Community News Newsletter

Pyrotechnics Safety and Legal Awareness

Presented by Gunsmoke Canada

December 4th, 2022   

10:00 am – 5:00 pm EST


This course is the prerequisite for Pyrotechnics Certification in Canada. Special Effects Pyrotechnics are regulated by a division of NRCAN (Natural Resources Canada), ERD (Explosives Regulatory Division). This course allows the successful participant to apply for certification as a “Pyrotechnician”, the entry level of pyrotechnics certification.  After successfully completing the course participants will receive an ROT (Record of Training) from Gunsmoke, that can be submitted to the ERD to receive a certificate.

Further information regarding this course can be found here:

This Course, normally $240.00  is open to everyone and is being offered at no cost as part of the Canadian Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund if you register through this link

But space is limited. Register Now

Employers: Are you interested in accessing training funding through the Canadian Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund? Contact International Representatives Jason Vergnano or Cindy Jennings to discuss how to apply to receive support for your training initiatives.


Three things to do this April

Petition the Government

The Canadian government is drafting the federal budget this month, and it is critically important that they recognize our industries will need an extended round of financial support. Large-scale live events will not be viable for months, and many international events are postponed until 2022. The businesses, supply chain and workers of the event industries need continued support now, so that we have the capacity to restart quickly and safely when the time comes. If you’re in the live music industry, please fill out a letter to your MP at the Canadian Live Music Association, and re-tweet #ForTheLiveOfLive on your social channels. You can also use the letter generator at the Coalition for Hardest Hit Businesses.

#GMID2021 Lighting Up Blue

Light up blue this Thursday to support #GMID2021 and the Global Meetings industry.

LIGHTING UP BLUE – 8 April 2021Meetings Mean Business is asking destination marketing organizations and their partners across Canada to recognize Global Meetings Industry day by Lighting Up Blue local convention centres, off-site venues, galleries, museums, attractions, monuments and any other place people like to meet.

Our Glowing Hearts

In the News

CP24 Tonight hosts Reshmi Nair and Nick Dixon discuss the long road back for live events. Jeffrey Moss president of Moss LED in Toronto, and Rob Duncan of Live Event Community discuss the difficulties faced by the live event industries.

Thanks to Moss LED, a portion of every red heart sold will be donated to supporting live event workers and highlight your #LightUpLive #EclaironsLesScenes event last September.

Need help?

Through compassionate and confidential support, the AFC helps Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work. If you need support for your immediate financial obligations, please reach out, even if you do not meet the guidelines exactly.

The AFC helps Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work.

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Newsletter – December 31 2020

‘Twas the night before year-end, and all through the land
Not a theatre was open, no props nor stagehand.

The audience was sent home, and so was the cast
The second wave of Covid arrived here so fast.

Since Springtime our gigs have been hung out to dry
For live event workers and business we cry.

On CERB cheque! On face mask! On 2 meter distance!
Now vaccine! Now restart! Now start a new project!

Although it’s been tough and a harsher reality
Know that you’re loved by your greater show family.

But let us exclaim, ere we close out the night—
“Happy New Year to all, and to all a bright light!”

with apologies to A Visit from St. Nicholas

As the final hours of 2020 wind down, we want to reach out to all of you – the live event community who have supported each other over the past 10 months – who lit up their office and home windows, arranged large installations and spread the word that our industry is alive and present, despite being closed for much of the year.

Many people have managed to get work in film, television, streaming or virtual events – this is heartening news, but it still doesn’t help most of the million Canadians who work or perform at music halls, cabarets, festivals, rodeos, theatres, convention centres and every other live event that is such an important part of the cultural and economic fabric of our country.

So, tonight we will hold up our red light, continuing to show that live events matter, and that we need the government to continue to provide support until the industry can safely restart. The news is full of photos ops of vaccinations, which should provide hope, but we know that there is much to be done, and that we will be the last to return.

Be strong, stay safe, wear a mask. Most of all, realize that when we can all gather again, it will be the biggest most raucous live event the world has ever seen, and it will need you – the event professionals of the world – to run it. 

Need help over the holidays?
Check out our mental health resources. Call someone, please.

International Update

  • 38 countries have engaged with We Make Events
  • Over 4800 buildings have been lit in red around the world
  • 15 countries have had direct meetings with their governments about supporting the industry
  • Numerous artists have supported our campaign by raising money and awareness

The Show Can’t Go On

Watch this beautiful counterpoint by Sam Bradford and Praxima, to Amazon’s “The Show Must Go On” video. Creative expression is important, but needs an entire industry to support it.

