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BPO, Seneca Niagara Casino concerts among coronavirus closings; Riviera, Erie County Fair reschedule events

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Fri, Mar 13th 2020 05:45 pm

A series of events were postponed or cancelled Friday amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

•Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has suspended all performances and events for the next month.

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that all gatherings of more than 500 people will be prohibited indefinitely, the BPO was forced to cancel a month’s worth of performances and possibly more in the future, including the “M&T Bank Classics” series and “Coffee Concerts” presented by Elderwood. Canceled performances at this time include:

  • “Mozart and the Divine,” originally scheduled for March 20-21
  • “The Doo Wop Project,” originally scheduled for March 27-28
  • “Portraits of England,” originally scheduled for April 3-4

Details on further closings are still in development.

Ticketholders to canceled BPO performances are encouraged to check the website for options, call the BPO box office at 716-885-5000 or email [email protected]. Patrons are asked to be aware that the BPO box office is responding to a high volume of phone calls and emails, so inquiries may take longer than normal to answer.

The following BPO performances will be rescheduled for a later date:

  • “Mozart's Gran Partita by the BPO Chamber Wind Ensemble” at Clarence Presbyterian Church, originally scheduled March 13
  • “BPO Out of the Box” at Sportsmen's, originally scheduled for March 16
  • Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra (GBYO) “Side by Side Concert,” originally scheduled for March 25
  • BPO Kids “Once Upon a Time,” originally scheduled for April 5

Details on these rescheduled concerts are forthcoming and will be posted at bpo.org.

•Seneca Resorts & Casinos

Seneca Resorts & Casinos is postponing all entertainment shows through March effective immediately.

Seneca Gaming Corp. announced, “Due to the ongoing concern of coronavirus (COVID-19) all Seneca Resorts & Casinos entertainment shows have been postponed through March effective immediately. This includes shows scheduled at Seneca Niagara Event Center, Seneca Niagara Bear’s Den Showroom, and Seneca Allegany Event Center. Seneca Resorts & Casinos’ highest priority is to the health and safety of our guests and team members. We are consistently monitoring this situation as it unfolds to make sure we are taking the most comprehensive actions.”

If shows are rescheduled, each ticketholder may keep their ticket to be honored for the new show date, or refunds will be available at the point of ticket purchase.

Patrons are advised to continue to check online for up-to-date entertainment information: senecaniagaracasino.com and senecaalleganycasino.com

Postponed shows include:

  • The Village People, March 13-14
  • Aaron Lewis, March 14
  • Orleans, March 20
  • King of the Cage, March 21
  • “Against The Wind: The Ultimate Bob Seger Experience,” March 28

•Buffalo Zoo

Buffalo Zoo President and CEO Norah Fletchall released this letter:

Because nothing is more important than the health and safety of our guests, team members, and animals, the Buffalo Zoo is temporarily closed beginning Saturday, March 14 through Saturday, March 28, 2020. We believe this is the right decision for our community to help curb the spread of illness. It is important to note, there are no cases of COVID-19 at the Buffalo Zoo, including the animals in our care.

Our first responsibility is to provide exceptional animal care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. A team of animal care and operational staff are on-site to take care of the animals and during this time we’ll be engaging in deep cleaning and other projects that will get us ready to reopen.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Buffalo Zoo. In the meantime, below is some important information to know:

•The Buffalo Zoo Easter Bunny Breakfast, programs, and group visits are canceled until further notice. Please check your email for more information on rescheduling or refunds. Our switchboard is open, so please call (716) 837-3900 with any questions about your specific event, program or activity.

Stay connected with us by visiting buffalozoo.org. As the situation is very fluid, I encourage all members of our Zoo community to visit as new information and updates become available, including information about when we will reopen.

•We need your support. The Zoo relies heavily on its admissions, membership visits and ticket sales to provide exceptional care, food, and supplies for the animals and salaries for our zookeepers and other team members. Closing the Zoo during this time is the right decision, but it is also difficult and the loss of much needed revenue to support care of the animals is concerning. Please consider a donation to our Annual Fund. Your financial contribution goes directly to the daily operations and care for our animals and our teams at the Buffalo Zoo. Thank you. 

While there are many founded and unfounded recommendations and opinions about what to do to stay safe and healthy, we believe the best thing we can do is to stay calm and stay in communication. Below is an FAQ we’ve prepared to answer some commonly-asked questions you may have. 

The Buffalo Zoo is committed to ensuring the health and safety of everyone in our community -- humans and animals alike. I am confident that by working together we will continue to do so.

Q: Are the animals at the zoo safe? Can COVID-19 be transmitted to animals?

A: Experts say there have been no reports of animals getting the active COVID-19 virus from people. The zoo already has strict practices in place to prevent the transmission of any disease-inducing viruses between humans and animals. If you’ve ever visited the zoo, you know that we have high standards for cleanliness and disinfection and we will continue to keep these protocols in place. Finally, we continue to carefully monitor the situation and stay in touch with government agencies for information and guidance.

Q. Is it safe for me and my family or group to visit the zoo?

A: The zoo is temporarily closed. We strongly encourage you to follow the recommendations of the CDC. Experts say proper handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness.

Q. Are you still holding special events and programs?

A: The Easter Bunny Breakfast and all programs, group visits and other scheduled activities are canceled. Please check your email for information on rescheduling or refunds or call 716-837-3900.

