New Canadian Arena Faces Picket

The Tragically Hip is expected to debut the 5,300-seat K-Rock Centre in Ontario February 21st, but might have to cross a picket line to do so.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 471 is considering picketing the show because it says it did not get the opportunity to submit a proposal to work the concert, according to the Kingston Whig-Standard.

"We’re going to be there one way or the other. We’re either going to be inside or outside," Local 471 president Ron Colpaart told the paper. "Hopefully, we’ll be able to come to a resolution."

Non-union, Vancouver-based NASCO has been hired over IATSE workers, the paper reported. Meanwhile, the union has turned to concert promoter Live Nation to work with IATSE. Colpaart cited the union’s "longstanding" relationship with the promotion giant.

Neil Shorthouse, manager of the Arcturus/SMG building, denied IATSE wasn’t invited to the party.

"They were given an opportunity to submit a proposal and we haven’t seen one to date," Shorthouse told the paper. "We were interested to hear from them a few weeks ago. We’re on the eve of the opening – I don’t know what we can do."

Mark Hollingworth, business agent for Local 471, was optimistic that "if we can get to the table and get all parties involved, that there can be a resolution," he told the paper.

The arena was temporarily known as Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Center before radio station K-Rock 105.7 put its name on it February 20th.