Published Dec 22, 2020Remaining closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, Toronto bar and live music venue Cherry Cola's Rock 'n' Rolla has now launched a GoFundMe campaign to stay afloat.
On the GoFundMe page, venue owner Cherish Stevenson explains how she came to an agreement with the venue's landlord to defer rent payments in the pandemic's early stages.
In the wake of new restrictions mandated by Ontario's provincial government yesterday (December 22), Stevenson writes, "my landlord has since changed his mind and to further complicate matters he has stated that he wants the back rent owing by December 23rd or he will 'Call in the Bailiff', serve me with eviction papers and lock me out on Christmas Eve."
Stevenson adds that the future of Cherry Cola's directly impacts that of her own housing situation, sharing, "This bar and this building have been my home for 10 years....both downstairs and up. If I lose the bar, I lose my both of my homes."
Stevenson stresses that ideas including a 48-hour livestream benefit have been made impossible by COVID-19 restrictions. She writes, "Please know this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. All I know is that if I don't try everything I possibly can that I'm not only letting myself down, but I'll also be letting down all of you. I just won't let it go down without a fight."
"This is not only a bar...it's my home and a second home to so many dear friends, artists and musicians," Stevenson concludes. "I'm hoping if we can give the landlord even half of what is owed it will show a concerted effort on behalf of this beautiful community I'm so blessed to be a part of and prove how much this venue means to our cultural landscape."
Earlier this month, Toronto's Hard Luck Bar launched a GoFundMe campaign for rental assistance of their own.