballytobin Foundation.

Created by Joy Innis and Adrienne Shannon of the Palenai Duo, who were instrumental in choosing the Joan Tobin Hamburg Steinway piano.

CLICK HERE to view the video!