COVID-19 April 6 Update

TORONTO, April 6, 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.

A few notes for today:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is now accepting applications: In an effort to ensure the system can handle all of the requests, applicants are instructed to apply based on their birth month. Please see the chart below for information on when you can apply.

The benefit is $500 per week or $2,000 per month for up to 16 weeks. The benefit is available to individual Canadians, 15 years or older who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job. This applies to wage earners, 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. Apply here. 


City of Toronto Arts and Culture Services and Toronto Arts Council Update: Live Zoom Webinar
April 7, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Pat Tobin (Director Arts and Culture Services, City of Toronto) and Claire Hopkinson (Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council) are hosting a live Webinar meeting via Zoom for Toronto arts organizations on April 7, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM. The intent of this session is to update arts organizations on issues relating to arts and culture in the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to hear from you, our cultural sector partners, to inform our efforts at mitigation and planning for recovery.
Over the course of one hour, the Webinar with feature 20 minute updates from both the City of Toronto Arts and Culture Services and Toronto Arts Council, as well as a 20 minute question and answer period. Participation in the Webinar will be limited to 500 participants. We request that arts organizations limit their participation to one or two people. To secure your spot, please register at the following link:

In addition, we would appreciate your participation in the survey put out by the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force found here.

A Webinar geared for individual artists may be scheduled for a future date. 

Toronto Arts Letter to Federal Ministers: To date, the federal government has implemented important and timely actions for COVID-19 relief that many artists and arts organizations are able to access. Susan Crocker, Chair, GaĆ«tane Verna, President, and Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council wrote a letter to thank Federal Ministers for their response to date, and to propose additional solutions for urgent concerns not yet addressed.
The following measures were proposed:

  • Establish an emergency stabilization fund of at least $500 million to be distributed to Canadian arts organizations most adversely affected by lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Ensure easy access to no-interest loans to support arts organizations’ ongoing operations
  • Loosen restrictions on established endowment funds to allow immediate withdrawals 
  • Incent increased private sector donations and sponsorships with enhanced charitable donation tax credits until the end of 2021
  • Ensure the eligibility of arts organizations to participate in all upcoming economic recovery initiatives including infrastructure programs

Read the full letter to Federal Ministers 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 |