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Global Day of Action

Hot on the heels of a successful Canadian Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community, the global organization #WeMakeEvents is calling on live event companies and people to reach out across the world.

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Final Planning for Day of Visibility

Live Event Community, an organization formed to support Canadian live event workers who’ve lost their livelihoods due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has organized a Day of Visibility on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020.

One hour after sundown from coast-to-coast, hundreds of venues and buildings will light their exteriors red to raise awareness for an industry that is still dark – and will be one of the last to recover. Throughout the evening, images and video will be shared across social media using the hashtags #LightUpLive / EclaironsLesScenes to boost visibility.

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la communauté événementielle planifie une journée de visibilité le 22 septembre

Live Event Community​, une organisation formée pour soutenir les travailleurs canadiens du spectacle et de l’evenementiel qui ont perdu leurs gagne-pain en raison de la pandémie COVID-19 en cours, a organisé une journée de visibilité le mardi 22 septembre 2020.

Une heure après le coucher du soleil, des centaines de sites et de bâtiments d’un ocĂ©an Ă  l’autre Ă©claireront leur extĂ©rieur de rouge pour sensibiliser l’opinion Ă  une industrie qui est encore dans le noir – et qui sera l’une des dernières Ă  se rĂ©tablir. Tout au long de la soirĂ©e, des images et des vidĂ©os seront partagĂ©es sur les mĂ©dias sociaux en utilisant les hashtags #LightUpLive / EclaironsLesScenes pour accroĂ®tre la visibilitĂ©.

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8 Days to Go

We are just over a week away from the Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community on Tuesday 22 September, an unprecedented and united show of support for the live event industries in Canada.

Live events span many industries, including music and the arts, corporate meetings and conventions, sports, and heritage.

Over one million Canadians work in these industries.

Well – they did, until the global threat of COVID-19 closed theatres and cancelled large gatherings earlier this year.

We want to ensure that these event professionals continue to have access to government support until events can safely return.

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Three weeks to go!

As of today, the ​Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community has an event hashtag all their own. Event organizers are asking venues and landmarks across the country to light up their buildings and marquees in red on Tuesday 22 September to raise awareness for an industry that remains dark.

Early response has been overwhelming. Organizations, grassroots groups and individuals are coming together to ask and assist with illuminating landmarks in red, bringing to light the many performers, creators, technical, logistical, and management support personnel who drive a $100 billion Canadian economic engine.

The selected hashtag #LightUpLive #EclaironsLesScenes draws attention to locations that have been primarily dark for over six months due to social distancing restrictions. Live event workers are encouraged to participate using social media, and participating venues and installations can be tracked on an interactive map at the event website (​https://lightuplive.ca​).

“This grassroots movement has seemed to catch fire,” says Morgan Myler, co-founder of the ​Live Event Community group, which formed in March as a result of the cancellation of events worldwide due to COVID-19. “We started with a resource guide for workers to access critical health, financial and training opportunities when COVID-19 hit.”

I’m always impressed to see how quickly the event industry can respond

Rob D

According to Statistics Canada , the arts, entertainment and recreation sector lost 152,000 of 486,100 jobs between June 2019 and June 2020, and 86% of businesses experienced a high level of impact due to the decrease in demand or cancellation of services . Those that are still employed have seen a 45% reduction in hours worked​ . The corporate and business events sector directly employs an additional 229,000 Canadians according to a 2017 Oxford Economics3 study.

“I’m always impressed to see how quickly the event industry can respond,” says co-founder Rob Duncan “but considering how quickly the work stopped, people are really looking to do something, however symbolic it may be.”

The ​Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community will run Tuesday 22 September from an hour after sundown, coast to coast. Follow along at ​https://lightuplive.ca​. Live event workers looking for resources can visit ​https://liveeventcommunity.org

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Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) Announced

Read more about the CRB, which took effect September 27 2020.

CERB Extended

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been extended to a total of 28 weeks (from the original 26 weeks). This will extend the original CERB payments to 27 September 2020.

Beginning 27 September anyone who qualifies for EI will be migrated to this program, and anyone else can apply for the newly announced Canada Recovery Benefit.

*NEW* Canadian Recovery Benefit

CRB starts 27 September 2020 for people who don’t qualify for EI (freelancers)

This program will offer $400 a week for 26 weeks.

You can claim income but your benefit will be reduced by $0.50 for each $1 earned.

Employment Insurance Program

With the revised EI program, you will receive 55% of your former income up to $573/week, but the floor (minimum payment) has been raised to $400.

You will qualify for between 26 and 45 weeks depending on the worked hours you have banked. You have to have worked 120 hours to qualify for this year.

You must claim outside income earned, but your benefit will be reduced by $0.50 for every $1 earned.

Canada Recovery Care-giving Benefit

$550 for week per household caregiving benefit up to 26 weeks.

Canadian Recovery Sickness Benefit

Also you can be eligible for $500 weekly for up to two weeks for those who don’t have paid sick leave or if you become sick or if you need to isolate for reasons linked to COVID-19

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Day of Visibility Date Change

The Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community is now TUESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER beginning an hour after sundown.

