In a show of solidarity and support, Prince George’s iconic mascot Mr. PG will be illuminated red today in observation of the nation-wide Day of Visibility for the Entertainment and Events Industry.
The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness by lighting up landmarks across Canada in red for an industry that is still dark. In March of 2020 the world was flipped upside down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Live event workers across Canada and around the globe were among the first to lose jobs, and all current direction is pointing towards event workers being among the last to return to work. Production personnel, artists, athletes, caterers, display companies, venue staff, and many others are struggling to survive the uncertainty of their industry’s future.
The people who make up the live events and entertainment industry are coming together across Canada to raise awareness and to remind Canadians that despite their willingness and readiness to work, in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 large events, concerts, conventions, and many sporting events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
Similar campaigns to the one happening in Canada have been already been taking place around the world with countries like the United Kingdom (#LightItInRed), Spain, the United States (#WeMakeEvents), Netherlands and Germany (#NightOfLight2020), and others already participating.
The ask in Canada is similar to the global action that has already taken place – whether it be big or small, at home or a landmark – Canadians are asked to light the night red after sundown on Tuesday, September 22 to raise awareness for the industry. These global campaigns have been effective in raising the profile of an industry with no direct return insight, and that has seen between 80-95 per cent of its business lost since March.
This is not a protest. This initiative is an effort to remind Canadians and Canadian leaders that event workers have been told to standby for the health and safety of our country and world, however that event workers are ready, and keen to return to work as soon as it is deemed safe.
There are a number of businesses in Prince George and the northern B.C. region that depend on the event industry. Audio-visual production companies, tent and display companies, caterers, restaurants, hotels, ticketing agencies, event decorators, local crew labourers, theatre companies, athletes and athletic supporters, pyrotechnic companies, event managers, venue staff, security firms, local artists, broadcast companies, and many others are directly affected. These impacts cause significant blows to our local economy as these businesses employee local people who spend money locally. The impacts spread further beyond those who work in the industry, they affect those who frequently patronize live events and entertainment.