New relief fund for P.E.I. musicians affected by COVID-19

Music P.E.I. has announced two new initiatives to help Island musicians and music industry workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: a series of twice-weekly free online concerts by Island musicians, with proceeds going to anewly established Music P.E.I. Crisis Relief Fund.

The Tiny Island Concert Series is designed to offset the financial losses incurred by people whose livelihoods depend directly on gigs, concerts and other public events.

Beginning Sunday, Music P.E.I. will host two Island artists, one established and one emerging, in a twice-weekly online concert. The one-hour shows will take place on Sundays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.

It will be streamed live from each artist's respective home, said Rob Oakie, executive director of Music P.E.I.

"It's going to be really interesting to see what kind of concepts everybody comes up with, you know, what room are they going to sit in, and just how they're going to do it," he said.

This Sunday's artists are Richard Wood and Shane Pendergast, whose names were drawn Thursday by Music P.E.I.

Random draw

Oakie said several artists have already expressed an interest in participating. He said the artists will be chosen by a random draw each week. The schedule will be posted on Music P.E.I.'s Facebook page.

Music P.E.I.

Artists will be paid for their performance by Music P.E.I. and its funders, including the provincial government.

Every Tiny Island Concert will be free for the online public, though donations will be accepted toward the newly-established Music P.E.I. Crisis Relief Fund.

"It's a pretty loose concept at the moment," Oakie said. "We have no idea what kind of money we can raise through donations. We certainly hope that it's substantial."

More from CBC P.E.I.