TORONTO — The Toronto agency that operates three prestigious arts venues says additional layoffs mean 115 full-time positions have now been affected by the pandemic.
TO Live says this is in addition to the 480 unionized, part-time and casual staff who were already laid off or placed on temporary leave.
The non-profit charitable arts group says the most recent round of 32 layoffs follow an 85 per cent drop in revenue.
TO Live operates Meridian Hall, formerly the Sony Centre; St Lawrence Centre for the Arts; and the Meridian Arts Centre, formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts.
TO Live president Clyde Wagner says it's a difficult time for live events in the city.
He says they lost most of their income when the state of emergency was declared and shows were suspended due to COVID-19 precautions.
"The entire sector has been ravaged by COVID-19 and TO Live is no exception," Wagner said Wednesday in a release.
As an agency of the City of Toronto, TO Live does not qualify for federal government support programs during COVID-19.
Wagner said they worked hard to bring down expenses but ongoing fixed costs with the buildings "cannot be avoided."
TO Live said the remaining 30 staff will work towards long-term planning. They will be on a reduced work week of four days, with a 20 per cent reduction in pay.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2020.
The Canadian Press