MusicNL has received the following from the Honourable Bernard Davis in response to the letter written by MusicNL dated March 25th regarding COVID-19.
March 26, 2020
Amy House, Chair
Dear Amy House:
Thank you for your letter expressing your deep concern at this time for Newfoundland and Labrador musicians. As Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, I appreciate the impact the global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the cultural industries, and those artists who are directly dependent on audience attendance for their creative, production and business activities.
We are implementing short term measures to support the cultural sector during this crisis, including expedited year-end payments. As soon as possible, we will be providing payment of 2020/21 Cultural Economic Development Program (CEDP) operational grants to support arts and heritage organizations as well as funding for Arts NL, Heritage NL and the NLFDC. Although normal operating procedures are impacted, TCII will work with our cultural partners to continue to receive CEDP project proposals with an objective of notifying of decisions as soon as possible. You should continue to communicate with Melanie Martin, Manager of Culture regarding Music NL grant funding for 2020/21.
Please be assured that TCII is in regular communication with federal and provincial partners to advocate and discuss supports for the culture sector. Over the past week the Federal Government has announced a $107-billion emergency response package including the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) which offers income support for up to 16 weeks to those who lose pay because of the pandemic. It’s available to wage earners, contract workers and self-employed people including the creative and cultural sectors who don’t qualify for EI. We are monitoring the evolution of the situation daily and we are poised to work together on future potential responses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
I thank you and the board of MusicNL for your continued efforts on behalf of the province’s musicians.
Bernard Davis, MHA
District of Virginia Waters – Pleasantville