Calgary

One brilliant idea helped swing this musician from fearful and unemployed to the busiest he's been in 20 years

A Calgary musician went from fearful to booked solid in a COVID heartbeat but he still wants to highlight how important artists are now during a pandemic.

Matt Masters says he’s busier than ever after taking his show ‘on the road’

Matt Masters says he’s busier than ever with curbside concerts 3:06

A Calgary musician went from fearful to booked solid in a COVID heartbeat but he still wants to highlight how important artists are now during a pandemic.

"I have sung on a ship in the middle of the South Pacific and from the back of a horse in front of thousands of people but I never thought I'd be singing on the rooftop of a minivan," Matt Masters told CBC News.

  • Watch as this Calgary musician takes his show on the road and explains he is busier than ever, in the video at the top of this story.

And taking his music on the road, literally, is Masters' response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

"I have worked in clubs and theatres for the last 20 years. I typically play two to four shows a week," he said.

"So with the COVID crisis my entire income just stopped. It just stopped immediately."

Traci Zeller celebrated her birthday on Saturday and her thoughtful partner had Calgary musician Matt Masters perform a curbside concert to mark the occasion, safely. (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada)

So if people couldn't safely come to a venue, he thought he would take the music to them. And he's tapped in to something big.

"I have been booking music for 20 years. I have never had a week like this. I have booked 50 shows. I have another 50 emails I haven't even opened yet. I will be at my 100th gig in no time," Masters said.

"We are not just busy, we are super busy. It's great."

Traci Zeller celebrated her birthday on Saturday, COVID-style.

"My husband surprised me with a curbside concert. That was a shock but it was awesome," Zeller said.

"It was very touching. I wanted to cry."

Matt Masters is busier than ever with his curbside concerts — a safe, physical-distancing response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada)

Masters said one silver living in the pandemic could be a fresh appreciation for artistic communities.

"I think it's important we recognize the value of arts at this time. No one can get through this crisis without their favourite music, or movie or book. These are things created by the artist community," he said.

"It's so important that we take care of ourselves and the artists in our community."

Matt Masters' curbside concerts, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is keeping the Calgary musician busier than ever. (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada)

With files from Radio-Canada's Vincent Bonnay

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