Thanks to the COVID-19 vaccination and the lifting of some health restrictions, Canadians will see much more of Santa this year than in 2020.
But it depends on where they live in the country.
In some areas, there aren’t enough Santas to meet all requests for in-person visits, in part because not all of them are comfortable doing so yet. Elsewhere, many are twiddling their thumbs because the pandemic situation means they have few job opportunities.
Last year, Santa was allowed to take flight as an essential worker on the evening of December 24, but at ground level, the pandemic is still a problem for its representatives.
It’s crazySays Jeff Gilroy, manager for Just be Claus, a talent agency for Christmas characters based in Orillia, Ont. I had to turn down around 200 events.»
Back to work in shopping malls
Santa’s shopping mall tours are back in Ontario, British Columbia, and other provinces after last year’s cancellations.
Cadillac Fairview and Oxford Properties have both brought Santas back to their malls with COVID-19 prevention measures in place and appointments rather than queues.
Mina Caringi, the building manager at Scarborough Town Center in Oxford, Toronto, says customers started asking questions about the Santa Claus return in October.
They haven’t had their photos with Santa in a while, so they couldn’t wait to find him.»
With appointments, places are limited and parents must therefore plan ahead.
Pandemic and paperwork complicate business
Mr Gilroy’s business supplies Santa Claus to three shopping centers in Oxford, and employs around 25.
Their schedules are already full, but Mr. Gilroy still receives up to 30 calls a day for their services, so he now suggests other Christmas characters, like the Grinch.
You can do business with the Grumpy and have a bit of a shifty ChristmasHe said.
In Vancouver, Rozmin Watson of Hire a Santa says she never had so many requestsThan what she received earlier this month.
Although it employs up to 120 Santa Claus across the country, it is struggling to keep up with demand from Ontario and British Columbia following the lifting of some health restrictions.
Video: Chronicle of a disaster avoided in Natashquan (Le Devoir)
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Revolt movement in the music industry
Revolt movement in the music industry Several well-known artists are going up to barricades on social networks against the mercantile aspect of the Quebec music industry, inspired by singer Philémon Cimon. This one took the spittoon against his distributor last month and which is attacking head-on this time at his old record company. The singer-songwriter rebelled Tuesday on his Instagram page to still have to repay the sums invested by Audiogram for the production of his album Summer, while this same record company receives significant profits each year for this opus launched in 2014. Seven years after the publication of Summer, he has still received nothing from the revenues from the sale of CDs and vinyls, or even from online listening. Stéphanie Boulay, one of the two Boulay Sisters, is among the first to have taken up the torch, writing on social networks that “labels have too much power over artists”, before pleading for record companies to take over ” their supposed position, that of supporting artists, who manufacture the raw material ”. “There are ways of making labels that no longer need to be. The industry has changed, but there is resistance to change on their part. They’re taking advantage of the old rules, and that’s not unique to one record company. ” David Bussières, founder of the Regroupement des artisans de la musique According to him, record companies are wrong to penalize artists for years, the time to replenish their investment in the production of albums. Especially since the amounts granted to artists for the realization of their project come in part from subsidies, argues David Bussières.
Minister Dubé wants to keep an eye on family physicians with a bill
Minister Dubé wants to keep an eye on family physicians thanks to a bill The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, wants to keep an eye on general practitioners. To achieve this, he tabled Bill 11 in the National Assembly on Thursday, November 11. This provides in particular that “any general practitioner must transmit to the Minister his time slots of availability”. “It is a management bill”, argues Minister Dubé, who affirms that “there is no coercion in this”. The Minister of Health wants to have the possibility of “using” this “information” when “this use is necessary for the exercise of his functions”, we can read in the draft “Law to increase the supply of first-line services by general practitioners and to improve the management of this offer ”. The government also wants to force general practitioners to “add to their clientele only people registered with the Access to a family doctor”. Bill 11 would also require physicians to “make themselves available to insured persons through the appointment system set up by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) or a appointment booking system offered by another supplier ”. The Minister “oversees the management of the appointment setting”, specifies the bill.
Quebec to table a bill on family physicians
Quebec will table a bill on family physicians The Legault government has just placed a bill on the order paper “aimed at increasing the supply of primary care services by general practitioners and improving the management of this supply” . It could be tabled tomorrow in the National Assembly. The Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec (FMOQ) says it is “disappointed” and finds “unhappy” and “incomprehensible” that Quebec adopts such an approach. According to a government source, this bill is intended to be “a hand extended to family physicians”. “It was done in this state of mind,” we say. OK. But will we impose a quota of patients per doctor (1000, for example)? Are coercive measures planned? Impossible to know more. The FMOQ points out that it does not know anything about the content of this bill. She says she learned about it late Tuesday night. “If it is an outstretched hand, I unfortunately ask myself the question why already for three weeks, it is radio silence [de la part de Québec]», Says its president, Dr Louis Godin. According to the FMOQ, the “last formal meeting” with the government dates from October 20. Dr. Louis Godin fears “that it is above all a bill of coercion, obligations or threats if we do not agree” with the government. During his inaugural speech for the parliamentary session on October 19, Prime Minister François Legault had indicated that “many discussions with representatives of family physicians” had taken place for three years and that he was beginning to “get impatient”. Some 800,000 Quebecers still do not have a family doctor in Quebec.
There is definitely a shortage.»
Ms Watson says some of her Santas will not be attending these events this year due to their age and fear of catching COVID-19, and others are awaiting criminal background checks.
Virtual tours are still popular
Some Santas limit or still completely avoid in-person visits, and instead favor virtual tours.
This is the case of Paul Hillier of Janetville, Ontario.
This popular 70-year-old Santa Claus normally fills his special events schedule, but he’s still only doing virtual tours in 2021.
Virtual tours can also be done internationally. Santa Claus Gee, of Sarnia, Ont., Has scheduled visits with children from Ireland, Russia, and Japan.
I have fun with time zonesHe said. He asks for 45 US dollars for a virtual session of about ten minutes, for which he has rented a small studio.
Unemployed Santa Claus in Alberta
In Alberta, rather than a Santa Claus shortage, it is Santa Claus who are facing a job shortage. So much so that one of them, who lives in Calgary, decided to go south.
Santa Claus Jeff would normally have about 30 events planned at this time of year, but he only has 10. This is still an increase from last year, where he did not. made no visits.
The other Santas he knows in Alberta face the same situation due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the province.
The shopping centers have greatly reduced their demand, and there is no corporate visit», He laments.
Although he has to come back to Calgary for his few events, Santa Claus Jeff feels a bit lost in the desert, without the joy that children bring him.
Something is missing, it’s like, what’s going on? What am I setting here this holiday season?Asks the retired oil industry worker, who will soon be 70 years old.
I miss it a lot.»
Will the shortage last?
In Nova Scotia, COVID-19 continues to disrupt the Santa Claus market.
Some 80% of Nova Scotians are fully immunized, and gatherings without masks or social distancing are allowed for groups of up to 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
Despite this, at the start of the season, demand was rather lowRemembers Father Christmas Floyd, one of the best known in the province.
While he’s back for his visits to a Halifax sports supply store, his corporate contracts are down 90% for the second year in a row.
He therefore supplements his schedule with visits to family celebrations, so much so that he now has to refuse contracts.
Whoever puts on his red suit for 40 years is worried about the next generation in his province.
I think there will be a shortage of Santa ClausHe said. I haven’t seen any new recruits yet.»
With information from James Dunne