You can watch the Amazon commercial here.

Member Monday

Brent is a lighting and media designer who has worked throughout the entertainment industry for over 15 years. 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 organization in the United States.

Thank You!

View our searchable indexed resources on our website:

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Thank you, and Be Well

This Thanksgiving weekend we would like to express our thanks to the amazing live event community. In the absence of shows, concerts and conventions, we may not have not been as connected with our ‘work families’ as usual – it certainly isn’t the same. It might seem unusual to grieve this change, but know that it is allowed and acceptable. We hope that you found some hope and solace this holiday weekend. We are all in this together.We continue to post Canadian resources on that will provide you with financial, health and training support. If you would like to add your own resource, please let us know about it

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Today is the first day to apply for your initial 2 week CRB supplement. This program replaces the CERB, and can pay out if, during a previous 2-week period, you could not work or your income was reduced by 50% compared to last year.

Member Monday

For this Member Monday, we highlight each of you. If it wasn’t for the people who write, follow and perform scripts and runsheets, who build the sets and set the tables, who roll the road cases and sell the tickets
– if it wasn’t for YOU –
there would be no live events.

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Merci a La Communauté des événementielle


read in English

Ce que nous avons vu mardi Ă©tait sans prĂ©cĂ©dent. Les lieux d’Ă©vĂ©nements en direct, les fournisseurs et les travailleurs du théâtre, du spectacle, des Ă©vĂ©nements d’entreprise et des secteurs connexes se sont rĂ©unis. Ils ont mis en lumière l’ensemble de notre industrie Ă  l’un des moments les plus sombres de son histoire.

Merci de vous ĂŞtre rassemblĂ©s (dans l’esprit, puisque nous devons tous garder nos distances physiques) lors de la journĂ©e de visibilitĂ© de la communautĂ© du spectacle vivant. Nous avons demandĂ© votre aide et vous avez rĂ©pondu: #LightUpLive #EclaironsLesScenes a Ă©tĂ© publiĂ© 11 000 fois cette semaine, atteignant 11 millions de comptes, et #LightUpLive s’est classĂ© numĂ©ro 2 au Canada pendant presque une journĂ©e FĂ©licitations !


Thank you to the Live Event Community!


lire en français

What we saw on Tuesday was unprecedented. Live event venues, suppliers, and workers across the theatre, performance, corporate event, and related sectors came together. They shone a light on our entire industry at one of the darkest times in its history.

Thank you for standing together (in spirit, since we must all keep our physical distance) on the Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community. We asked for your help, and you responded: #LightUpLive #EclaironsLesScenes was posted 11,000 times this week, reaching 11 million accounts, and  #LightUpLive trended to #2 in Canada for almost a day. Congratulations!


Newsletter – May 1 2020

International Workers’ Day

For over a century, the first day of May has been celebrated internationally as a day to commemorate the struggle of workers around the world.

This year, under the veil of COVID-19, it has become ever more clear how important is the safety, service and sacrifice of our society’s front line workers â€“ they are paramount to keeping us moving forward.

We want to thank all workers for their contributions to our country.

read more about IWD from the Canadian Labour Congress or TIME Magazine

Student Support Announced

This week the federal government announced a series of financial support measures for post-secondary students. Details for how to access these programs will come later.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will provide $1250 a month from May to the end of August to post-secondary students who do not otherwise qualify for CERB or EI. This increases to $1750 for students with dependents or a disability. It will be administered by the CRA.

A series of changes to the Canada Student Loans Program for the 2020-2021 year. Max grants increased from $3,000 per year to $6,000 per year (they were due to increase to $4,200 anyway). Loan limits increased from $210 per week to $350/week. Personal and spousal contributions suspended (no apparent change to parental contributions).

Creation of a Canada Student Service Grant which will provide up to $5,000 to support student’s post-secondary education costs in the fall. This program is supposed to “encourage youth to mobilize and take part in national service activities”. Details to come.

Support to grad students! $292 million to the granting councils in order to “extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows”.


Resource Highlight #1

Resource Highlight #2

Resource Highlight #3

The Workers Health and Safety Centre provides a variety of safety and workplace related courses. [more information]

View our searchable indexed resources on our website:

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Newsletter – 17 April 2020

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Enhanced CERB Rules & More!

According to the Canadian government 7.9 million applications for CERB have been received, and 7.5 million have been processed, totalling $17.35B.

This is staggering.

