TO Live, the Canadian agency that operates various arts venues, announced multiple layoffs amid widespread cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Already, 480 unionized, part-time, and casual staff employees were laid off or placed on temporary leave, and now, an addition 115 full-time positions have been affected, according to The Canadian Press. The most recent round of 32 layoffs is due to an 85% drop in revenue.
TO Live operates venues like Meridian Hall – formerly the Sony Centre – as well as the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and the Meridian Arts Center – formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts. As live events remain ultimately halted across North America, TO Live does not qualify for government support programs amid the pandemic, meaning events can not go on as planned.
Clyde Wagner, TO Live president, told the Canadian Press that it’s a difficult time for live events in the city and “the entire sector has been ravaged by COVID-19 and TO Live is no exception.” While the organization worked to bring down expenses, Wagner said ongoing fixed costs with the buildings “cannot be avoided.”
Only 30 remaining employees at TO Live will work toward the organization’s long-term planning, working with a 20 percent reduction in pay and a reduced work week.
TO Live follows suit of various entertainment and ticketing companies across the industry. Live Nation, Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, StubHub, and Vivid Seats are among those that have furloughed employees in order to deal with the huge loss in revenue.
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