Independent venues are at a severe risk of shutting down. Here's how you can help.
At the start of the COVID-19 restrictions, live entertainment was the first business to close it's doors. While Canada begins to re-open, live entertainment is scheduled to return last. These restrictions have been necessary, but have left thousands of Canadians in the live entertainment industry unemployed. That includes not only musicians, but booking agents, managers, touring crews, merchandisers, stage crews, equipment crews, security, marketers, publicists, promoters, record labels, and venues. Large, corporate-owned stages will remain intact, but independent venues that are the lifeblood of indie/new artists are facing potential shutdowns.
The Canadian Independent Venue Coalition is trying to change that, and they need your help.
According to the website, "without access to Federal Government support, a critical amount (over 90%) of Canadian Independent Music Companies are predicted to permanently close within the next 6 months." The CIVC are asking the Canadian government to protect at-risk venues before they're forced to close for good.
What can we do about it?
We can write.
The CIVC suggests taking action by contacting different levels of the Canadian government, and explaining how the live entertainment industry is vital to the Canadian economy.
The CIVC has templates available, but I would suggest that you personalize any emails/letters you send. It's easy to write off dozens of copy-and-paste messages.
You can also sign a petition to request that the Emergency Support Fund include independent for-profit venues, independent for-profit promoters, independent for-profit agencies and independent for-profit festivals.
The third step is to SHARE. We won't get anywhere with just a couple of emails. Make sure everyone you know who's involved in music is trying to make a change.
Lastly, support local. Check out your local venues, see if they're selling merch, food, or if they're accepting donations.
Check out CIVC's website below to read more about how you can help.