COVID-19 April 17 Update

TORONTO, April 17, 2020 - Toronto Arts Council is committed to providing accurate and up to date information for the arts community throughout the COVID-19 emergency response period. See here for updated COVID-19 web pages and all prior TAC releases and assembled resources.

Good News for the Weekend:

$500 million fund to the Department of Canadian Heritage:
The COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations was announced today, to help organizations that can’t qualify for CEWS (Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy) because of the lumpy or irregular nature of their revenues as well as to cover contract workers. The Fund will also provide advances on future grants as well as small subsidies to cover some fixed costs.

Eligible organizations and businesses include Canadian not-for-profit cultural, heritage and arts organizations, in addition to sports and cultural industries.
The announcement of this fund responds to the primary recommendation advanced by the arts community, including TAC, in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. See TAC's letter to Federal Ministers, here.

This immediately followed yesterday's announcement of expanded eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): More Artists will now qualify under updated eligibility criteria. It is now possible for applicants to earn up to $1,000 of employment income each month, and still qualify for CERB payments.

City of Toronto - COVID-19 Response Updates
The City of Toronto has expanded the Digital Main Street program to help local businesses (including non-profits) develop or expand their online services during this unprecedented time. Local businesses can complete the Digital Main Street onboarding process and receive a free Digital Assessment.

The City of Toronto has now launched DonateTO for people wanting to give time, skills, space, labour, PPE, or money in support of the COVID-19 response.

Contact TAC: Please note that TAC staff will remain available to answer your questions and provide updated information throughout the outbreak. Please contact us any time.

Other resources: Please see the TAC COVID-19 Updates pages for links and resources including statements from Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.


About Toronto Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since 1974, TAC has played a major role in the city’s cultural industries by supporting a very broad range of artistic activity. From the emerging artist to the most established, from celebrated institutions to arts that challenge convention, TAC is typically the first funder to offer support. Today, TAC grants lead to exhibitions, performances, readings and workshops seen annually by over 9.5 million people. Through its ongoing funding of over $18 million annually, TAC cultivates a rich engagement between artists and audiences. It is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of the artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves. For more about Toronto Arts Council, visit

Contact Information
For information, please contact Susan Wright, Deputy Director: 416-392-6802 x 211 |