We commend the government for recognizing, as we called for in our April 6 letter, that nobody should be refused CERB due to residual income, or a small payout.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that CERB is now available for people earning less than $1000 a month, and those who have documented future work cancelled due to COVID-19.

We hope that you are finding the help that you need, and encourage you to visit our resources page, where we have gathered over 240 listings covering financial, health and training support. It is fully searchable by province and provider.

Resource Highlight


Entertainment behemoth Live Nation has created the Crew Nation fund to help support live music crews who have been directly impacted as shows are put on pause due to COVID-19. [more information]

First round applications are open until Friday, May 1.


THE CBC CREATIVE RELIEF FUND supports innovative original projects with compelling perspectives and unique voices that also reflect contemporary Canada, and follow the recommended local and national COVID-19 safety guidelines. [more information]

Creators can apply until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 24.


AFCHelps is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry.You are professionally eligible if you:  • Are working age and have earned the majority of your income from entertainment industry work in 2019 [more information]


CBC News has an interactive list of financial benefits with provincial breakdowns. Read more to ensure you are receiving all the support you are entitled to. 

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Newsletter – 9 April 2020

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It’s CERB Week – should we celebrate??

The Canada Emergency Relief Benefit is rolling out, and the initial results seem positive. Members on our Facebook page report getting deposits in the bank within 48 hours, and EI-eligible applications since mid-March have been migrated to the CERB as well. The application process for freelance self-employed is only a few questions long, and broken web services that have plagued the Service Canada EI system don’t seem to have affected Revenue Canada, who is managing CERB for non-EI claimants.

Your CERB questions, answered

Wait, CERB is taxable?

Just like employment insurance (EI), the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit. This means that at tax time it is listed as income.With EI, the tax is withheld (just like an employee’s paycheque), so you don’t need to worry about paying it later. In fact, you might even get a refund!

However, the CERB pays you the full taxable amount ($2000 per month), which means you will owe taxes (minimum rate 15%) on it in 2021.

Did I get paid twice by mistake?

You may have received two payments. The first is a retroactive payment from 15 March to 11 April, and the second is for the following month. This is not an overpayment but there will not be another deposit for four weeks.

“So from March 15 to April 11 is the first four week period, during which a $2,000 payment would have been made yesterday or perhaps today.”

Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos

Can I earn any income while on CERB?

Currently, once you are earning no income for 14 days, you can apply for CERB, but “for subsequent periods, you must expect to have no employment or self-employment income.”*

The Prime Minister announced Monday that he was looking into opening up CERB to underemployed and gig workers (<10 hours a week, under $500 a month), but for now, DO NOT JEOPARDIZE YOUR CERB benefit.


Can I collect a cheque for past invoices?

According to Service Canada regarding EI claims, “self-employment earnings from services performed … are allocated to the week or weeks when the services were performed”*

Our recommendation? Have time sheets, invoices and emails/texts ready to provide RevCan to show that any cheques you deposited after 15 March were for work completed prior to the CERB no-income period.


I applied for EI and heard nothing back.

If you applied for EI after 15 March, your case should have automatically been moved to CERB, and been paid out this week. If not, please contact Service Canada:

An SSO will get back to you within 48 hours.



The Ontario government provides funding that families can apply for if they have children who are not in school or child care because of coronavirus (COVID-19). [more information]


Did you know that there are over 100 free training opportunities online on our website? Check out our searchable database, and increase your industry knowledge during this forced hiatus. [more information]

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Newsletter – 2 April 2020

If only Canada issued unicorn cheques…

The good news, is that the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) application process starts next week, rolling out based on your birth month.To prepare in advance, the CRA recommends that you make sure you can log into, or create a CRA MyAccount. You can also use your Service Canada GCkey account, and then look for the link to “Switch to Canada Revenue Agency”.Secondly, make sure that you have registered for direct deposit. Otherwise, you will be waiting for a physical cheque.Read our blog post for detailed instructions.

Be sure to speak to your landlord, mortgage holder or utility company before you run out of options — see if they will adjust payments or make concessions. Remember that we are all in the same boat. Check out our resources page, or reach us on Facebook Messenger or email.

Recent Posts



IATSE Canada is collecting data about lost work in our industry. Please take a minute to add your name to the list. [More information]


AFC Helps supports entertainment industry professionals working in TV and film, music, theatre, and dance with emergency funding [More information]


Unison Fund supports people who worked primarily in the music industry for at least two years, or for 55% of your career. [More information]

Browse our Resource Pages

Sort by type and location to find the grants, benefits and resources that matter to you, no matter where you live in Canada.


Need emergency financial aid? AFC Helps. Learn more