Will the music industry survive the coronavirus?

Nevik working in the New West Entertainment studio

The music industry is being dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic, from live events being cancelled to recording studios having to close their doors. Local music producers and artists in Calgary have had to find loopholes around self isolation in order to keep their businesses running.

“…I was gonna DJ for it again this time, then it got cancelled.”

Luke Lucasvodopija, otherwise know as Nevik, is a producer, DJ, and Rapper working out of the New West Entertainment studio in Calgary. Although he is keeping a positive mindset, Nevik has faced a lot of hardships because of the pandemic. He was booked to DJ many concerts and live events this year saying “Recess was a show that was run by YYC Records and a bunch of local artists were showcasing their talent on it and I DJ’d for it last time, I was gonna DJ for it again this time, then it got cancelled.” Nevik had to leave the New West Entertainment studio and find a way to create music from home. Producers and DJ’s don’t just get their income from concerts and working with clients, they also gain a profit from selling their own merchandise. Nevik has found an easy way to continue selling his merchandise in Calgary despite the difficulties around social distancing “If somebody wants to reserve some merch for me to drop off whenever they’re able to or if somebody wants me to just deliver to their door step and just like walk to the end of their street and be like e-transfer.”

“There’s more at stake than just money at this point.”

Although for others, money isn’t the most important thing to be focused on right now. Rapper, Producer, and Owner of the New West Entertainment studios Adam Massiah says “keeping the business running, honestly we’re able to do what we were doing before but at the same point and time money isn’t everything. There’s more at stake than just money at this point.” Massiah’s mother is in the high risk category for contracting the virus as she recently had an operation on her lungs and the majority of Massiah’s time is spent taking care of her. Although he has a lot on his plate, Massiah has taken advantage of self isolation saying he’s been able to “…make some solid music because I actually have time to sit down and settle with my thoughts.”

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of every industry, but the Calgary music community seem to be a very optimistic group as they continue to create new music at home and work around the difficulties of self isolation.

By Aela Herbert

High school milestones cancelled due to covid-19

“It was something that like you look forward to like, I don’t know, probably since junior high school.”

As the covid-19 pandemic prevents school classes, and move online, exams aren’t the only events being cancelled. High school seniors around the country are missing out on all the milestones that come with graduating high school. The class of 2020 graduates will not get to walk the stage, attend their graduation banquet in fancy gowns and tuxes, or even say goodbye to the people they spent 3 years with.

“I’m hoping that we’ll do something for those grade twelves once the isolation orders are lifted, but at this point in time, that’s a pretty significant milestone that these students aren’t getting to mark.”

Teens spend everyday for 3 or more years with the same class mates and teachers, working everyday with the purpose of graduating high school and going out into the real world. This hard work is supposed to be recognized and celebrated with the traditional cap and gown ceremony, and formal banquet.

Parents spend hundreds of dollars on dresses and suits. Many girls pick out their dresses months in advance, most grade 12’s have already purchased their attire and now have no dance to attend.

Luna Sinclair, a grade 12 student in Calgary said that the she and all of her friends had been waiting for graduation for years and stated how disappointed all of her class is, “It was something that like you look forward to like, I don’t know, probably since junior high school”.

“I won’t be able to see them except like during the summer of next year. So it’s off that way.” Luna said when talking about seeing her friends next year.

Grade 12 teachers understand the cancellation of events, but many believe that diploma exams are the least important milestone for graduating students.

Nicole Cameron, a high school humanities teacher in Calgary explained that in an emergency situation like the coronavirus pandemic, diploma exams hold no importance, but missing milestones like graduation will impact students for the rest of their lives. She hopes that after isolation orders are lifted, the school will be able to hold some sort of celebration of the 2020 class, but worries with so many kids leaving to post secondary, it won’t be possible.

The class of 2020 graduates will undoubtedly be prepared for a changing world of technology, after facing the complications of online learning, like no one else. But with the character and resilience these teens are learning, they are also missing out on such a universal experience. This class will not relate to so many other Canadians on what it feels like to walk the stage and shake hands with the principle, after years of homework and cramming for exams.

