Art shows |  Labor shortage: "We have decided what we can do"

The art community is generally experiencing a labor shortage as shows are canceled

Released at 6:00 p.m.

Elise Fiola

Elise Fiola

The resumption of festivals and tours, coupled with a general labor shortage, weighs on the performing arts community. Conclusion: Faced with a shortage of technicians threatening shows across the province, Cultural Troys-Rivers opted to cancel five shows last week, including one show by Mary-May and one show. The dark side of the moon By Robert LeBeau.

“Today, after an epidemic, it is unthinkable to believe that a performance theater should be postponed or closed due to a shortage of staff,” says Martin Leklerk of Products of the same name, who experienced a similar situation a month ago. The producer has postponed some of his shows due to the Govt-19 infection in many people in Saint-Hyacinth.

Photo CATHERINE LEFEBVRE, Archives Special collaboration

A sound technician during the rehearsal Lyceum Last January, the DMK

David Laferier, president of the Professional Association of RIDEAU Event Hosts, said: “For many places, we are one step away from considering cancellations or postponements.

“We’re starting again as if it’s not tomorrow,” he said. Says Laferier. According to a representative of RIDEAU, the general and artistic director of the Gilles-Vigneault Theater in Saint-Jérôme, such a frantic comeback has an impact on the bands’ mental load.

We have an aggression rate of almost 100% for shows. This is unheard of. It’s stressful, but we have no choice, because we can not ignore the two – year delays and relocations.

David Laferrière, President of the RIDEAU Professional Association of Event Presenters

Carolyn Johnson, co – director general of regional artists at the Recruitment des Festivals, explains that the funnel effect is that society is tearing workers apart. “And it goes beyond stage technicians,” he points out.

According to an online survey conducted last March with Refrain’s membership ceremonies, nearly 24% of respondents believe that they predict human resource problems after an outbreak and that 15% have major problems maintaining jobs. However, only 1.7% of festivals fear the lack of stage technicians.

Six months ago for skilled workers

For his part, Martin Lecklerk notes the lack of specialized workers. Previously, the technical teams would book the artisans a couple of months in advance to make sure they respond to the call. He has been doing it for six to eight months now.

Schedule and editing time also played a part in Culture Trois-Rivières’ decision to cancel five events scheduled for June. “We had to consider the number of working hours for each particular day and the number of resources available [avant d’annuler des spectacles] Says Melanie Prespois, director of art shows at Cultural Trois-Rivieres.

Such a system The dark side of the moon Very demanding. It takes a lot of people. We come close to Saint-Jean-Baptiste, where there are a lot of events in the region.

Mélanie Brisebois, director of art shows at Culture Trois-Rivières

According to MMe As Brisebois has done in the last two years, it is not fair to ask artists to restrict themselves to less elaborate forms that require certain resources. “It’s okay in a particular environment like an epidemic, but after that, we want to get back to normal because the process of creating does not feel like cutting off your wings.”

“If we go for products that require less staff, yes, there is a risk that the current situation will worsen,” Mr. Leklerk said.

Photo by Martin Chamberlain, Magazine Archives

Representation of the play The dark side of the moon Canceled in Trois-Rivires.

A big problem ”

Mr. According to LaFerrier, despite the shortage of manpower before 2020, the cessation of epidemics and cultural events has brutally weakened troops. “This is important. We have seen many casualties over the last two years. This has weakened many structures in theaters and tour groups.”

Artisans who found themselves unemployed changed themselves during epidemics, but working conditions added to the reasons for this expulsion.

We need to make the environment more attractive, attract new generations and review the budget. People war machines at cultural events. So we will always find a solution, but it is not easy, it is worse than before.

Carolyn Johnson, co-director of Refrain

MMe Johnson also raises the fatigue of workers, who are often forced to perform tasks that do not fit their duties.

According to him, to address this shortcoming, first of all “cultural media should be placed at the same level as other sectors”.


Technicians removed rainwater from the main stage in Oshika in 2017.

Looking for solutions

“It will not be resolved overnight,” said Melanie Brispois. Their goal is to submit an action plan.

Many solutions are on the table. The co-director general of Refrain has come up with the idea of ​​setting up a directory where broadcasters can be advised to complete their team when needed. Nevertheless, according to a survey released by the company again, 52% of participating festivals have financial problems that are most feared.

To overcome this crisis, the theater arts community will need the help of cities, municipalities and RCMs, says David Laferrier, who has been waiting impatiently to see how the recovery plan announced by the government will work.

“The cultural community always does wonders for two 25 cents, but here, I think we can do what he believes. It’s not just about hosting an event anymore, it’s about maintaining the physical and mental health of our teams.”

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