Support for Artists During the COVID-19 Crisis

April 9, 2020
By Candy Pollard

Cornwall Ontario – There are a number of resources available to artists affected by the current efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Business News

The Canadian Arts Community has been devastated  by the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing has forced the closure of theatres, concert venues, and art galleries as well as retail outlets and restaurants. Touring musicians have cancelled gigs, book launches have been postponed and film productions across the country are halted.

Here are a few support programs geared specifically toward the arts community:

Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts recently announced plans to provide approximately $60 million in advance funding, the equivalent of 35% of annual grants held by over 1,100 core funded organizations. This is the latest in the Council’s ongoing efforts to stabilize the sector by addressing the shortfalls that arts organizations are experiencing since the cancellation of public events and halting of arts programming became necessary to contain the spread of the virus.

“There is an urgent need to alleviate the financial pressure on those organizations that are the backbone of the arts sector in Canada,” said Director and CEO, Simon Brault.

The Council expects that by May 4, they will be able to issue advances enabling core funded organizations to meet their immediate commitments, to help ensure cash flow and to address outstanding payments to the artists and cultural workers they employ.

Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund

The Writers’ Trust of Canada, The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada have joined forces to launch a relief fund for Canadian writers. The fund has an initial amount of $150,000 earmarked to provide support to professional authors affected financially by the COVID-19 health crisis. Eligible writers can receive up to $1500 in grants.

Music Together

Music Together is a $300,000 emergency relief fund for Ontario musicians put together by the provincial government and members of the music community. It is a living room concert series to support local Ontario musicians. Musicians can apply for a one-time performance fee tied to a livestream. The concerts vary greatly featuring folk, jazz, hip hop, electronic, classical, blues, instrumental, funk, rock, country and even children’s music.



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