Q. How can I find out more information about COVID-19 and the Buffalo Zoo?

A: Visit our website at buffalozoo.org for more information. To learn more about COVID-19 and what you can do to prevent the spread of illness, visit cdc.gov.

•Niagara County

The Niagara County District Attorney’s Office today announced the victim impact panel scheduled for at 7 p.m. March 17 at Niagara County Community College has been canceled. Those scheduled to take part should plan on attending the April 21 meeting at 7 p.m. at NCCC, unless notified differently before that time.

•Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has canceled the Scotty Bowman Showcase, which was scheduled to take place at KeyBank Center on Wednesday, March 18.

Historic Riviera Theatre

The Riv announced the following on Friday:

"The safety of our employees, guests and artists is our top priority, and we are currently making decisions along with artists and their representatives during this rapidly changing situation. We continue to monitor all news and information as it becomes mandated by government officials.

"We have worked diligently over the past 18 hours to reschedule the following shows":

  • Maureen McGovern, originally scheduled for March 20, has been moved to 8 p.m. Sept. 9
  • John Waite, originally scheduled for March 21, has been moved to 8 p.m. Aug. 1

All tickets issued for the events above will be honored for the new scheduled dates. No exchange is necessary.

  • The Musical Box, originally scheduled for March 27, has been moved to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 21
  • The Musical Box, originally scheduled for March 28, has been moved to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 20

Patrons who have purchased tickets for the March 27 date will be transferred to the new date on Sunday, June 21. Patrons who have purchased tickets for the March 28 date will be transferred to the new date on Saturday, June 20.

Arrangements can be made with the box office for those with any conflicts.

“We ask that everyone please allow us the time to contact you individually with a phone call to follow up on the scheduled changes. Please do not flood our phones and social media with messages, as we can’t possibly handle the volume with so many shows affected.”

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

On Sunday, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center announced it is closed until further notice “to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

“The health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is always our highest priority, a press release read. “While the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center has not been directly affected by COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close as of 6 p.m. March 14, 2020, and postpone all scheduled programs and events until further notice.

“We made this decision to support the overall health and wellness of our communities and for the safety of our patrons and staff. Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation carefully and are committed to being responsive to and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state of New York, and Niagara and Erie counties.

“While our facility will be closed, our team is hard at work from home, continuing to support the Heritage Center’s mission. We will carefully reassess the situation in the coming weeks and share updates on our website and social media channels.”

Erie County Fairgrounds

Marty Biniasz, marketing manager for the Erie County Agricultural Society, released the following statement on Thursday:

In an effort to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a ban today on all public gatherings of 500 people or more. As a result of the Governor’s declaration, all Fairgrounds events, scheduled through March 31st, have been cancelled or postponed. This includes the following:

  • Mothertime Marketplace (March 12-15)
  • Shrine Circus (March 13-14)
  • “Out of the Blue” fundraiser (March 14)
  • Plantasia Garden & Landscape Show (March 18-22)
  • Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show (March 21-22; rescheduled for May 15-17)
  • WNY Equifest (March 21-22)
  • “Springtime In the Country” (March 27-29; rescheduled for May 1-3)
  • Motorcycle swap meet (March 29)

The health and safety of our employees, exhibitors, patrons and volunteers is our utmost priority and we truly apologize to all impacted by this announcement. Information on refunds for ticketed events will be released once confirmed with individual shows and promoters.

Updates to the public will be made on the fairgrounds social media channels and website www.thefairgrounds.com.

•Olmsted – Still Open

Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, announced the following: “We are all living in a sensitive and challenging time. The conservancy stands with you, with Buffalo, our community partners, and our park patrons. We feel for those who are unwell; please stay home and recuperate. For those who remain healthy, remember that social distancing is not social isolation. Anyone needing fresh air, to walk your dog, or find a place to reflect and find peace, your parks are here for you. Olmsted designed parks as a place for respite, reflection and daily exercise, and their purpose holds true today. The parks are open to everyone, and while we advise park users to respect social distancing and personal hygiene, the conservancy reminds you of the amazing value of open greenspace. Take a walk, ride your bike, go for run, find solace and lift your spirit.”

The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:

  • Six parks: Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King Jr., Riverside and South
  • Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket and Richmond
  • Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers and Symphony

Visit www.bfloparks.org.

•Historic Palace Theatre

The Historic Palace Theatre in Lockport announced the following: “To comply with the recent ban on gatherings of more than 500 people and to ensure the health of our actors, patrons and community we have decided to postpone our genius production of ‘Matilda!’ Our new dates will be April 17-26, with Friday performances at 7:30 p.m., Saturday performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances at 3 p.m.

For more information, call the Palace Theatre at 716-438-1130 or visit www.lockportpalacetheatre.org.

New Phoenix Theatre on the Park

•The New Phoenix Theatre on the Park announced the cancellation of this weekend’s performances of “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” following the guidelines announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Native American Music Awards

•The Native American Music Awards (NAMA) still intends to hold its 20th Annual Awards show in late November at the Seneca Niagara Hotel and Casino in Niagara Falls. However, the music submission period is temporarily suspended.

A press release said, “As the coronavirus is believed to live up to 48 hours on plastic and other materials, NAMA is attempting to lessen the need for public members to make hard CD music submissions via mail or expedited shipping, and is revising their submission process to allow for more digital sending via Mp3s and image uploading. Please sign up as a free e-team member on our website for the most updated information, at www.NAMALIVE.com.

“More information will be made available in the next several weeks regarding the NAMA submission process.”

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