Large and small organisations are coming together to support musicians struggling through this financial crisis. Multiple industries have taken some hard hits in recent weeks and it is looking like there are still troubles on the horizon. If we look at the effects of what an isolation order and social distancing have on our daily lives, individuals and groups who earn their income through social events will be left with few choices.
One thing that the music industry holds true is their support for passionate people to be successful in their own way. These are the kind of people who take their form of art and consistently innovate to create their own success, to which deserves a lot of respect in the current economic climate. We have all heard of the “starving artist” stage of a musician’s career. Now with stripped grocery stores and cancelled social gatherings of 15 people in Alberta, that phrase now holds more weight.
Let’s be clear, certain successful artists who have gained a high level of success, public awareness and can be seen driving brand new Escalades around LA may still take a hit financially, however now is the time to support the industry as individuals or groups that don’t have those same means and are struggling to pay their bills. For those who have had shows, tours, private bookings and event stages cancelled for the foreseeable future, there are multiple resources out there to get through the next few months.
Unison Benevolent Fund
Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. Unison has helped over 1000 individuals and their families in every province and territory, as well as Canadians living abroad during times of crisis. They also received a 1900% increase in registrations since the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are here to help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties”
They feel the pain for the music industry and want to act as a support role at this time. To that point they have resources for musicians and created a self care Sunday blog. They also have information on the music industry and how artists are innovating their approach. Check out their website to apply for financial assistance or for more information on the music industry.
Stan Brown Benevolent Fund
This is a fund made available for all Calgary Musician Association members that have fallen into hardship. The Stan Brown Benevolent Fund originated when the Association introduced an annual showcase called ‘Musicalgary’. It was an initiative from the early 90’s that helped to promote the musical talents and diversity of the membership. To make sure that any excess revenue was put to good use, the Health & Welfare Fund was born. Check out the Calgary Musicians Association to learn more about their work with the industry and their support for musicians in our city.
“These are difficult times. The Stan Brown Benevolent Fund is available to CMA members in need”
CERB Canada’s Response for financial support to individuals
Any of us that have been keeping up to date with the news have been made aware of the emergency support benefit and the rushed EI applications over the last few weeks. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will launch an online application in early April. As directed by prime minister Trudeau, the government recommends having an account setup on the Canada Revenue Agency with your direct deposit integrated so that once the application software becomes available you will receive the funds faster. If you want to learn more about this emergency benefit, check out this resource page.
Spotify Music Relief Project
Some of our favourite music streaming platforms have also released information and resources for artists that are struggling with the current pandemic and staying connected with their listeners. Spotify released a COVID-19 Music Relief project working with non profit organisations and donated funds to support their initiatives. They are making a donation to these organizations and will match donations made via the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page dollar-for-dollar up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million.
Soundcloud released numerous resources and podcasts for artists and musicians that are feeling the distress. They released an article on 7 ways to stay connected with your fans during COVID-19. With so many people at home, now is a good time to reset your intentions with your music and how you want to grow your audience. Hopefully before no time, we will be back in venues and concert halls enjoying the creativity and art that our local musicians have to offer.
In a time like this community means more than ever. There are multiple Facebook groups like
Canadian Musicians Association, Calgary Local Music, Music Calgary and the Canadian Federation of Musicians. If you’re in the same situation as a lot of musicians in our city, why not reach out to these groups and share your insight into how you are innovating in these times.
From all of us at Todayville Calgary, we wish all of our local musicians and their families the best of health and wellbeing. We look forward to hearing and seeing you all live very soon.
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary
Jacob Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Oilers 5-0 in Battle of Alberta
CALGARY — Jacob Markstrom stopped all 17 shots he faced and the Calgary Flames put an end to their four-game losing skid with a commanding 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Johnny Gaudreau and captain Mark Giordano each had a goal and an assist, while Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Brett Ritchie also scored for Calgary (17-21-3). Sam Bennett and Mikael Backlund each tallied a pair of helpers.
The Flames improved to 3-5 against their provincial rivals this season.
Playing their fourth game in six nights, the Oilers (25-15-2) were blanked for only the third time this year. They dropped to third in the North Division — seven points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and one point behind the Winnipeg Jets.
Goalie Mike Smith stopped 27-of-32 shots in defeat, Edmonton’s second regulation loss in its last 11 outings.
