Return to Ring Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who returned the Return to Ring Survey. Here the details:

  • The survey was open to all members of OGEHR.
  • It was conducted between Thursday, September 10th and Saturday, September 25th, 2021.
  • A total of 74 responses were received, although not every respondent answered every question. (Number of responses for each question are listed.)

Over the course of the last year and a half we experienced a lot of uncertainty. As we begin to reopen our programs we still have questions about how to do so safely. We all need to be following the protocols set out by the Ontario Provincial government, but we as ringers should also understand which protocols and rehearsal routines truly make us feel safe.

The results presented here are intended to help inform both directors and ringers about what things are important to all of us. The more information we have, the better we all will feel.

The results have also been very useful in determining OGEHR policy for future events, both virtual and in person. (Please see motion at the bottom of this page.)

Restarting Programs?



It is great to see that the vast majority of handbells are looking forward to getting back to ringing and currently about half are able to start back up!

Returning to Playing



Ringers are quite comfortable with rehearsing and although still comfortable, a little less so with performing for an audience.

Mandated Protocols





These are there main protocols the Provincial Government has asked all of us to follow. They are not only mandated, but in the minds of most ringers continued to be an important aspect of returning to ring. 

The one protocol which does not have clear results is "Signing in for rehearsal." The mixed results could be due handbells being generally small groups and attendance records are probably already a regular part of our rehearsals.

Handbells Practices




These questions all focus on practices specific to handbells rehearsals. They all have mixed results.

Sharing bells is a common practice with handbell groups. 56.4% are still concerned with bell sharing. 

Limiting the length of rehearsals was a practice that many groups put in place last year before programs were entirely shut down. 63%, feel it is still important.

It is an interesting result for restarting quartets. Strong on both extremes. Possibly a difference of opinion between quartet and non-quartet players.

Double Vaccination


The vast majority of our ringers feel it is important that all members be double vaccinated. Of all the responses this question had the highest results with 81.9% in area 6 alone and an overall majority of 93%.

Survey End Result

Due to the results of the survey and particularly the very clear response to the final question OGEHR has put in place the following policy:

Although there is no COVID vaccination requirement to belong to the Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers, participants of any in-person event organized by OGEHR will be required to show proof of double COVID-19 vaccination or a valid, current (within 48 h), negative COVID-19 test. This policy will remain in place until such time as the Ontario Provincial Government determines that COVID-19 proof of vaccination is no longer necessary. 

Provincial Government Info

Additionally, as of September 22nd, 2021 the provincial government requires proof of vaccination for a number of settings. Below is the link to the provincial page.

One of the regulated areas is “concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas.”

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