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Executive Committee sends message to Premier on behalf of Manitoba DJs

November 26, 2020 10:26 PM | Anonymous

The Executive Committee of the Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association is pleased to support the efforts by Manitoba Regional Team Leader Kent Gudmundson and CPDJA Board Member Rhoni Mohanraj as they work to bring about a change to recently announced provincial funding in that province.

Over the last couple of weeks, DJs and most wedding and event professionals in Manitoba have been desperately working to get government attention after being nearly completely shut out of a recent $5,000 Bridge Grant program.

After moving the entire province of Manitoba into Code Red restrictions (full lockdown) on November 12, 2020, financial relief was promised by the Manitoba Government for small businesses to get through this period. What was touted as a great resource for small businesses, has instead left the majority of the special events community out in the cold.

Manitoba RTL Kent Gudmundson recently wrote to the Premier of Manitoba on behalf of all DJs in Manitoba and while the Premier did not respond, the Leader of the Official Opposition, NDP Leader Wab Kinew, did. He took up the cause and wrote to the Manitoba Minister of Finance about the appeal Kent made. Board Member Rhoni Mohanraj took up the cause through Global News and spoke with Global News Morning Winnipeg.

On November 26, 2020, the Executive Committee of the CPDJA sent the following letter to the Premier of Manitoba and the leaders of the NDP of Manitoba, Manitoba Liberal Party and the Green Party of Manitoba.

Hon. Brian Pallister

Room 204 Legislative Building

450 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8

November 26, 2020

Dear Mr. Pallister,

As the national representative of the Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association, I have written this letter on behalf of our national executive committee and the mobile DJs we represent in the province of Manitoba.

We wish to lend our voice to the letter and request that our association’s Manitoba Regional Team Leader, Kent Gudmundson, wrote to you on November 20, 2020 about the new Manitoba Bridge Grant.

The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our segment of the special events industry from coast to coast. The hundreds of members we represent across Canada have all felt the impacts of this with many having to permanently shutter their operations. The situation has created an urgent need for assistance from all levels of government including both the provincial and federal levels.

We appreciate the supports that the Manitoba government put in place for small businesses earlier this year with the Manitoba Gap Protection Program. We understand that the $6,000 one-time payment it offered benefited many of the members we represent in Manitoba and we are extremely grateful for that.

We acknowledge that the ongoing crisis requires interventions such as the tightening of restrictions where case counts threaten to overwhelm healthcare systems. With those extreme restrictions though, a government we can depend on for help is essential.

In reviewing the details around the announcement of the Manitoba Bridge Grant and the businesses it was designed to benefit, we were impressed to see such rapid financial aid come about again. It then came as a great surprise when our members informed us that they were not permitted to apply, even though their business operations had to cease because of the restrictions Manitoba put in place.

The limiting factors our members have run into with the Manitoba Bridge Grant application include the idea of requiring a physical place of business and that none of the listed required categories apply to our industry. For example, we are not a restaurant or a bar, but we often work in those spaces. We also do not operate venues or community clubs, but when those places close, so do the services we supply to them. Photographers and DJs often work in sports and recreation facilities as well, but when they are not permitted to open, that work can not go forward.

The majority of businesses in the wedding and special events sector operate without traditional retail spaces, and yet these small businesses that are operated from family homes across Manitoba create millions of dollars in economic output.

We ask that your provincial government once again meet the expectations of the Manitoba special events industry and expand the Manitoba Bridge Grant program to include those businesses, such as the ones we represent. Maintain the parts of the application that ensure only legitimate businesses succeed in applying, but please modify the sections that exclude the majority of the special events sector.

We appreciate the time you have taken to hear our concerns and look forward to a response or news of an expansion of the program.

Sincerely yours,

Derek Schwartzentruber
National President

Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association Inc.


            Wab Kinew, Leader, Official Opposition, NDP Party of Manitoba

            Dougald Lamont, Leader, Manitoba Liberal Party

            Beddome, Leader, Green Party of Manitoba

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