COVID-19: January 22 Update

TORONTO, January 22, 2021 - 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.

CRA Acknowledges Arts Grants count as Income

As reported in The Globe and Mail, the Canada Revenue Agency "has told some artists they now will be able to use their grant income to qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and its successor program, the Canada Recovery Benefit." Thanks are due to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Julie Dabrusin, and to many artists and organizations who advocated for this change.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been replaced with the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Benefit is up to $2,000 per month for wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 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.

COVID-19 Impact on the Arts

A new study from CAPACOA confirms that the arts, entertainment and recreation sector was the hardest hit in 2020, on both employment and number of hours worked. The GDP of the sector was 43.6% lower in October 2020 in comparison to February 2020, a significantly steeper drop even than the accommodation and food services sector which fell by 31.4% in the same period.

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. For more about Toronto Arts Council, visit

Contact Information

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