COVID-19 March 13 Update

TORONTO, March 13, 2020 - Toronto Arts Council is in constant contact with our partners at the City and is committed to providing accurate and up to date information for the arts community throughout the COVID-19 emergency response period. All prior releases and assembled resources are available here.

There are three phases to the COVID-19 response: Containment, All Clear, and Recovery. Note that Toronto is currently in the containment phase.

Effective this morning, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, called on residents to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada” and the “immediate suspension” of all gatherings over 250 people.

There is no immediate information on how long this suspension of events will last.

Considerations for producers postponing or cancelling events of more than 250 people:

1. If you have insurance, the provincial directive may be sufficient to trigger insurance and contract 'force majeure' clauses;
2. Please consider contingency plans - in particular note that artists and others depending on short term contracts for their livelihood may be seriously affected by cancelled contracts
3. Consider inviting audience members to make a donation in lieu of requesting refunds
4. Track impact - any potential compensation to be released following the crisis period will require documentation of impact; consider spending the time now to track and document revenue loss.

Considerations for producers with upcoming events with fewer than 250 people:

1. Continue to follow Toronto Public Health for directives
2. Review the Government of Canada's Risk-informed decision making tool for mass gatherings. Included in the guide are both practical suggestions and best practices for holding safe events, and things to consider when deciding to proceed or cancel an event. If you decide to cancel, review the points above.
3. Track impact - any potential compensation to be released following the crisis period will require documentation of impact; consider spending the time now to track and document revenue loss.

For those whose events are proceeding, it is important to communicate with audience members/participants to advise/assure them:

  • hand washing and/or hand sanitation stations will be present
  • social distancing will be maintained at the event (ie it will not be overcrowded)
  • all those who have recently traveled or are not feeling well are advised not to attend
  • refreshments offered will maintain all recommended standards

A note for all TAC grant recipients:

With the outbreak of COVID-19, TAC is aware that grant recipient organizations may face extraordinary challenges.

For specific questions and to advise TAC of concerns, please contact your program manager.
Organizations or collectives may postpone or adjust projects affected by the COVID-19 outbreak without penalty from TAC.

Organizations receiving core funding will not be required to have replacement programming for events or activities that are delayed, changed or cancelled due to COVID-19.

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 page 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 |