Support on the way for Hamilton artists struggling amid COVID-19 crisis

Venues large and small have shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out revenue sources for Hamilton artists. Lisa Polewski / 900CHML

A relief fund and online performance series are being launched to support struggling Hamilton, Ont., artists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

David Hudson, community engagement officer for the Hamilton Arts Council, says the relief fund will provide $100 to $1,000 per month to offset the loss of revenue from cancelled performances, community events, educational and professional presentations.

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Hudson says the pandemic is a double-hit for many artists who rely on secondary income from the food and hospitality industry, through “serving work or whatever else that looks like.”

Hudson says the online video performance series, which will be launched by Hamilton singer-songwriter Terra Lightfoot on Tuesday, will be conducted “telethon-style” to support their financial relief efforts.

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He says “provided the donations keep coming in and the support continues to build, then that fund will be there for them.”

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The performance series will include one performance each afternoon, Tuesdays-through-Fridays, and aims to showcase all artistic genres.

Practicing artists in need of support can access relief funding by filling out an online application form, found here.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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