COVID-19. Coronavirus. Wuhan Virus. Pandemic. Epidemic. Exaggerated or understated. Deadly or asytomatic. Whatever you call it, however you perceive it, much has been made about the virus outbreak that took the world by storm and shut almost everything down. Frankly, most of us are entirely sick of hearing and talking about it.

We’re ready for life to get back to normal; we want to hang with friends; go to a restaurant; see a movie; go watch live sports; and generally get back to life. Of course, it’s gonna be awhile before we’re back to where we were, but we’ll get there and when we do, we have to make up for lost time.

Local businesses and restaurants have been hit really hard by the shutdown and we’ll have to rally to ensure most of them stay afloat. However one thing that is being overlooked is the struggle of local artists. Many artists survive by playing shows at bars, restaurants, and clubs across the city, and that form of income has been taken from them.

Think of Port Credit as an example, this is the time of year when the bars in the town start putting out their patio’s and opening their shutter windows for the warmer weather. And with that brings hundreds to the bars every night, along with great live music from local artists. Whether it’s Spice, Roc’N Doc’s, Door Fifty-Five, or Nomad’s, live music is a big part of Port Credit’s bar scene.

And then there are the many events that place in the city throughout the year, like BuskerFest, the Waterfront Festival, and the many cultural events, many of which have been cancelled already. Those events are wonderful times for local musicians to get some exposure, make a name for themselves, pay for studio time, or just pay the rent.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if those talented artists are going to get that opportunity anytime soon. It could be near the end of the year before we get back to an experience like that. When that time comes though, it’s up to us to get out and show some love to our incredible musicians.

We need to go out and watch them play to ensure they get asked back next time around, and we need to buy their albums, and support their craft online. The website Bandmix has a directory of most Mississauga musicians, from which you can find their social media and contact them directly. All it would take is a post on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whereever to signal boost someone who may really need it.

Mississauga is a city that lives and breathes art, and we have to make sure that art survives 2020.