Event venues across the country will be lit up red for one hour after sundown on Sept. 22, to raise awareness for an industry that continues to feel the economic fallout of the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover.
The initiative is led by Live Event Community, an organization that was formed in March in the aftermath of mass event cancellations due to COVID-19.
“People are really looking to do something, however symbolic it may be,” says the group’s cofounder, Rob Duncan.
According to Statistics Canada, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector lost 152,000 of 486,100 jobs between June 2019 and June 2020, and 86 per cent of businesses experienced a high-level of impact due to the decrease in demand or cancellation of services. Those that are still employed have seen a 45 per cent reduction in hours worked.
The corporate and business events sector is reportedly worth $92 billion dollars in total output impact and directly employs 229,000 Canadians.
Similar to other travel, tourism and live event organizations, Live Event Community is calling on government to continue financial support for freelance and gig live event workers until the industry is back to work. The group would also like to see assistance provided to companies throughout the supply chain who work to create, produce, manufacture and support an industry that will remain ‘dark’ until large gatherings are safe again.
Live Event Community says early response has been overwhelming for the ‘day of visibility.’ Participating venues and installations can be tracked on an interactive map at the event website.