CASC sent an email to the Minister of Heritage Canada. Read below.
Dear Minister Guilbeault,
We are writing on behalf of the thousands of workers in the comedy industry to ensure that they are not left out of the federal financial support package announced in response to COVID-19. The Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC) represents over 900 members who are stand-up, sketch and improv comedians living and working in communities across the country.
Evaluating the live performance sector on its own, Canadian comedians collectively face a projected $2.5 million loss of revenues over the next three months. In examining operations by forty-six (46) comedy clubs across the country, twenty-six (26) comedy festivals and special events, as well as seven (7) national tours, this is expected to increase to $4.8 million by August, (see attached Financial Impact Analysis).
Canadian comedians are often not classified as employees and, therefore, many individuals in our industry are not eligible for EI for any loss of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, comedians have never even been able to access Canadian Heritage or Canada Council arts funding directly.
We are pleased to hear that income support for independent workers, such as comedians, will eventually be implemented through the second wave of measures including the Emergency Care Allowance and Emergency Support Allowance.
In protecting and promoting Canada’s cultural sector, it is imperative that our community not be excluded, and understand how to participate in these and other future programs. We are looking forward to further direction from Canadian Heritage.
The Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC), Board of Directors:
Mathieu Bouchard, Chief of Staff
Rebecca Caldwell, Director of Policy
Irene Cheung, Policy Advisor – Performing Arts
Fred Lagrandeur, Senior Policy Advisor
Maxence Bernier, Senior Policy Advisor
Richard Davis, Acting Director, Policy & Research, Arts Brand