The iconic Golden Dog turned Red Dog last week in a show of support for the events industry as it battles through COVID-19 restrictions.
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Dylan Shepherd of Coffs Production Services teamed up with Stephanie Luck from The Golden Dog to light up the famous statue, joining a nationwide #WeMakeEventsAus movement to bring awareness to the challenges the events industry is facing during the pandemic.
“Our worked dried up as of March 13 with little likelihood of it restarting until well into 2021,” Mr Shepherd said.
“When I saw the event, I thought it would be great for us to jump on board, we’re in the same boat and thought it would be great to light up the Golden Dog and bring a bit of awareness to the campaign.”
And that it did.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan’s office has now reached out, along with some charitable organisations looking to illuminate local icons for different campaigns.
“We were the first to close and we’ll be the last to reopen,” Mr Shepherd said.
“Yes, the Government has stepped in with some funding but the problem it’s designed as a trickle down effect – eligibility criteria is you need to be a promoter or venue to receive the funding and that’s great, we’re pleased there is some support.
“However the problem is between now and possibly June/July next year there’s a lot of people in the sector that won’t see that funding until the events start back up again.
“We have a lot of casual staff and they really do work gig to gig.”
Aside from the obvious financial issues caused by the loss of events, Mr Shepherd said the Arts sector in itself often provides a community facility, helping with mental health issues exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions.
“We understand why we’re not allowed to run events and we know why we can’t,” he said.
“What we’d like to see is the State and Federal Government to look at the industries within the arts sector that are being hurt the most and look for a way or a means to support those middle industries in the meantime.”
By Kue HALL