Okanagan venues light up for visibility amid pandemic

Impact of COVID-19 on live event workers sparks Canadian movement

Thousands of entertainment venues across the country have remained closed or limited since March 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And with it, hundreds of thousands of live event worker have lost their livelihoods.

An organization has been formed to support these Canadians and bring light to the situation so many are facing. Live Event Community has organized a Day of Visibility on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

One hour after sundown from coast-to-coast, hundreds of theatres, public venues and performing arts facilities will light their exteriors in red to raise public and government awareness for an industry that is still dark – and will be one of the last to fully open and recover. Throughout the evening, images and video will be shared across social media using the hashtags #LightUpLive to boost visibility.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, Kelowna Community Theatre, Salmon Arm’s Bespoke Group and South Okanagan Events Centre will join the list of participating buildings (accessible at lightuplive.ca/map) that includes Canada’s prestigious performance venues, major arenas and iconic landmarks like the CN Tower, Calgary Tower, Niagara Falls, Rogers Arena, Roy Thompson Hall, the Grand Théâtre de Québec, Confederation Centre of the Arts, SaskTel Centre, Stratford Festival Theatre and the Royal Theatre in Victoria.

“This grassroots movement has seemed to catch fire,” Live Event Community co-founder and industry veteran Morgan Myler said. “Our goal is to ensure the government acknowledges that our industry has been uniquely impacted by the effects of COVID-19, and that it will continue to offer financial support for live event workers and companies throughout the supply chain until large gatherings are once again deemed safe and the industry comes back to life.”

READ MORE: Fewer people but more visits added to Vernon Museum

At VDPAC, since March, the theatre was forced to re-schedule or postpone indefinitely 87 shows with no firm date in sight of re-opening for full public performances.

“We immediately signed-on to CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program) to retain 13 full time staff since March 15. Our staff has worked hard to assure and assist artists, ticketholders, volunteers and tour promoters during this uncertain time” executive director Jim Harding said. “Although we will return in the interim with small-scale OnSTAGE Concerts for 50 people and begin live-streaming performances online this fall, we are a key part of the provincial and national network of venues that host touring professional artists so it is vital to participate in this initiative; and also to show a clear signal to all levels of government that the performing arts is not only a major contributor to the health and wellness of our communities, but also a significant economic contributor as well. While other sectors may re-open and recover sooner, like the tourism industry, the cultural industry will need continued financial assistance until it’s safe for the public to return in force — and they want to.”

“Our industry is in a crisis. The arts are integral to a healthy community. We need continued financial support for live event workers until the industry is back to work,” artistic director Erin Kennedy said.

With no current re-opening date, VDPAC’s Ticket Seller box office has been keeping patrons informed on re-booking’s through the Ticketseller.ca website.

READ MORE: Vernon talent airs for Top of the Country


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusLive musicLive theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton Fire Department chief Larry Watkinson advises against using fireworks on Halloween this year. (Jenna Cocullo / Black Press Media)
How to not get blown up or catch COVID-19 this Halloween in Penticton

Halloween amid a pandemic will present a handful of unique challenges

A portion of Pelmewash Parkway was closed briefly Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, while Lake Country Fire Department and RCMP responded to rescue an eight-month-old puppy stuck on a cliff. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)
Police and firefighters save Lake Country puppy from cliff

A portion of Pelmewash Parkway was closed briefly Wednesday as fire, RCMP responded to rescue mission

The Sicamous Fire Department was able to use their ladder truck to rescue a cat which had been stuck in a tree. (Chelsea Bowman-Facebook)
Cat stuck in tree for two days saved by Shuswap firefighters

Rescue also an opportunity to train with ladder truck

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Shuswap BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren reports several campaign signs have recently been damaged or removed. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap candidate seeking those responsible for stolen, damaged signs

NDP and Green Party signs in the Sunnybrae area have been targetted

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Most Read