COVID-19 May 29 Update

TORONTO, May 29, 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 Programs and Updates

City Council Approves Property Tax program for Toronto Live Music Venues: On May 28, Toronto City Council approved revised eligibility criteria for the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Sub-classes to include live music venues. The city estimates that this change will mean up to 60 live music venues will have access to a 50 per cent property tax rebate. For more information, see approved motionbackground information and eligibility criteria (live music section at end of document). Eligibility will be limited to venues with capacity of under 1,500 which present live music on at least 144 days a year.

City program to support festivals affected by COVID-19
The City's Cultural Festivals Recovery Program will provide up to a maximum of $25,000 one-time emergency funding and advisory services to cultural festivals affected by COVID-19. This program is for cultural festivals that were planned to take place in Toronto between March 14 and December 31, 2020. Note that annual operating clients of TAC or the City are not eligible but TAC project clients are eligible to apply to this program.

The Government of Canada has launched the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund to provide assistance to organizations serving vulnerable populations. Toronto Foundation is working with the Government of Canada to deliver a total of $5.1 million of this funding in Toronto. The Toronto Foundation is now accepting applications from registered charities for grants for emergency support of up to $75,000. Arts organizations working with vulnerable communities are encouraged to apply.

Toronto Arts Foundation supported and expedited a one-million-dollar donation from the Hal Jackman Foundation to support 80 of Toronto’s small and mid-sized charitable arts organizations. Organizations affected by depleted earned revenue due to closures of theatres, concert halls, galleries and other arts gathering spaces, were selected by the Hal Jackman Foundation to receive funds. See the full press release and list of organizations receiving funds.

Arts Programming Streaming and Online

Hot Docs Festival Is Now Open:
May 28 to June 6 Hot Docs Festival is open to Ontario audiences to stream documentaries, watch pre-recorded Q&As and attend in virtual live events. The Festival will showcase more than 140 films. Full price tickets to stream films are $9.

Luminato Festival Toronto Goes Virtual
Luminato Festival Toronto is featuring three free days of virtual programming from June 11-13. Streaming on Luminato’s website and social media channels, the weekend will feature live and pre-recorded performances, conversations, panels, DJ sets and participatory programming, alongside key works from past Luminato Festivals.

It’s All Right Now is a public art project featuring the work of twenty Toronto-based artists commissioned to respond to a simple inquiry: “What words are you living by? Works will first appear on Toronto billboards. Map and additional information here.

For more 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 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 |