MONTREAL -- Hard hit by the closure of concert halls and other music venures, professional musicians are calling on governments for help when nearly one-in-five of them has decided to give up their career during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Quebec musicians guild (GMMQ) published the results of a survey this week that it conducted by polling 755 musicians in October, and the findings on the state of musicians in the province are alarming.

According to the data, 75 per cent of musicians have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and 56 per cent of them expect to earn $ 20,000 or less in 2020.

GMMQ president Luc Fortin said he finds it particularly alarming that 57 per cent of the musicians surveyed say they are thinking about the future in the industry. Worse still, 18 per cent have already made the decision to change their profession.

GMMQ musicians are asking all levels of government for financial assistance adapted to their needs, as well as a reopening of performance halls in full respect of public health measures.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2020.