COVID-19 February 26 Update


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.


Planning for reopening in the midst of news of extended closures is a challenge. But reopening is coming - now is not too soon to prepare:

  • Safe Travels Stamp: TAPA (Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts) and CLMA (Canadian Live Music Association) have each partnered with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) who is administering the national Safe Travels Stamp in Canada program. The Safe Travels Stamp is an international symbol designed to help travelers & consumers recognize businesses and organizations which have adopted health and hygiene, standardized protocols - so consumers can experience 'Safe Travels'. Apply here for the Safe Travels Stamp. Eligible companies including theatres, live music venues, festivals and others will be able to display the stamp based on worldwide industry protocols, including the approved LightsOn Venue Reopening Guide developed in partnership by Ryerson University, Toronto Arts Council and Foundation and TO Live.
  • COVID-19 Testing: For TAPA members considering COVID-19 testing to allow safe reopening, TAPA has announced a new partnership with SWITCH HEALTH which includes preferred pricing for COVID-19 testing. Full details to access preferred testing here.


Yesterday, the City of Toronto announced that it was extending cancellation of in-person major events to July 1, including Canada Day festivals, parades and fireworks. Major arts events that will not feature in person gatherings include: Canadian Music Week, Doors Open Toronto, Juno Awards, NXNE Music Festival, Luminato, TD Toronto Jazz Festival and Indigenous Arts Festival. Many of these will replace in person gatherings with virtual events.
NOTE: This announcement does not include permits issued by the City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation division for activities in parks. These permitted events will be assessed separately.


  • Healthy Communities Initiative: The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI) is providing up to $31 million to support communities as they adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19. The initiative is supporting projects under three main themes: Creating safe and vibrant public spaces; Improving mobility options; Digital solutions. The first deadline is 5:00 pm March 9, 2021.
  • Ontario Small Business Support Grant: Arts organizations including charities and non-profits with fewer than 100 employees may now apply for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which helps small businesses that had to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020. Grants are from $10,000 to $20,000.
  • Ontario's New Skills Development Fund: Applications are now open for the Ontario government's new two-year $115 million Skills Development Fund. The fund is open to non-profit organizations and designed to support projects that will help relieve pandemic-induced barriers to hiring, training and retaining workers while preparing for the province's economic recovery. The deadline for receipt of applications is February 28 at 11:59pm.
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program: Low interest loans for amounts from $25,000 to $1,000,000 are now available for businesses that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, including tourism, hospitality, arts and culture. The federal government’s Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is now accepting applications.  

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 $23 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.

Contact Information

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