The Unison Benevolent Fund, the charity for Canada’s music industry, is launching a new initiative today (May 13), #BandTogetherInUnison, to raise $1 million in donations to help musicians, crew members and others in the industry.
“Since the start of the pandemic 12 months ago, Unison has dispersed $2.3 million+ in funds through financial assistance alone, reaching over 2,200+ vulnerable music and entertainment people and their families in need — a 3,021% increase in emergency financial assistance applications in 2020 alone, and the demand for Unison’s counseling services continue to rise,” says Amanda Power, executive director for the Unison Fund. “In 2020, Unison saw a 208% increase in crisis intervention cases and a 142% increase in general counseling cases. This is critical and we need to collectively come together to ensure that Unison can keep the doors open and continue to help where they are needed most.”
Unison is partnering with some heavy hitters in the Canadian music world to help reach this goal, including a generous donation from Amazon Music, Nickleback, The Tragically Hip, Eleanor McCain and others to get the ball rolling.
“#BandTogetherInUnison will serve to amplify The Unison Fund’s efforts and focus on helping those most in need, both as an awareness campaign and as a call to action for further donations to assist with the demand and urgency for support of the Canadian music industry during this difficult time,” the organization says.
The Ontario government has been helpful but Unsion is calling on Canadians of all stripes to help support the musicians and artists they love, and the people who keep the shows running when they’re able, by making a donation.
“It’s inspiring to see our music community come together to support and lift up our peers during this difficult time,” Power says. “While the donations raised will significantly help, much more is needed. We encourage those who have the means to support this charitable effort so that all music people affected by this crisis can receive the financial assistance they need.”
The Unison Fund restates the dire truth that we’re all becoming more familiar with by the day: the lack of concerts and shows is awful for fans, but it’s putting the livelihoods of the people who make shows happen in real jeopardy. The Canadian music industry alone saw a 92% loss of average revenue since last March, resulting in an astonishing 64% of the live music industry in danger of closing for good. One in four workers in the entertainment, art and recreation industries lost their job for good last year due to the pandemic and 85% of musicians say that, without live shows, they might have to reconsider their work.
More information on the Unison Fund and how you can help can be found here.