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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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How to petition the government

It is important that the government hear from you. This helps them to shape decisions, and to hear from actual citizens.

Why can’t you speak on my behalf?

Great question! We do, but a letter or a call to your MP can have a big impact, especially if it is unique and personal.

Who should I talk to?

Head over to this website https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en
Look up your Local MP by name, or postal code. Then call them. Or email them. You can also write to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

What should I say?

Here are some talking points:

  • We were the first industry to stop and will be the last to come back
  • Our employers are not supported enough to be able to hire us any time soon (or you may not even have a single employer!)
  • Our jobs require specialized training that is not transferable for a job with equal wages in other industries

What we want:

  • Extend CERB until theatres, convention centres, stadiums, arenas and city-sanctioned events are running again
  • Keep restrictions and eligibility for CERB as they are. In fact, you can call on them to expand to include more gig economy workers.
  • We need the support to get back to what we do in this industry, entertaining Canadians.
REMINDER: A letter can be mailed to an MP without a stamp