Canadian Live Music Association Calls for Urgent Action Following Federal Election Results
With the federal election decided and Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party heading back to parliament with another minority government, the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is reminding the government and all parties about the live music industry's needs and priorities for weathering the pandemic.
Throughout the election period, on behalf of the live music sector and in collaboration with the Hardest Hit Coalition, the CLMA advocated for all parties to work with industry on:
- targeted support for the hardest hit;
- delivery of a national, seamless proof of vaccination certification program; and,
- implementation of progressive strategies to address critical issues such as the labour shortage and consumer confidence.
The CLMA notes that Canada’s hardest hit industries are at serious risk without continued federal support. Live music businesses have faced devastating revenue losses due to COVID. The industry has lost 19 months of business, drained financial reserves, taken on debt, and now has difficulty attracting enough employees as it strives to relaunch.
"The CLMA looks forward to working with the new government to ensure Canada's beleaguered live music industry can stay operational. We are now facing the most challenging time of the pandemic - a convergence of factors that are making our survival harder than ever," says Erin Benjamin, President & CEO. "Our future will depend on sector-specific support."
The CLMA is encouraged that hardest hit businesses will be able to expect tailored and sector-specific support as they head into the winter months. In the first announcement on the campaign trail, the Liberal Party announced that it would:
- Provide Canada’s hard hit tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of their expenses: For sectors like hotels, tour operators, convention centres, live music and festivals experiencing a minimum of 40% revenue loss; Qualifying businesses in these sectors would be able to access a maximum subsidy rate of up to 75%, commensurate to their revenue loss, in order to help cover fixed costs like wages and rent; The subsidy would be available between September 2021 until May 31, 2022.
- Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022;
- Launch the Arts and Culture Recovery Program that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres and other cultural venues to compensate for reduced capacity;
- Extend COVID-related insurance coverage for media production stoppages to support 150,000 Canadian jobs; and
- Implement a transitional support program to help bridge workers from the creative industry who continue to be impacted by the pandemic.
The CLMA urges all Members of Parliament to endorse these initiatives in support of the industry and to work collectively to pass them as quickly as possible in this new Parliamentary session.