Slaight Music has donated $100,000 to Canada Performs, a short-term relief fund that pays Canadian performers artist fees for their online performances.
The donation comes as the coronavirus pandemic has self-isolating Canadians staying away from closed concert halls and clubs, leaving musicians with few viable performing options.
The National Arts Centre launched Canada Performs in partnership with Facebook Canada to offer financial relief to artists impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada as the COVID-19 virus spreads.
The NAC itself in Ottawa is shut down until April 5 for social distancing to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus.
Selected artists in music, theatre, dance, comedy, poetry, reading and more can receive $1,000 and have their online performance streams on the NAC’s Facebook page.
The Slaight Music donation gets the Canada Performs platform to $200,000 in funds for performing artists after an initial $100,000 contribution from Facebook Canada received on March 19, when the platform was launched with a performance by the Jim Cuddy Band.
Canada Performs received more than 1,400 applications in its first 24 hours when the fund was announced. The Slaight Music donation will also allow the NEC to possibly extend the period of the program beyond an initial target of March 31.
"This is surely an unprecedented time for our artists, our county and the world. Music and all the performing arts have the power to comfort, uplift and inspire audiences, something never more needed than during these troubled times," said Christopher Deacon, president and CEO of the National Arts Centre, in a statement. "The NAC is profoundly grateful to Slaight Music for the $100,000 donation towards the Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists initiative. We’re heartened to see the support we’re getting from Canadians, artists in all disciplines, and now from donors."
The NAC is sorting through applications for artists looking to post a 45 to 60 minute online performances discoverable by searching #CanadaPerforms.
Among the first to perform on the Canada Performs platform are music artist Alfa Rococo and Safia Nolin and dance artist Julianne Chapple.
To apply, performing artists or an ensemble of less than 10 people simply can write the National Arts Centre at CanadaPerforms@nac-cna.ca, provide their name and a description of their performance,.
The NAC is choosing artists in consultation with industry leaders.
"The Slaight Family have been supporting Canadian artists for over 50 years starting with Allan Slaight and continues today with Gary Slaight. Slaight Music’s mandate has always been to help emerging artists bring their music to music lovers. We are proud to be partnering with Facebook and the NAC on this creative relief initiative to help musicians share their talents during these challenging times," said Derrick Ross, president of Slaight Music, in his own statement.
Other artists to showcase on Canada Performs include Céleste Lévis, Erin Costello, Irish Mythen, Megan McDowell, Vinny François and William Prince.
More performances will be announced.
Disclosure: The Slaight Family Foundation is also a supporter of Samaritanmag.30 Winter Outfit Ideas to Kill It in 2020 - Fashion Inspiration and Discovery