COVID-19 May 8 Update

TORONTO, May 8, 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:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Update: The federal government has just announced that the program is being extended beyond June, which may allow organizations with summer programming to apply. Apply to CEWS here.

Today the federal government announced the breakdown for the $500 Million Emergency Support Fund For Cultural, Heritage And Sport Organizations:

  • $198.3 million to Canadian Heritage arts and culture programs including Canada Periodical Fund, Canada Book Fund, Canada Music Fund, Canada Arts Training Fund, Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Harbourfront Centre Funding Program and Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program
  • $55 million to Canada Council for the Arts
  • $53 million to the heritage sector via Museums Assistance Program
  • $115.8 million to the audiovisual sector through Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada
  • $72 million for amateur sport

NOTE: To ensure fast distribution of funds, a formula based top-up will be applied to current recipients of support from the above funders. Application details to be announced soon.

The City of Toronto has announced the creation of the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild​ (TORR) led by Saad Rafi, the former CEO of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and Dr. David Mowat, Ontario’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health. TORR's mandate will be to coordinate a city-wide approach informed by public health evidence and best practices from here in Toronto and other jurisdictions, to bring innovation to the City’s recovery strategies and actions.

Research, Data and Tracking: Toronto Arts Council and Foundation are working with partners including Ryerson Universtiy on two research projects to bring essential support to arts organizations managing through the pandemic. Contact for more information:

  • #lights-on brings together key stakeholders and thought leaders to make sense of the current crisis, synthesize fragmented impact studies, co-create knowledge and support the sector as it begins to envision the future.
  • Cue to Cue will draft Guidelines for Occupational and Public Health Standards in performance venues during COVID recovery.

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 |