Emergency Funding Support

A list of Emergency Funding Supports for artists and arts organizations

A group of actors cheer on stage
The Tita Collective presents Tita Jokes (2019)

Federal Programs

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Update:  Eligibility criteria for CERB have changed. It is now possible for applicants to earn up to $1,000 of employment income each month, and still qualify for CERB payments. In addition, royalty payments do not need to be included in the $1,000 maximum. Benefit is up to $2,000 per month for wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Of note for arts organizations: workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, will also qualify for the CERB. This would help arts organizations keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers, including not-for-profit organizations for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. 

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to eligible businesses, including not-for-profit organizations, which have total payroll between $20,000 and $1.5 million.  If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25 per cent (up to $10,000) will be forgiven.
Apply at your financial institution or credit unions.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (OCECRA)

The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in rent relief to small businesses and their landlords.OCECRA will lower rent by 75 per cent for the months of April, May and June for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.  Small businesses include non-profit and charitable organizations. It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May.

Additional Programs

Akin Rent Relief Fund  
Accepting applications from current Akin artists and creatives; and seeking donations to support the fund

Art Jameel: research and practice platform for independent practitioners
Intended for those who work on a per-project basis. Micro-fees (between $1000 to $2000) will be offered through the platform which will further the development of ongoing and upcoming research and projects over the coming months; the programme is open to all practitioners based in the Middle East and North Africa region.

▶ Artscape Atelier: call for artists
Artscape Atelier, together with Lakeview Community Partners Limited, announces a Call for Artists to submit proposals for over $100,000 in paid commissions for 18 artists. Selected artists will create distinct artworks for Lakeview Village, a vibrant new mixed-use community to be built on Mississauga’s waterfront

▶ Bad News Days: Micro Artist Grants for Groceries
Artists of any discipline can request a one time, no questions asked, micro grant of $75 for groceries, food and other essentials. 

The CBC Creative Relief Fund to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators. The Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries. Canadian creators can apply starting April 9, until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 24, and eligible applicants will be notified of their project’s status starting on May 8.

▶ Canada Council for the Arts: Digital Originals
Micro innovation grants. The Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada are teaming up once again, this time to launch Digital Originals, a new fast forward initiative to help artists, arts groups and organizations pivot their work for online sharing.

▶ Centre for Social Innovation: How to get financial support during COVID-19
A blog post explaining how to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

City of Toronto: COVID-19: Economic Support & Recovery
Economic Support and Recovery for Businesses, Individuals and Families

City of Toronto: Youth-led Community Crisis Response Fund and General Community Crisis Response Fund 
Provide financial assistance of up to $3,000 for projects or activities that address the impacts of a violent traumatic incident that occurred since February 1st, 2020 within a neighbourhood or across multiple communities. 

Community Foundations of Canada: Indigenous People’s Resilience Fund (IPRF)
Aims to support Indigenous-led organizations running projects at the community level that serve those vulnerable populations who have been affected by COVID-19.

David Seguin Memorial Award
Micro grants to artists with disabilities to help cover basic living expenses, such as rent and groceries.

Emergency Support for Workers in the Creative Community

Netflix Media has allocated $100 million to a fund for support for film and television workers.  Included in the support package is $15 million in emergency relief to be distributed by non-profit organizations, including $1 million to be shared by AFC and Fondation des Artistes.

▶ Glad Day Bookshop: Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers 
Support for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers who are in dire financial need

National Arts Centre unveils $100,000 relief initiative 
Artists can apply for a $1,000 grant to support a 45- to 60-minute livestream performance planned between March 19 and 31.

▶ National Theatre School of Canada: Art Apart – urgent support for emerging artists
$60,000 in support of emerging Canadian artists. These funds will be granted to theatre artists in training, or artists who have completed a theatre training program within the past five years, to present a piece of art online.

Ontario Live: Music Together
A living room concert series to pay Ontario artists in need

SOCAN: $2-million Enhanced Emergency Program for SOCAN Members
Assistance is primarily aimed at SOCAN's songwriters and screen composers whose ability to sustain their income has been compromised by the impact of the crisis

▶ Tegan and Sara Foundation: Community Grants
$20K in funding for rapid response to COVID-19, to fund projects meeting the immediate needs of those most affected in the LGBTQ+ community, whether through making resources for the community available digitally, creating spaces online for art, positivity and conversation, and more.

Emergency financial aid for entertainment pros

The Indigo Love of Reading Community Response Fund
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is committing $1,000,000 in funding for books and educational resources to support Canadian families in high-needs communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theatre Direct: $250 grocery gift cards to artists caring for their families at home during this crisis
Email info@theatredirect.ca if you are an artist parent/caregiver in need and we will be in touch to arrange delivery

Financial aid for musicians

Young & Associates: How to Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
A guide

Woodcock Fund Grant 
Emergency funds for writers mid-project

▶ Writers' Trust of Canada: Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund
Emergency funding to Canadian writers facing lost income because of the global COVID-19 pandemic