Montreal Music Hall staff launch fundraiser after massive layoffs


Staff at a dozen concert halls in Montreal lost their jobs due to COVID-19

Posted on March 26, 2020

On March 14, Quebec Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy asked all concert halls in the province to close for 30 days in order to slow the spread of the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. . In response, staff from a dozen Montreal concert halls launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a relief fund to make up for their lost wages.

The money will go to the 135 staff members who have lost their jobs as a result of these closures, to help them while their EI claims are processed, with 10% of all funds raised to be withheld as funds. emergency.

Fund recipients include staff from Bar le Ritz PDB, Casa del Popolo, La Sotteranea, La Sala Rossa, La Vitrola, L’Escogriffe, Barfly, Brasserie Beaubien, Diving Bell Social Club, Quai des Brumes, Resonance Café and Turbohaus.

Since fundraising began on March 20, nearly 300 donors have raised exactly $ 18,000 (at time of publication), which is 13.8% of the $ 130,000 goal. Organizers say they will be holding additional fundraising events, including live concerts, throughout the campaign.

Check out the full GoFundMe campaign and keep reading the organizers’ statement on fundraising.

We are raising funds to help site staff over the next month as the sites are closed and EI claims are processed. One of the things that defines Montreal is the dynamic music scene (s) that call it home. The local shows that take place day after day in places like ours.

The measures taken to combat COVID-19 have had a dramatic impact on the lives of many people. On March 14, when Culture and Communications Minister Nathalie Roy called for concert halls to be closed for 30 days, 135 workers suddenly lost their livelihood. And while this is absolutely the right decision to make, it has put financial pressure on the people who work in these spaces.

Several levels of government have promised help is on its way, but probably before the rent arrives, the pantry is empty and bills have to be paid.

As the government waived the week-long wait to access EI for those who have traveled or been infected with COVID-19 – this does not mean instant EI approval , but rather that the first week without work will be counted when EI payments start, which takes an average of 28 days. That’s why we need support over the next month.

When you go to a show, we are the people who serve you, take your coat, give your best, and clean up after you get home. If your experiences with live music have been invaluable to you, we would really appreciate your support now.

Learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian artists and concert halls, and follow the Exclaim list! Canadian music and film events affected by the coronavirus.

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