SaskMusic Distributes Industry Support Through The Live Crew Support Fund
Artists, venues, and the music industry at large have had to make difficult decisions to postpone and cancel concerts, events, and music industry services over the ongoing duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the live music sector is yet to fully resume normal activity levels. The majority of live event support workers – with highly specialized skillsets, and many with decades of experience in their profession - were left underemployed for approximately two years during the pandemic, with these circumstances causing financial and emotional hardship.
With the lifeline of federal government supports ending well before the full return of live music, SaskMusic opened a Live Crew Support fund to provide a one-time allocation to approved applicants who, prior to the pandemic, were employed / self-employed as support crew for live music events, such as sound and lighting technicians and riggers/roadies, among other roles.
SaskMusic is pleased to have been able to provide $23,500 in support this month to 18 workers, through the raising of community donations, t-shirt sales and other self-generated funds. These funds are a small measure intended to alleviate some financial stress for the impacted individuals, with many noting that they have lost up to 100% of their pre-pandemic employment income from music, with income losses in the tens of thousands of dollars each year.
As one applicant noted, “The loss to my industry has been mind blowing. Usually when there is a slow down you can pivot to something else within the industry…(But) All of it vanished.”
Our skilled behind-the-scenes workers, live music support businesses, and venues are vital to our industry and the return of live music. We encourage everyone to support live music safely as events resume in Saskatchewan this spring.
SaskMusic also wishes to thank Stumbletown Distilling for offering proceeds from their “How Flat Sounds” local artist compilation project to our association for initiatives such as this. Learn more about the vinyl release at: https://www.stumbletown.ca/product-page/how-flat-sounds-vinyl-record
Early in the pandemic, SaskMusic commissioned an economic impact study of the Saskatchewan music industry to get a benchmark on the size of our industry and to be able to track the impacts of the pandemic. Stay tuned for the release of this data, coming shortly.