What do you think are some of the ways the local/Ontario government could better assist production companies in Toronto during this difficult time?
SD: Probably close to 98% of the organizations that work in the arts sector are non-for-profit or charitable organizations. They receive help from the local and provincial governments. However, there are still a number of companies, including ours, that are not under the umbrella of the organizations that receive funding from the government. So we never relied on the government’s support, never really asked for anything. But right now I think we are all in the same vulnerable position as everyone else.
We’ve always had to survive being a commercial enterprise without relying on grants or government assistance. However, we are pivoting away from that right now, trying our best to remind the government that we exist, we provide employment, we pay taxes and so forth. There should be some government support at least for the expenses that we could not have accounted for, like the personal protective equipment we have to provide at our venues that was never in the budget. Whether it’s from the provincial or local or federal government, companies like ours should be getting assistance right now.