COVID-19: Quebec musicians cry out for help
Share October 31, 2020 5:56 p.m. Share COVID-19: Quebec musicians cry out for help Vicky Fragasso-Marquis The Canadian Press MONTREAL – Hard hit by the closure of concert halls, professional musicians call on governments as nearly a out of five of them chose to give up their careers in the context of the pandemic.
“It's still pretty serious. You have to think of something. It takes good aid measures to keep people 's heads above water, ”said the president of the Guild of Musicians and Musiciennes du Quebec (GMMQ), Luc Fortin, in an interview with The Canadian Press.
The GMMQ published at the end of the week the results of a survey that it conducted among 755 musicians during the month of October and the report is alarming on the financial situation of music craftsmen.
According to the data, 75% of musicians have received the Canada Emergency Benefit (CEP) and 56% of them expect to earn $ 20,000 or less in 2020.
In addition, 57% of musicians surveyed say they are thinking about the future in the industry. Worse still, 18% have already made the decision to change profession.
“What could happen is that when there is going to be a revival within a year, there could be a shortage of manpower in everything that is performing arts, as much technicians, dancers. , singers. There will be a problem, ”said Mr. Fortin.
The musicians of the GMMQ are asking governments for financial assistance adapted to their needs, because they consider that the measures put in place for the moment are not satisfactory.
Note: the survey was conducted before the Quebec government announced the details of its $ 50 million assistance plan for the cultural sector, which was well received in the community.
“It should help a little, but there are things in the program that are still to be refined, we saw that there were artists who fell between the cracks in the floor, said Mr. Fortin. But it comes in October, the year is already quite advanced. Since March, it has been very painful. Everything that has been canceled since March until October, no one has been compensated for that. ”
Reopening of the rooms
The musicians also want Quebec to reopen the theaters, while respecting health measures. The Guild points out that no outbreaks were reported in these places when they were temporarily opened in the summer.
According to Mr. Fortin, the artists lost “millions” of dollars with the closing of the rooms, which had also made efforts to submit to sanitary conditions.
“We are not denying that there is a problem. Except that I say to myself: 100 people, two meters apart in a well ventilated place, with a very high ceiling, I don't think it is a riskier situation than going to Canadian Tire on the weekend ”, a- he argued.
He believes that people also need entertainment in these difficult times. “Going to see live musicians and actors is really fun. It really feels good, ”he concluded.