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

(Black Press Media file photo)
SUV collides with Kelowna transit bus

Five people were taken to hospital following the collision

(Instagram/Matty Rebman)
Hit and run kills dog, severely injures West Kelowna man

The car was abandoned but police could not locate its driver

Administration offices for the Central Okanagan School District. (File photo)
Central Okanagan School District clarifies COVID-19 notification process

The district announced its first positive case of the virus at Kelowna Secondary School on Sunday

City of Kelowna snow removal crews are ready to jump into action. (File)
Snow removal on track despite early snowfall: City of Kelowna

Despite record-breaking snowfall in October, the city said there’s no concern it will go over its snow removal budget

The City of Kelowna’s temporary outdoor shelter on Recreation Avenue, pictured in winter 2019. (Black Press Media file)
Kelowna outreach group hopes winter shelter comes soon

With the early onset of winter conditions this year, those without homes need shelter sooner

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Friends and family of Sonya Riome, 35, are confirming she died in the fire. (Submitted)
Woman dies in weekend Revelstoke house fire

The fire gutted the property

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Apex Mountain Resort received 35 centimetres of fresh snow over the weekend, prompting some to head out for some early season turns. (Apex Mountain Resort / Facebook)
Stay off the mountain: Apex warns of early season dangers

Recreational use of the mountain before opening day comes with serious risks

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Armstrong’s Christyna Whieldon is $1M richer after scoring a winning Lotto 6/49 ticket from the general store. (BCLC contributed)
Armstrong mom $1M richer after candy run

Christyna Whieldon bought a winning ticket from Armstrong’s general store

The Penticton Indian Band is opposing any hunting of local big horn sheep which are an at-risk population. (submitted photo)
Penticton Indian Band oppose big horn sheep hunts

Local big horn sheep are an at-risk population

Most Read