Erin Benjamin's Clarion Call To Live: 'The Show Must Go On'

The show must go on.

That’s the message from Erin Benjamin, Canada’s Live Music Association president and CEO.

She’s tough, smart, resolute, connected and unflinching in fighting the good fight for the many varied sectors that make up the live music industry in Canada, from performers to riggers, promoters to owners of venues large and small.

“Dear CLMA members, community and industry stakeholders,” Benjamin writes in the org’s 2020 review, “as we look back on 2020, many things come to mind. But what stands above for me is the way we have come together as a community - to fight together, to help each other, to find our way...to not just survive, but determined to thrive, despite the crushing reality live music is facing.

“I was hired by the CLMA in its first year, 2014, to help create and build this association. My main priority, and biggest challenge, was to demonstrate the ‘value’ of working together, to bring you (so many diverse stakeholders) to the table, to identify our common goals and meet them head-on them as a sector, united in the knowledge that our work - our story - matters greatly… for artists, for fans, for our economy and for our country.

”The irony is not lost on any of us I’m sure, that of all things a global pandemic has helped to further entrench our spirit and resilience, and shone a spotlight on why working together is not only impactful - but essential.

“I’m proud of our industry, so many of you have led the way. And I’m proud of the CLMA, and our accomplishments in 2020. That said, I am cognisant that many continue to fall through the cracks, and may not be able to see light at the end of this dark tunnel. I’m cognisant that even though we have seen some positive outcomes, so much work remains. I’m cognisant that the clock is ticking… and that is why your association will not rest until we are done. When that is, we don’t know. What our world will look like, we don’t know. Until then, we are here - doing what associations do: fiercely championing our members, supporting you in your every need, influencing public policy on behalf of those needs, and paving a path forward and out of the crisis on your behalf.

“It is with this in mind you have our promise that no matter what 2021 brings us, the CLMA will be working for you, every single day. If you are not a CLMA member, please consider showing your support by joining. Please add your voice and strengthen our ability to be heard and advocate for greater support and relief.

“As we seek to know the unknowable, we do so together.”

The full contents of the 2020 review spelling out what’s been accomplished and what’s to come can be found here, and the CLMA’s annual report can be viewed online here.

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