COVID-19 April 23 Update

TORONTO, April 23, 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.

Emergency Funding Programs and Updates:

Digital OriginalsThe Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada have launched Digital Originals to help artists, arts groups and organizations share their work online. Countless artistic activities have been cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19, but many others have reached an impressive online audience. Artists, groups or organizations can either adapt their existing work or create a new work for digital dissemination to the Canadian public through a dedicated CBC website during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital Originals offers a $5,000 micro innovation grant from the Canada Council. Program guidelines will be available before the end of April and applications will be accepted beginning in mid-May.

Canada Emergency Community Support Fund: The federal government has announced plans for a $350 million program to support community groups and national charities to provide support for those made more vulnerable by the pandemic. Arts organizations working with volunteers in the community may be eligible for support. Updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Calculator: The CRA website now has a useful wage subsidy calculator for those organizations intending to apply for CEWS.

Arts Funders - Program Announcements:

Canada Council for the Arts: In response to COVID-19’s impact on the arts sector, Canada Council is adding language to its Digital Strategy Fund guidelines. Eligible applicants will be invited to submit proposals for short term activities that will:

  • Implement digital solutions as a strategic response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Demonstrate concrete and immediate benefits to the arts community
  • Show elements of openness and potential for growth as a long-term strategy

Additional language will be added to DSF single phase guidelines and available in the portal by mid-May.

OAC - Covid Response Fund: OAC is developing a response fund to help Ontario artists and arts organizations respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Details to be announced soon.

The TOArtist Covid Response Fund: Since opening, the fund has processed 1,269 applications requesting $1,205,731 to replace income from cancelled contracts. 568 artists have been approved to date and the review team continues to review applications. Although the fund has surpassed $800,000 with recent donations, it is not yet sufficient to support every eligible artist. Donations continue to be accepted here.

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 |