A tentative first 20 minutes of play saw the teams withdraw to the dressing room with a 0-0 tie.
But the Calgary Flames exploded for four goals on 10 shots in the second period from four different shooters.
Monahan got the barrage going with his first since Mar. 13, snapping a 13-game goalless drought. Alone at the side of the net, he capitalized on a defensive mix-up from the Oilers and converted Andrew Mangiapane’s pass at 3:12.
Calgary gained in confidence as the period progressed. They kept the pressure on and it paid off at 10:43 when Gaudreau took a perfect pass across the crease from Noah Hanifin to beat Smith over the glove from a tight angle.
The Flames were again rewarded for good puck movement when Lindholm netted his 10th of the season, five-hole on Smith on the power play. The big-bodied Milan Lucic got the play started and later screened Smith in the crease.
The captain got in on the second period’s deluge of goals. Coming off the bench and storming into the offensive zone, Giordano called for a pass and fired from the right face-off dot, beating Smith between the pads.
Calgary limited Edmonton to very few high-danger chances. Connor McDavid ended the game with one shot.
The Oilers upped the pressure in the third period but could not solve Markstrom. Tyson Barrie came closest when he fired a puck off the post.
Ritchie padded the lead and made it 5-0 with 6:30 left in the game.
There was some confusion shortly after puck drop, possibly related to the Oilers’ lineup card, as Calgary coach Darryl Sutter chatted with officials from behind the bench.
The Flames are back in action in Toronto on Tuesday. The Oilers are off until Friday when they face the Canucks in Vancouver’s first game since their COVID-19 outbreak.
Notes: Edmonton held a ceremony to honour the late Colby Cave earlier Saturday. The 25-year-old Oilers forward died last April after doctors discovered a cyst in his brain. … Mangiapane and Bennett extended their point streaks to four games. … The Oilers placed 27-year-old centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper body) on the injured-reserve list earlier Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Alberta expands rapid tests for schools, but critics demand vaccines for teachers
EDMONTON — Alberta’s premier and education minister say a pilot program that has been using rapid screening tests in some Calgary schools is being expanded to about 300 other schools in the province.
Premier Jason Kenney says approximately 400,000 of the rapid tests will be rolled out for use in junior and senior high schools in Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge.
He says that will mean rapid testing will be available for approximately 200,000 students and 20,000 staff.
Teachers, however, aren’t being added to the list of professions who are getting prioritized for vaccination — a move that teachers’ organizations have called for.
“We are not going to do this based on, sort of arbitrary pressure, but rather the scientific advice,” Kenney told reporters during a virtual news conference Saturday.
“You could have for example, a 25-year-old teacher who is very healthy and whose risk of negative outcomes from COVID-19 is statistically negligible. But to put that person ahead in the queue of, let’s say a 65-year-old senior with underlying chronic conditions, would be a real misallocation of the scarce supply that we have.”
Kenney also announced Saturday that thousands of health-care workers will become eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting Monday, including community physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other professionals like chiropractors, physiotherapists and optometrists.
He said that to support those professions and keep their workplaces safe, their reception, cleaning and secretarial staff are also being made eligible for vaccinations.
The Alberta Teachers Association reacted in a news release by calling the decision to exclude school workers from expansions to the vaccination program “mindboggling.”
“This is the single biggest thing that would make teachers feel safer. Contrary to the premier’s statements, this is offside with national recommendations on immunization and with what is happening in most other provinces,” ATA president Jason Schilling said in the release.
The province says rapid screening tests may potentially detect the virus quickly in people who don’t have symptoms, allowing them to immediately isolate.
Edmonton Catholic Schools welcomed the rapid-testing expansion, but also echoed the ATA’s call for vaccines.
“Allowing for teachers and school support staff to be considered front-line workers so that they can be vaccinated now would ensure maximum safety for our schools,” board chair Sandra Palazzo said in a news release.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said during Saturday’s news conference that the priority for which schools in the four cities that will receive rapid-testing kits depends on how prevalent COVID-19 is in the school or surrounding community, as well as whether a school has experienced previous outbreaks or alerts.
“We are committed to ensuring in-person learning remains safe, and we are working closely with school boards on dealing with the challenges that arise,” she said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2021.
The Canadian Press
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