I Lost My Gig

Artists and musicians across Canada are sharing their stories about job loss

Artists, musicians and other vulnerable freelance and gig economy workers are connecting and sharing their stories online in response to growing income uncertainty in Canada.

"In 3 days I had all gigs from yesterday to the end of April.. all cancel
$2965 worth. That is my entire income," writes I Lost My Gig Canada group member Chantelle Boismier. 

On March 15, I Lost My Gig Canada launched as a Facebook group and has already amassed over 3,000 members in less than 48 hours.  

The Facebook page is filled with stories of cancelled jobs, questions, and lots of love and support. 

"We were feeling downtrodden by growing fears of loss of work due to physical and social distancing policies across Canada in response to COVID-19 when we learned about ILostMyGig.com (Austin, Texas) and ILostMyGig.net.au (Australia)," says founder Jessa Agilo in a statement on incubator ArtsPond website. 

They were inspired and started I Lost My Gig Canada. 

The website, which will officially launch March 20, is also in partnership with Hill Strategies, an arts and culture research organization. 

On Monday, Canadian Health Officials advised against gatherings of more than 50 people in response to the recent spike in coronavirus cases.  

While necessary to help contain the spread of the disease it's caused a lot of financial anxiety among those who rely on public events to make a living. 

I Lost My Gig Canada hopes to share impact stories and resources for those effected by the latest protection efforts. 

The statement on ArtsPond  also says the organization will "help track the financial impacts of lost gigs" through surveys and more.

Additionally, they will advocate for government intervention and offer resources and support. 

On March 13, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a "significant fiscal package" to help Canadians in need. 

Since then, the government made it easier to get employment insurance benefits and Trudeau says there are other measures the government is looking at to help Canadians support themselves and each other.

Lead photo by

Matt Forsythe

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