Sydney Chisholm

Restaurant workers are not surprised by layoffs

Many businesses across the country have been forced to layoff employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I kind of saw it coming…”

The Federal Government has requested the closure of non-essential businesses and an industry that has been impacted is restaurants and bars. Drake Stefan is a bartender at National on 10th and could sense there was a potential for him to be out of a job. “I kind of saw it coming because the weekend leading up to the week that we did end up being laid off was extremely slow, so I thought it was only a matter of time before that had happened.”

“It definitely has affected me quite a bit…”

Drake’s girlfriend Tori Darr has also been impacted by these layoffs as she is a fulltime server at Leopold’s Tavern. Tori has been saving up to move to Australia in the new year, but with the ongoing pandemic, her plans may have to be put on hold. “It definitely has affected me quite a bit because I am a server, so I do rely on tips for my most income. I was saving up for Australia, but obviously that might have to be pushed back…”.

Like many employees who have found themselves without a job, both Drake and Tori are hopeful to return to work sooner, rather than later.

– Garret Stefan

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced places of worship to adapt.

Harvest Hills Alliance Church via phone 19/04/20

The ongoing pandemic that has been set from the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many businesses essential and non-essential into a difficult situation. But how has it affected places of worship or religious gatherings?

“It’s been challenging not impossible, but certainly different.”

I took a stroll up to Harvest Hills Alliance where I met with Rev. Myron Siemens. He said “It’s been challenging not impossible, but certainly different.” Rev. Siemens says the impact of COVID-19 has been immense since their church is not only a place of gathering for worship, but a shelter for those in need. The church helps the less fortunate by providing groceries or assisting some financially and even providing counselling for those with mental health struggles.

Rev. Myron Siemens captured during via live-stream 19/04/20

“Pull together what I believe is an effective live-stream.”

The church is not struggling as bad as they could have, since prior to the pandemic they opted to support donations electronically. This was a huge step forward as there are times they feel as though they are a tad bit behind in that area. Example of this is the fact that they had to turn the levers to ‘defcon 5’. Harvest had no way to live-stream or have the correct equipment to do so. “Less than 24 hours actually, we were able to pull it together using some fairly simple hardware, we were nevertheless able to pull together what I believe is an effective live-stream.” says Rev. Siemens.

Which is what the church believes to be a miracle being able to switch to this format overnight. Since the streaming has been going well they seek to keep it going into the future.

As Harvest continues to do what they can to social distance and battle this pandemic it’s still an ongoing struggle. Many of the amenities they offer cannot be active due to the gatherings sanction and many other laws in place too prevent spread of the virus. The church does aim to do whatever they can to assist the congregation and the surrounding communities moving forward, but it will be different not impossible.

~Daniel Siemens

SAIT NewsFile

How technology is helping people cope during isolation

If we had been living in a pandemic fifty years ago, it would have been a lot harder to stay in contact with friends and family. The use of technology has come such a long way since then, and its safe to say we’re all very thankful. The many different video calling apps that have come out, have become a huge part of peoples lives now. Since everyone is self-isolating trying to flatten the curve of COVID-19, the use of these apps have skyrocketed. In a recent survey done by the Alberta Government it concluded that 74% of Albertans feel their mental health has been impacted by the pandemic. Many people are feeling lonely in self-isolation, but the use of new apps to stay in contact with friends is helping with those feelings.

“I couldn’t imagine not having social media to stay connected in times like these.”

In a recent interview with Carisa McGale, a student at the University of Lethbridge. She indicates that while in quarantine her mental health has been impacted by staying indoors, but credits that technology has helped. McGale says “Social Media has been extremely helpful in communicating with my friends and loved ones. I couldn’t imagine not having social media to stay connected in times like these.” Not only have people been using social media, but they’ve also turned to playing video games to help escape reality. Before going into quarantine McGale purchased a Nintendo switch to help pass the time, and has said playing games such as Animal Crossing with her friends has eased some of her anxiety’s.

Its important to stay in contact with friends and family during this time, be sure to reach out and check up on your loved ones. Or if youre worried about reaching out to friends for support, you can always call the Alberta Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.

Sarah Jones

Melfort hospital prepares for COVID-19 pandemic

The Melfort Union Hospital is preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic in a different way than other northeast Saskatchewan hospitals. Melfort’s hospital was named one of the two COVID-19 hospitals in northeast Saskatchewan along with Nipawin’s hospital. The staff has had to learn new ways to deal with COVID patients. Weekly simulations, and team meetings have been getting the staff ready for the possible influx of cases.

