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COVID-19 leaves Canada's events industry in crisis

Last Updated Mar 20, 2020 at 4:24 pm PDT

(iStock, Photo)

Members are joining forces to ask Ottawa for help by launching a petition and an impact study

One ticketing company estimates the weekly losses at anywhere from $10 million to $20 million

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From cancelled shows to postponed concert tours, Canada’s events sector has been left reeling by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“For every weekend that we’re being hurt, we’re talking 10 to 20 million bucks for the entire industry,” estimates Lucas McCarthy, head of Calgary-based ticketing company Showpass. “Everyone in the event industry is relatively optimistic we’ll eventually come back, it’s just a matter of time.”

But until then, he is part of a push to ask the federal government for help. “We’ve seen tax credit systems, we’ve seen research grants and things like that for technology companies,” McCarthy explains. “We’d just like to see it a little bit more quickly and more accessible, I think, to some of the smaller folks.”

First, they’re calling for all the players, large and small, to fill out an impact survey which will then be sent on to the federal government. “We’re trying to get all the people that were actually affected kind of on the same page. There’s a massive generalization of what ticketing or what event is, and we’re trying to get the full picture,” he says. “I think this industry, as well as travel, has been hit really the most.”

Members of the public are also invited to sign on to a change.org petition.