Why the change?

We want to ensure that everyone can participate, and our previous date is Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the Jewish New Year.

Traditionally, theatres are dark on Monday, allowing everyone involved a day off. We will light the night RED on Tuesday, a night that would normally bring bright marquees and lit stages.

We support an amazing variety of industries and possess a remarkable collection of skills. We are coming together to showcase the magnificent scope of live events, and the people who create them.

We need your help to shine a light on the tens of thousands of live event workers who are in the wings while theatres, convention halls and arenas remain dark.

Sign up for Red Alert Day of Visibility updates!

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Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community

Dear Live Event Workers, Event Venues and Companies,

We were the first out of our jobs, and all indications are that we will be the last back. Many people are facing choices between food and rent, or are facing evictions. Production personnel and artists, companies all across production and entertainment are fading to black. 

We are proposing a Day of Visibility for the Entertainment and Events Industry. This is a “red alert”, reminding Canadians that we are still here and ready to work, but to stop the spread of COVID-19, large events, conventions and concerts have been cancelled indefinitely.

On Tuesday, 22 September 2020, an hour after sundown, we are asking technicians, suppliers and venues across the country to light the night red – raising awareness for an industry that is still dark. Campaigns in Germany (#nightoflight2020) and the UK (#LightItInRed) have been successful in raising the profile of an industry that has lost 80-95% of its business since March.

We need every jurisdiction in Canada to find the time and a red light. It does not need to be a giant show; it just needs to be a show of red. We need our venues, shops, homes (and gnomes!) awash with red. We would love to see YOU the workers lit up in red as well! Put your city’s twist on it.

We need our venues, shops, homes (and gnomes!) awash with red.

Starting 28 August, there will be an interactive map at liveeventcommunity.org/redalert where you can showcase your installation. There will be an opportunity to give some love to your installation sponsor/supporter as well. An appropriate hashtag will allow us to push our cause to the top of the trending lists on 22 September. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter to get information as soon as it’s available.

This is not a protest. We are reminding our communities and our government that we have been told to stand by for the health of our fellow Canadians and that we want to be ready to return to work once the danger has passed.

The arts and live event community would like to thank our various provincial and federal governments who have been supportive to this point with programs like CERB, CEWS, arts and heritage grants — but it’s not over. Our stages, conference rooms, event centres, and venues are still dark. We need continued support until the lights are back on for good.

Get the word out:

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Fourth Open Letter

An open letter to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hon. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau,

The CERB is a key support for most Canadian live event technicians, artists and arts workers to survive this pandemic. It is imperative that you extend payments for CERB to entertainment workers, many of whom submitted for CERB early, and will reach their 16-week limit on 5 July 2020. The live events industry will remain shut down for the foreseeable future and this decision is solely in the hands of local health authorities, and the government.

It is imperative that you extend payments for CERB to entertainment workers

Live Event workers are resourceful, but we are in a market where our specialized skills are of limited use in competing for the jobs that would be required to replace our income from lifetime careers and dedication to the arts. We need support to continue and to be able to return to our careers.

There are provisions in Bill C-17 that specifically penalize CERB applicants who break the rules. However, since CERB was first proposed in March, these rules have changed several times, and will again once more with the passing of C-17. The government encouraged Canadians in need to apply for CERB promptly, and many of our Live Event Community did, especially since our industry was so quick to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is understood that the government should investigate and recover money from improper use of the benefit but asks that CERB applicants who unintentionally violate a CERB condition be given an opportunity to correct without penalty.    

We have confidence that the proposed changes to CERB as described in Bill C-17 will not affect our communities ability to receive support and will allow us to return to work when it is safe to do so.

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Third Open Letter

An open letter to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hon. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau,

On behalf of The Live Event Community we want to thank your government for the strides in protecting Live Event workers. “Gig” workers, freelance entertainment technicians and artists are often employed in periodic, sporadic and non-standard work, which leaves us vulnerable and not easily covered by a typical scenario. The CERB does not reach all, and even worse many of our artists, creators and technicians may inadvertently disqualify themselves for CERB. 

Many in our industry have found innovative ways to entertain and motivate Canadians to stay indoors, including online performances, educational opportunities and other novel experiences. These are often at reduced rates, or in some cases for cost only. The CERB requires that the applicant receive NO INCOME for 14 consecutive days in a 4-week period for which they apply for benefits, no income from:

Employment or self-employment; Employment Insurance; Any allowances/money/benefits in respect of pregnancy or parental leave, including adoption benefit of $2,000 paid every 4 weeks from March 15, 2020, until Oct 3, 2020.

We do not want to stop creating, producing, and building live event experiences, but require a system that will allow us to continue small projects, and that whatever income earned be deducted from the basic CERB amount. We are not asking for more than any other Canadian, but we need to guarantee that this basic amount, that you have deemed important for Canadians to survive during this crisis, will not be refused due to small residual income.

We await your response, and we need you to consider these important changes.
Thank you for your attention in these difficult times,

Sincerely,

the Live Events Community