We are enormously grateful to Minister MacLeod, the Ontario Government, and Ontario Arts Council for this investment in our organization at such a critical time. Thank you, as well, to Erin Benjamin and the Canadian Live Music Association for their excellent work listening to and amplifying the voices of all of us in this sector. Every year, we work with artists, sponsors, volunteers, and our community to contribute rich and affirmative programming to elevate people’s spirits, educate their imaginations, inspire their creativity, and include them in collective joy. At the same time, we bolster the regional economy by being a notable job-creator and tourism-driver.
We know that the arts, entertainment and recreation sector lost more jobs than any other sector in 2020 (Stats Can Labour Force survey). At a time when 1 in 4 cultural workers in live music have lost their work, venues have shuttered, and suppliers have gone out of business, we have tried to stay true to our vision and mission and hold on tight. This funding from the Ontario Government is a lifeboat: it gives us some of the stability we need to revive our efforts, to rebuild our industry, and to buoy up our morale. Our appreciation for the vision and the hard work behind this investment is incalculable.