COVID-19 July 31 Update

TORONTO, July 31, 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.

Stage 3 Reopening Guidelines: The City of Toronto has moved into Stage 3 of reopening as of Friday, July 31 at 12:01 a.m.

  • For complete information on rules and regulations as mandated by the Province of Ontario, visit Reopening Ontario Act – Stage 3 Orders.
  • For guidelines specific to events, visit the City of Toronto's COVID-19 Guidance: Indoor & Outdoor Events.
  • We’ve also created a web page with information specific to artists and arts organizations planning an event in Stage 3. Visit Stage 3 Reopening Guidelines.
  • Our latest Digital Update, presented on July 23 with Sally Han (Manager, Cultural Partnerships) , David Absalom (Toronto Public Health), and moderated by Maxine Bailey (TAC board member), covered the impact of Stage 3 on Toronto arts organizations. If you missed it, you can watch the full update on YouTube, or read the transcript

New funding program and program expiration dates:

  • With funds from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Presents will be offering small grants (of $5000) to community presenters who wish to partner with a local artist to craft a project that will engage the community with the performing arts. For more information, visit Engagement Microgrants for Community Presenters
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) benefits have been extended to a maximum of 24 weeks from the original maximum of 16 weeks.
  • On July 17, 2020, the Government of Canada announced proposed changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which includes an extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020. The proposal would also make the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30 per cent and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers. For more information, view the News Release

Increasing support for the Black arts community: Toronto Arts Council is committed to confronting the systemic anti-Black racism and inequity that exist in Toronto’s arts sector today. TAC joins Black and Indigenous communities in support of equity, justice and human rights.
We're currently holding community consultations to seek recommendations and guidance for new funding in 2020 that aims to contribute to systemic change. For more information, read our Press Release. Share your opinion by taking our 10 minute survey

Public letter calls for Canada’s government to create a national basic-income strategy: Led by artist Craig Berggold, curator and writer Zainub Verjee and curator and artist Clayton Windatt, and signed by more than 300 artists, arts workers and arts organizations, the letter calls upon the Government of Canada to ensure the financial well-being of all residents by implementing a permanent Basic Income Guarantee. 

Preliminary results from Arts & Culture Public Space Survey: Created by Toronto Arts Foundation with the City of Toronto and other partners, the survey asked Torontonians how they feel about participating in arts and cultural activities happening in outdoor public spaces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 565 respondents participated from June 17 - July 6, 2020. A full publication is forthcoming.

  • 40% of respondents live in Downtown Toronto
  • Respondents want to know the number of attendees of an event before they decide to attend
  • Respondents will decide to attend an event based on the protective equipment that is available, such as masks and hand sanitizer
  • 63% of respondents bring hand sanitizer and masks with them when out in public
  • 49% of respondents are not very confident or not confident at all that people will follow social distancing guidelines while in a public space
  • 92% of respondents are engaging with arts activities online through platforms such as podcast, live streams or podcasts

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.    

Events: 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 |