6 Ways To Support Canadian Musicians During COVID-19
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is huge – and among those feeling it are Canadian musicians who rely on playing live to earn a living.
Temporary bans on indoor gatherings and demands for social isolation are hitting homegrown musicians of all genres – from acts on cross-country tours to indie artists who find gigs at their local bars on weekends.
Virtually none of these musicians has access to benefits like sick leave or EI so if they don’t play, there’s no pay.
“We wish you good health and safety as we work through this challenging situation together,” reads a message on the website of SOCAN, which represents the performing rights of thousands of songwriters, composers and music publishers.
The Canada Council for the Arts has set up a FAQ page online to provide information to artists who have received grants for touring.
In a tweet on Sunday, singer Alan Doyle called on the federal government to consider a relief program for artists during the crisis similar to what Germany has pledged for its creative community.
So what can Canadians do to support homegrown musicians during the COVID-19 crisis? Here are a few suggestions:
Don’t get refunds
If you have purchased tickets for a Canadian artist’s upcoming show that has been postponed due to COVID-19, don’t seek a refund. Hold on to tickets that will be honoured on rescheduled dates.
Purchase their music
Artists don’t earn a lot from streaming – so now is the time to invest in Canadian music. Buy physical CDs or vinyl releases from homegrown acts (you can order online for home delivery) or purchase songs and albums digitally. This is also a good type to see if your favourite artist or band sells merch online. Grab some T-shirts for summer!
Discover their music
Staying at home for two weeks provides the perfect opportunity to discover new music. No matter the genre, Canadian musicians are among the best in the world and you may be surprised at what you fine. These acts will appreciate having a broader fan base when they’re back on the road.
Share their music
Instead of using social media to complain about politics or toilet paper hoarders, use your platforms to promote Canadian artists to your followers and others around the world. Talk 'em up to the world and be sure to include links to their websites and videos. It's more important than ever to tell the rest of the world about the incredible talent here at home.
Donate to musicians
Canadian musicians can turn to Unison, a non-profit organization that supports them in difficult times. The Unison Benevolent Fund is an assistance program for qualified artists. Click here to make donate whatever you can.
Save for when it’s all over
If you’re able, put aside a little bit of cash every week so you will have a budget to spend on live music once the crisis is over and artists are back out performing live. And, if you haven’t been to a live show in awhile, consider going to one (or more). When this is all over, Canadian musicians are going to need your support.
Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation announced they would be donating $5 million dollars ($7.2M CAD) to a number of organizations that go to helping deliver food, medical supplies and equipment in the US, Barbados and other countries. (0:25)
Four years after its initial release, the entire phone conversation between Kanye West and Taylor Swift has apparently been leaked. Taylor did thank Kanye for giving her a heads up about what he had planned but Kanye didn’t exactly tell her everything he was going to include in the song, and there are many times you can hear how uncomfortable Taylor is on the other line. (0:57)
Ariana Grande has had to file a restraining order against a man who showed up at her house. (2:40)
The Weekend has released his album After Hours. He also has been teasing that the saga continues and followed that up by dropping a new video for his song ‘In Your Eyes.’ (3:51)
Childish Gambino/Donald Glover finally released his new album called Donald Glover Presents - 3.15.20 and does in fact feature songs from Ariana Grande, 21 Savage and even his son Legend. The album originally leaked for around 12 hours last weekend. (3:21)
FOX and iHeartRadio announced that there is going to be a relief concert that will be hosted by Elton John and there are going to be a bunch of performers like Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and more. The online show is now going to be taking it’s place on Sunday March 29, at 9PM EST. Stream to listen to the concert in Canada
Cardi B went on a rant about celebrities who are being tested for the coronavirus without any symptoms, saying those celebrities are causing confusion to the general public. She pointed out not everyone has the luxury of being tested and going home to isolate in a giant house. A lot of people have to get tested and go back home to a small apartment they share with others. She ended her video by saying the government should foot the bill for people to get tested and treated.
The pandemic continues to impact the music industry in a variety of ways. Camila Cabello is the latest to announce that her tour which is supposed to kick off in Vancouver coming up at the end of July but it has now been postponed. (1:55)
Stevie Nicks said in a post on her Twitter that she is getting a lot of paintings and drawings done, as well as has been listening to Harry Style’s new album ‘Fine Line’ which has inspired her to write some new songs and poetry. (2:32)
Lady Gaga said because of everything going on in the world she doesn’t feel right putting out her new album Chromatica. (2:58)
Dua Lipa's new album Future Nostalgia was set to be released next Friday, but it has been pushed up since it was leaked online. She said she hopes the new album makes her fans smile and dance and makes them proud. She dropped her new single last night called Break My Heart which is a banger! (3:28)
There is a lot of confusion surrounding Childish Gambino’s new surprise album that was released yesterday. There was a link that went to a site that was retweeted by his manager that lead to a bunch of new songs available to stream including songs that were featuring Ariana Grande, 21 Savage and SZA on the website.
The tweet and entire account ended up being deleted and the website is no longer available.
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