Help bring back live music, Bradford and BIAs urge premier

Beaches East York councillor Brad Bradford has joined Toronto’s BIAs in a letter to Premier Doug Ford lamenting recent restrictions on live-streaming performances that they say have hit music venues hard.

“We are asking you to please work with us on a plan to  bring back the joys of live music,” urged the letter signed by Bradford and John Kiru, executive director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas. “A lot of work will be needed to keep venues, artists, staffs and music-lovers safe. The time to start is now.”

The letter, dated April 27, has been posted on social media, where TABIA members and others have responded with support.

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“There is no reason why film productions are allowed to still operate under current restrictions, while music venues are unable to livestream their shows while following the same safety measures as a film set,” said an Instagram post from the Broadview Danforth BIA, posting an image of the Danforth Music Hall overlaid with the letter.

“How is it that a film crew can rent out a music venue to film, while the same venues cannot stream their shows from the same location?”

The Bradford-Kiru letter said live music has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic because brings people together for shared experiences, which have been prohibited by public health measures during the lockdowns.

“These measures feel inconsistent when television and film industries can remain operational,” Bradford and Kiru wrote.

‘Cornerstones of Canadian culture’

Music venues have made “significant investments to meet public health guidelines so they could continue live streaming performances to support artists, help fans stay connected and find relief from the languishing so many of us are feeling during the pandemic,” the letter says.

In a Twitter message, Bradford called live music and the venues offering live music “cornerstones of Canadian culture.”