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#LightUpLive 2021

A little under a year ago, the entire Live Event Community came together to demonstrate to Canadians that we were strong, and in need of support.

Through the advocacy of many members, we have come a long way towards a restart, and it is time to celebrate those milestones. It’s election time, and it is more important than ever to show that we are not back to normal.

The people, companies and venues who are the heart of this billion dollar business are still vulnerable across Canada. Many have left the industry altogether, and those left still need financial support until we can get back to full capacity events. Partial audiences and enhanced health and safety requirements make it difficult or impossible to financially sustain many productions.

Political parties are listening, and candidates need your votes. Make sure that YOU are seen and heard.

On 22 September, we are calling on you to light up your venues in red in support of the vibrant live event community from coast to coast. Mark the date in your calendars, and help Canada #lightuplive #eclaironslesscenes next month. #wemakeevents

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News

Inconsistent lockdown protocols hamper live performing arts

On the thewholenote.com, author Paul Ennis writes about the devastating effect of closing live performance venues to non-audience activities under the current Ontario stay-at-home order.

Meanwhile, even though many TAPA member companies have temporarily shifted to hybrid theatre, dance and opera models that include livestreaming, pre-recorded film and digitization, “entertainment concert venues, theatres and cinemas (includes drive-in or drive-through events) [are] closed for all purposes, including rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted event, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance.” However, the letter points out, the Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Restrictions (14) have allowed film and television to continue to operate: commercial film and television production, including all supporting activities such as hair, makeup and wardrobe.”

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Brent Sandrock

Brent is a lighting and media designer who has worked throughout the entertainment industry for over 15 years. He spent time video directing tours, programming lights for concerts, corporates, and cruise ships, and shooting and editing custom content with his company Creative Lumens, Inc. With a passion for music and the live event experience, Brent has always looked for ways to showcase the amalgam of art and technology that exists uniquely in this industry. He looks forward to once again experiencing the high we get when everything is set up, thousands of people are gathered together, and the show is about to start.

His Gingerbread Roadie stop-motion animation on social media received over 25,000 views in less than 2 weeks, and helped raise awareness and funds for the wemakeevents.org organization in the United States.

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Mike Maclean

Mike has been working 38 years in the live entertainment industry.  He is a proud member of  IATSE Local 357 and is the Head Stage Electrician at Centre in the Square.  Currently, they are working a modified contract recording symphony concerts with drastically reduced hours.  Mike is also an Entertainer Motorcoach Fleet Owner.  COVID has forced to cancel the touring schedule completely for the past 8 months. Mike says “It has been tough to lay off staff, keep the fleet in good mechanical order, and keep current with expenses like insurance, taxes, etc.  But on the bright side, we have been able to expand our fleet in order to be ready for when our industry reopens.”   Mike has hope and looks forward to the day where we can be working together again!

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Antony Kahil

Antony is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been in the entertainment industry for 7 years. Working from general AV to lighting/video. Antony now lives in Toronto and freelances for various companies pre-covid. He currently does lighting and video for live music, broadcast, and corporate events. Currently, Antony is waiting for the world to recover so the industry can get back to doing what we all love the most and that we so desperately miss.

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Sabrina Mueller

Sabrina has an 18-year career in live events that has included both theatre and corporate events. She is currently the Operations Manager of the Pumphouse Theatres in Calgary and freelances as a Production Manager and Lighting Technician. The Pumphouse Theatres have a focus on education as well as supporting community, small and emerging organizations produce live events safely. Assisting the live events community to navigate safety, government regulation, and best working practices is something that is very important to Sabrina. This is why she joined the committee for the Calgary effort for #Lightuplive. Being able to draw attention to the size, scope of the impacted people, and supply chain for live events in Calgary was a privilege currently unparalleled in her career. There is currently no safe way to gather in large groups all we can do is work together to mitigate the risks of gathering, keep humanizing the statistics for our industry and support each other during these unusual times.

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Debbie Richardson

Debbie has been a member of IATSE Local 680 since 1991. For the last 15 years, she has been the Call Steward for the Local, crewing shows like The Rolling Stones Bigger Bang Tour, the 2006 Juno Awards, numerous WE Day shows, several Cirque du Soleil shows, the annual Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, large and small corporate events as well as all shows at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Last year was the Local’s busiest year ever and 2020 was shaping up to be close to that volume. “The hardest thing about this shutdown has been the uncertainty of when people will be able to get back to work and just missing everyone,” Debbie says. Advocacy of the major entertainment unions has been pivotal in making sure that no one was left behind, and addressing flaws in the social safety net to government. This is especially important for workers who don’t fit in a normal work environment, such as live events where many are employed as “gig workers.”

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Jennifer Hildebrandt

Jennifer is the Production/Admin Assistant at The Starlite Room/ConcertWorks and former Account Manager for NASCO – A production technical staffing company for venues and event properties across Canada. Jennifer’s accounts included Rogers Centre, Budweiser Stage, RBC Echo Beach, Veld, and the Living Arts Centre. Her current role with The Starlite Room/ConcertWorks has helped establish the company as a major contributor, influence, and facilitator in showcasing international, domestic, and local artists in the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta. Jennifer is one of the founding members of the Canadian Independent Venue Coalition (CIVC), who has been advocating for live music venues and the music ecosystem in Canada. www.supportcanadianvenues.ca

With a background as a classically trained singer, Jennifer’s previous roles include tenures at Canadian Music Week, NXNE, production for AEG/Goldenvoice including Edgefest and Wakestock, and as a published music writer for BeatRoute, Hush Magazine, Abort Magazine, Punkanormal Activity, and The Spill Magazine.

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Nicole Goguen

Nicole Goguen is a 32-year-old technician that has been working in the live event industry for 14 years. Nicole has been instrumental in making #WeBuildEntertainment and #LightUpLive Toronto a reality. Starting her career in Saint John New Brunswick, and then moving to Toronto in 2012. After freelancing for many years in lighting she became a member of IATSE Local 58 as a board op and is currently the Head of Lighting at Medieval Times Toronto. As the founder of We Build Entertainment, Nicole works with technicians and other live event workers to bring people together and help build a stronger more unified community.

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Arkell’s Max Kerman misses live events

Today on CBC The Current, host Matt Galloway talks to Max Kerman, lead singer of the Canadian band Arkells, about why he’s been offering music lessons, and the deep impact of COVID on live events.

“Your concerts are spectacles,” say host Galloway, “you haven’t played a while – what do you miss?” (3:50 into the clip)

“I don’t want to think about it, Matt, I get emotional.” says Kerman, “the rituals on the day are what I miss the most.”