CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL DISC JOCKEY ASSOCIATION
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With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Canada hard, provinces are announcing new lockdowns at both the provincial and regional levels. In Manitoba, the provincial government has recently locked down the entire province and made funding available to those businesses directly impacted. Unfortunately, most in our industry do not qualify.
Manitoba Regional Team Leader Kent Gudmundson has recently sent Manitoba's Premier the following letter. It was also CCed to the leader of the provincial NDP and Manitoba's Liberal Party. We will update with responses accordingly.
Hon. Brian Pallister
Room 204 Legislative Building
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
November 20, 2020
Dear Mr. Pallister,
I am writing this email on behalf of mobile DJ’s and wedding professionals who work hard helping couples create amazing weddings here in Manitoba.
First: This is an unprecedented time. COVID has changed how everyone lives their lives, and your government has the difficult job of balancing the economy and the health of everyone in Manitoba. This is a big burden to bear, especially when everyone has their own opinions and political views.
While we all may not agree with everything you and your government is doing, and we all may have different viewpoints, we do appreciate the dedicated hard work you, Dr. Roussin, Ms. Siragusa and the rest of your team give to Manitobans every day.
For that, we say Thank You.
The current COVID crisis has been difficult on the people and businesses of Manitoba. Your Government has been doing its best to provide support to Manitobans.
However, it seems that some businesses have fallen between the cracks. Mobile DJs and other wedding professionals are struggling to keep their businesses afloat, and some have already begun to close permanently. I am confident that this is because we are a smaller group compared to other businesses and are easily overlooked when working on the big picture.
There was some relief with the generous GAP program that was offered, and that has allowed some to continue operations in difficult times.
The latest round of restrictions has made things even more challenging than ever for Manitoba Wedding Professionals.
Venues that we normally work in are closed. Couples are forced to postpone or cancel their weddings due to restrictions. People are holding off booking venues, DJ’s, photographers, wedding planners and other wedding professionals due to the uncertainty of being able to have a wedding in 2021. Many are unsure if 2022 will be ready for weddings.
This has taken a toll on the wedding industry and the people who work in it. Not only are we worried about the lack of new bookings coming our way due to the restrictions, but we are also working hard putting current clients minds at ease, moving dates around and still planning weddings that may not even happen.
To top this off, our usually busy holiday season is a no go this year due to the restrictions in place and clients not being able or willing to hold events.
As you are aware, we are still incurring our normal expenses. Many of these hard working people have dipped into their savings and are beginning to sell off assets, both business and personal to cover these expenses.
We were excited to hear the announcement of the BRIDGE grant and anticipated the day it came into effect. But it seems we do not qualify because many of us do not have “physical locations” as we will often meet clients in their homes, in coffee shops and the like. Many wedding professionals work from a home office.
Also, there is no place in the application when applying to put our industry. The “personal service” section only has salons and other personal aesthetics, and there is no other “industry” listed that would seem to encompass us.
Manitoba Wedding Professionals are proud and work hard creating magical weddings for couples throughout Manitoba. I would ask that you consider these people when you discuss with your team how to help the businesses of Manitoba and to include them with the retailers, salons and other businesses your Government is diligently working hard to protect and help through this crisis.
If at all possible, it would be wonderful to see them included in the BRIDGE program.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Regional Team Leader - Manitoba
Canadian Professional DJ Association
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