How to Support Artists During COVID-19
The economic impact of COVID-19 has been equal parts swift and devastating. As venues, tours, and festivals shut down indefinitely in response to necessary public health measures aimed to flatten the curve, musicians and music industry workers who rely on live gigs for revenue are one of the hardest hit sectors during this pandemic.
Below, we’ve outlined some ways us music lovers can do our part to support our community right now and in the times ahead.
If you want to financially support artists and industry workers:
Hold On To Your Ticket
If you are able, hold onto any tickets you might have purchased for events or shows that have now been postponed, which will not only help musicians and music workers get paid, but help keep venues open.
You have probably heard this already, but streaming doesn’t pay artists well, which is why touring has become the main source of income for many artists. So, if you’ve enjoyed a single or a record on a streaming platform, this is a great time to consider paying for it! Many record stores have online stores and need your support too.You get to keep the music forever, and the artist will make a profit from your listening.
Donate to Venues and Artist Relief Funds
Do a little research and donate to one you know is working to continue to pay artists, is a vocal advocate in its community, or whose annual events got cancelled due to COVID-19. Many charitable organizations like the Unison Benevolent Fund will provide you with a tax receipt, but you should consider giving to artistic spaces even if they can’t!
Low on funds? There are many non-financial ways you can support artists and industry workers.
Write To Your Representatives & Sign Petitions
Consider writing to your MP to advocate for freelance, self-employed, and “gig economy” workers in Canada. Here’s a list of MPs and their emails.
As time goes on, artists will continue to reach out to fans through online performances. Reach back. And if they ask for a donation for the performance and you have the means, consider chipping in if you can.
Not everyone is in a position to offer financial support in difficult times. What you can do instead is share resources and information with artists, such as this list of emergency grants and relief funds for Canadian artists that we compiled. Additionally, share their music with others to boost their fan following and in turn, hopefully sales.
Canadian Musician has compiled a free ebook (PDF) called "Pushing Through the Pandemic" to help musicians navigate the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting key sources of financial relief and resources for creators, as well as exclusive career-building tips to keep you productive. Learn about livestreaming, home recording, boosting your streaming revenue, asking fans for support, and more.
Direct download: https://canadianmusician.com/pushing/