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Bartenders, Performers and More Turn to Crowdsourcing to Survive COVID-19 Shutdown

Plus, the SAQ cuts its hours, and more news to know

Bartenders are one group likely to face financial difficulty due to the coronavirus outbreak

Step up and donate, if you can

Groups and establishments from various corners of the Montreal food and nightlife scenes have taken to crowdsourcing funds in the face of ongoing shut-downs due to outbreaks of the novel coronavirus. Anyone that relies on bars or nightlife for income could be in major trouble — beyond bartenders, this includes an array of artists, from musicians (facing closed music venues and cancelled shows) to drag queens (closed bars).

As reported yesterday, relief fund for restaurant workers was set up earlier this week — it’s now accepting donations via GoFundMe. Some other requests for donations have also been set up online; our regularly-updated round-up (including links to donate) can now be found on another page.

And in other news...

  • The SAQ has reduced the hours of most locations, allowing them to open only between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. (hours may be shorter at certain locations). The provincial liquor retailer is also restricting the number of people allowed in stores at any one time, and only accepting card payments (no cash) in order to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.
Marché Jean-Talon/Facebook
  • Montreal’s public markets (Jean-Talon, Atwater, and many more) are remaining open for now, with extra health and hygiene protocols. Jean-Talon, for example, now has a large sink placed in a central location to encourage customers to wash their hands. The hours at most markets have been slightly reduced, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in most cases.
  • Montreal is deploying city employees who cannot do their regular jobs to work for Moisson Montreal, the city’s largest food bank. Moisson is currently experiencing a shortage of volunteers, so, props to the city for that synergy.
  • This year’s ceremony for the Lauriers, Quebec’s province-wide culinary awards, has been postponed. The Lauriers’ third annual gala was due to take place April 27. No replacement date has been determined yet.
  • Also postponed: SealFest, an annual showcase of dishes featuring seal across Montreal restaurants. Its organizers are now hoping for it to take place from May 14 to 24.
  • The Gazette talked to Irish pub Hurley’s about the impact that COVID-19 will have on them and other pubs — since bars are required to remain closed over St. Patrick’s Day, they’re set to lose big money, but are hoping to make it up by celebrating it in June.

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