“….Basically establishing a second hospital within our hospital….”

Nadine Degerness, the Facility administrator at the Melfort hospital says “we’ve been asked to expand our capacity from 31 beds to 60 beds, so basically establishing a second hospital within our hospital, has been a bit of a work load issue”. Not only has COVID-19 took a physical toll on many of the hospitals staff, but it has taken a mental toll as well.

“We talk everyday with the staff, to help manage also, their emotional health….”

Increasingly long days, and large amounts of new information coming in everyday has caused a bit of anxiety amongst the workers. Dinah Olsen, the nurse manager at the Melfort hospital says “We talk every day with the staff, to help manage also, their emotional health, a lot of them have worries about taking COVID home to their loved ones, so we talk about how they will manage their stress.”

There has yet to be any cases of COVID-19 in Melfort, but the hospital is taking every precaution to prepare for any possible outbreaks in the northeast.

Zach Degerness

A look at Covid-19’s most vulnerable targets

The coronavirus is affecting everyone, but some people are at far more risk than others.

I feel like probably I could fight it, he can’t.

Kim Langager has rheumatoid arthritis, she takes a drug that comes with a side effect of a weakened immune system. If she stops taking the drug, there’s a good chance it may never work for her again. She’s not the only one in her family that runs a big risk with Covid-19 though, as her son is taking the exact same drug, her daughter in law is currently pregnant, and she has a father who is weak from a plethora of health issues.

Kim seems far less worried about herself in these times and worries most about her father, saying,” I just had to take my dad out for a C-T scan. I feel like probably I could fight it, he can’t.”.

With Alberta having the third highest amount of confirmed cases of Covid-19, that leaves Albertans worried for their future.

Brody Langager

Saskatchewan highschool seniors are wondering what’s next for there education.

As COVID-19 continues to impact peoples lives around the globe, highschool students are patiently waiting too hear about their futures.

“Really nice to be Graduated…”

Tisdale Middle and Secondary School, like others received the news that they would have to close its doors and practice social distancing. The Province of Saskatchewan announced that any grade 12 students who had the marks to graduate were considered graduates. Trey Ratcliffe, a highschool senior at T.M.S.S. was one of the many students who is still waiting to hear on what’s happening next. ” When they said all kids who had good enough marks to graduate we’re graduated it was kind of like that’s really nice to be graduated, but at the same time it’s like so does that mean if this blows over are we going right back to school or does it mean we’re like done.”

“Grads will be honoured…”

Like the students, the staff at T.M.S.S is also facing new challenges on how the rest of this school year will plan out. Dave Painchaud, the Vice Principal at the school is looking at new ways to deliver content to the students. Some suggestions from the school division include Moodle, or even delivery content through the mail to students with little internet access. He is also unsure about what is happening with the graduating class. “So our division has given families the message that grads will be honoured this year.” Painchaud says they haven’t exactly worked out all the details yet, but there could be ceremonies in June or even in September.

Although there are a lot of unknowns, the school divison is working tiresly to ensure the students still get their education.

-Brody Ratcliffe

Postponement for the 2020 Olympics confirmed.

It was announced this week that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ set to take place July 24th to August 9th will be postponed until next year. The games have been moved to start in July of 2021. Many athletes welcomed the idea of postponement, after a number of concerns arouse around COVID-19 effecting the well-being of all the people attending the games.

The new dates for the games will collide with other events such as the Track and Swimming World Championship, but those events are expected to be pushed back as well.

Any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum.


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) released a statement addressing that the new dates will give people involved the maximum amount of time to deal with disruption caused by COVID-19. The statement also added “The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum.”

After years of training many athletes will have to wait one more year for their chance to take on the Olympics.

Sarah Jones

Donald Trump shuts down shipments of surgical masks to Canada

NEW YORK, USA – Sep 21, 2017: Meeting of the President of the United States Donald Trump with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in New York

President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Protection Act to prevent the export of crucial medical supplies after accusing 3M, a product manufacturer, of hoarding them.

“Ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate…”

This comes after Trump found out that 3M was still exporting surgical masks to Canada. Trump says that this could harm the efforts to fight off the coronavirus. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded, and warned that trade isn’t a one-way street.

3M responded to the accusations in a statement, “Ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done. If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek.”

By: Brody Langager