MusicNL Letter to The Honourable Steven Guilbeault Regarding COVID-19

March 24, 2020

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Canadian Heritage

cc. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minsiter
The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development
Member for Labrador: Yvonne Jones
Member for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame: Scott Simms
Member for St. Johns East: Jack Harris
Member for Avalon: Ken McDonald
Member for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl: Seamus O’Regan
Member for Long Range Mountains: Gudie Hutchings
Member for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity: Churence Rogers
Rebecca Moyes, Heritage Canada, NL
Susan Evans, ACOA

Dear Minister Guilbeault,

Today we write to you regarding the financial fragility of musicians, artists and arts organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador, and indeed in all of Canada. As your government works tirelessly to create supports to help stabilize our entire country throughout this extraordinary unprecedented time, we ask that you not overlook the important contributions that musicians and all artists and arts organizations make to the cultural fabric of Canada. Please be mindful of this as you disperse aid to Canadians. Please help protect our musicians, artists and arts organizations from financial ruin.

Many artists have invested large amounts of their available assets into the creation of work, such as productions and tours that will now not be able to come to fruition or will happen much much later. Many artists are facing serious financial stress. We must help our artists to get through this crisis with dignity. They are key players who make up the artistic and cultural fabric of our country. We implore you to think about artists who are not eligible for EI. Artists are members of the gig economy whose work brings us joy and inspiration and reflects who we are as a people and brings us together and makes us the strong enviable colorful nation that we are.

Even as we all struggle to grasp the reality of our current global crisis, artists are already working and planning how to move forward. An understanding of their access to funding will allow them to plan and create the artistic events that will bring us back together as a society once the all clear has been given. Thank you so much for your assiduous work and leadership through this unprecedented crisis.

Sincerely,

Amy House
Chair of the Board of Directors , MusicNL

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