The live music industry in the province has taken a huge hit due to COVID-19 restrictions, as a result SaskMusic started the Sask Venues Project.
The project makes and sells limited-edition T-shirts, with all proceeds going directly to live music venues around the province.
SaskMusic Communications and Operations Manager Lorena Kelly says the money raised will go towards supporting the people who are sometimes forgotten.
“Those proceeds are going to go into a fund we’re hoping to set up specifically to support the live crew members that typically get forgotten because they’re not the guys on the stage, they’re the recording everything that’s going on, on the stage,” said Kelly.
Due to the easing of restrictions, some venues have been able to host socially distanced shows, with far less people than they are used to.
Kelly says the public response has been good, but the low numbers just aren’t enough for venues to rely on.
“So far, everybody is really excited to have live music back in some form, so it’s been pretty for things like selling out, they’re selling out at much smaller capacities,” said Kelly. “But that’s still really low numbers of people going out and those venues are relying on really small numbers of people to keep the doors open and the lights on.”
Kelly adds the live music industry is extremely important for the province, both financially and spiritually.
“I don’t think I can understate it; we think it’s absolutely essential to quality of life here,” said Kelly. “And to the economic development of the province, we have a huge impact, as the arts, on the bottom dollar.”
Phase 2 of the Sask Venues Project features 11 different T-shirts supporting different venues around the province such as O’Hanlons and The Fat Badger in Regina.
To purchase a T-shirt, click here.