Many artists and musicians across Alberta have faced challenges and difficulties throughout the past year and finally, some say they feel that they are being heard by the government. 

The Alberta Government has announced there will be a micro-grant available for musicians, and other industry professionals across the music industry, read more on that here Micro Grant Available For Musicians.  

For local singer-songwriter Drew Gregory he is just thankful that finally, the music industry is receiving some support,  “I think, first of all, it's just nice to be kind of acknowledged by the government. This has been a tough year where I feel like we're kind of the last people to be mentioned.” 

Gregory did note that there were some attempts to get artists performing again but felt it was very short-lived, “Seven or eight months into the pandemic they came out with some guidelines where we could sing a little bit last summer and stuff but, I just kind of have felt a little bit forgotten. I'm sure there are lots of industries that are in the same boat too.” 

Working on the family farm near Standard along with performing, writing, and recording, he has worked the majority of his professional music career with full-time musicians who have definitely felt the burden of not being able to earn a living.  

Seeing the government starting to put money into this industry is a positive Gregory explains because people that get these grants will use the money to record, purchase equipment, or work with writers so the money is funneled back into the music industry.  

"Just being in this industry, it's hard not letting us sing and not letting the live thing go ahead, which is where most people make their income in the music business. So yeah, it's just nice to hear that they're trying to do something.” 

With many businesses adding plexiglass areas to perform and making other changes that AHS requested and then, unfortunately, being shut down again, his hope is that they get back to playing live again and working hard to make sure that everyone has a fun and safe experience.  

Looking back at the years of performing Gregory would have one piece of advice for any artist who is looking to get started in the music industry. 

“When I was starting out and this is going to be even more important now, I wasn't going to live music venues in the city and stuff I was looking at sports days like out in standard I thought if we could get some live music into those venues and places that never had live music before that would be great.” 

Finding those small-town crowds was part of the appeal to Gregory. There was an appreciation for what they were brought to each event. That he says is where he started to build his following and that has just grown from those small-town shows.  

For Gregory finding a great band that really cut their teeth with him and helped him along the way with everything down to setting up and tearing down equipment was invaluable, that is why he hopes this grant money is something that will be used to support the industry because it is never just a one-man show.  It takes so many people to make live music happen, to get music written and recorded, there are agents, marketers, promoters, and many other industry professionals that along with artists have struggled to make ends meet explained Gregory.   

A hotel concert booked in April that Gregory explained has just been postponed, they were originally rescheduled to go on May 28th and are now in a holding pattern to see if that is a go, but are hoping that they can go ahead with this show very soon. Gregory said 'we won’t cancel this will go ahead as soon as we can.'  

There is hope within the Alberta music community that soon they will be able to be back on stages and entertaining across the province, something Gregory feels we all need right now, to kick back relax, and have a little fun, safely of course.