COVID-19 August 21 Update

TORONTO, August 21, 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 Support Update:

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) benefits have been extended an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks, ending on September 27. Yesterday the government announced that following CERB, individuals can apply for an expanded EI program which will allow self-employed or gig workers to apply for a benefit of up to $400 a week for up to 26 weeks after CERB winds down. Under the new program, individuals can earn money, but will be required to repay 50 cents of every dollar earned above $38,000.
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation has launched an $80 million one-time Resilient Communities Fund to invest in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of the non-profit sector affectd by COVID-19. Funding is from $5,000 to $150,000 and the first deadline is September 2.
  • The Ontario Arts Council's new $1.6 million Arts Response Initiative (ARI) will help Ontario artists and arts organizations respond to challenges posed by the pandemic. Program details and applications are available through OAC’s website.

Town Hall with the Minister of Canadian Heritage:

  • Tuesday, Sept 1, at 3 pm, the Minister of Canadian Heritage will host the first of multiple virtual town halls to directly connect with those working in the visual/digital, live performing arts, and heritage sectors. Click here to register.

Surveys and Data:

  • I Lost My Gig Canada has launched a survey for arts, culture & tourism organizations to help better understand the effects of the pandemic on the Canadian arts and culture industry, to share stories on how diverse arts and culture organizations are responding, and to identify what is needed to help the sector continue to thrive in an uncertain future. Click here for more information and to get updates on the results of the previous survey for individual artists.
  • ONN (Ontario NonProfit Network) has released the results of its province-wide survey of the non-profit sector and is recommending 5 solutions to fix government COVID supports. Survey results and recommendations.

City of Toronto Festival and Events Calendar - List Your Event by August 28:

  • A new cultural partnership initiative from the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR) is being designed to promote, showcase and provide additional support to events and cultural organizations across the city. The partnership program will include an online event calendar. Please complete the Festivals & Events Calendar Submission form online by August 28 by 5 p.m. 

Stage 3 reopening guidelines:

  • The City of Toronto moved into Stage 3 reopening on July 31. See TAC's webpage for detailed provincial and municipal guidelines for arts and culture organizations.

Upcoming Toronto Arts Council grant deadlines:

Artists and arts organizations may still apply for funding through our programs. The following programs are now accepting applications. For specific questions, please contact your Program Manager.      

For online art events and offerings, please view our COVID-19 Arts Activations page.  

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 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 |