COVID-19

Support Resources for Creators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By March 23, 2020 May 19th, 2020 No Comments

(Last updated: May 19, 2020)

ALAS has gathered the following sources which provide information on the support mechanisms available (and planned to be available) to Canadian creators during the developing COVID-19 pandemic. This list is geared towards creators located in the Province of Ontario, but may include resources that are helpful to creators located across Canada.

We will be updating this page periodically as more information becomes available. If you are looking for assistance we recommend that you consider these resources, and continue to check back for more information as it becomes available. ALAS will continue to update this webpage as more information becomes available, and many of the resources listed below are similarly expected to update as things develop.

ALAS has also prepared a dedicated list of economic support benefits being offered by the Canadian Federal government, including the CERB, CESB, CBWS, CEBA, and CECRA. The dedicated list is available here.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and you are located in Ontario then the Province recommends you immediately contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

 

1) Governmental Support

Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) –  CCA is working with various Canadian government entities to put support mechanisms in place for the arts community in light of the developing COVID-19 pandemic. CCA has prepared an online info hub for details, and they will be updating the webpage as things develop.

 

The webpage is available at https://canadacouncil.ca/covid-19-information.

The CCA online hub details various governmental responses, and is a good starting point for artists (both at home and abroad) looking for information on governmental support.
 

The CCA has also partnered with CBC to offer $5000 micro-grants for artists to bring their work online. These grants are available to artists of all disciplines, and includes individual artists, collectives, and companies. The grants can be applied for on the application portal of the Canada Council website. You must create an account, which must be verified (can take up to 15 days), so act quickly. The deadline in June 15.

 
Canadian Heritage (PCH) – PCH has prepared a page on their website that outlines the info available for recipients of grants/contributions, and how to respond to changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes details for cancelled events, how to use funding in light of COVD-19, recommended precautions, etc.
The webpage is available here, and artists should check back as things develop to see if PCH updates the page: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/information-covid-19.html
 
Additionally, PCH confirms on the site that they are available by phone/email using the following contact details:
Toll Free: (1-866-811-0055)
Other: 819-997-0055
 

Canada Media Fund (CMF) – The CMF has partnered with a number of groups in the Canadian interactive digital media industry to form a taskforce dedicated to assisting Canadian companies impacted by COVID-19. The partnered groups including the Canadian Interactive Alliance (CIA / AIC), DigiBC, Interactive Ontario (IO), New Media Manitoba (NMM), La Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, SaskInteractive, and Videogames PEI. They have posted a number of resources on their COVID-19 Information Hub For Canada’s Screen-Based Industries. This site has daily updates to their Action Plan, including information on the latest funding supports for the screen industry.

The CMF announced that, starting May 20, $88.5M in funding will be dispersed to businesses and organizations in Canada’ television and digital media sectors that have been affected by COVID-19. These funds are available to parent companies who have received support in any year from 2017 to 2020 and funding will be between $200k ad $800k depending on the prior level of funding. More information about the criteria can be found in this overview or in greater detail on the programs site. Applications are open until June 12 via Telefilm Canada’s Dialogue platform.

 

Department of Finance (DOF) – DOF has prepared a webpage outlining of the Federal Government’s support plan, for both individual Canadians and for businesses. This includes summary details as well as instructions on how to access support mechanisms, such as how to submit applications for temporary income support for workers and parents.A full list of support benefits can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html. ALAS has also prepared a list of economic benefits here:

 
Province of Ontario – The Ontario provincial government’s webpage summarizing its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
Ontario has promised support for workers in response to COVID-19 that will be implemented in the coming weeks. We recommend checking back with the province’s website as things develop for direct lines to support.
 

Telefilm Canada – Telefilm has been engaged to distribute the $115.8M stimulus from the Federal Government to support the audiovisual sector. Details on how the funds will be dispersed are still in discussion, but a dedicated team will be handling its distribution. Clients can contact Telefilm Canada by email at covid-19@telefim.ca or the Canada Media Fund at cmf.coordination@telefilm.ca for more information, or visit their website: https://telefilm.ca/en/covid-19-updates.

 

Telefilm’s regular programs are continuing as usual, with the ability to request waivers for theatrical releases.

 
Toronto Arts Council – For creators in the City of Toronto, the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) has prepared a webpage collecting announcements and resources for artists and arts organizations. The website is available here: https://torontoartscouncil.org/advocate/covid-19-updates.
 

Toronto Response to COVID-19 – For creators in the City of Toronto, the City has grouped updates and resources for residents on a webpage located at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/. The site includes phone numbers for city services, including the following:

 

Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000
Toronto Public Health Hotline: 416-338-7600 / 416-392-0658 (TTY) / PublicHealth@toronto.ca
311 Toronto: 311 / 416-392-2489 (if outside City limits) / 416-338-0889 (TTY)

 
Service Canada- Federal government websites and offices are continuing to operate. For information relating to Employment Insurance (EI), you may wish to try to contact Service Canada by phone at 1-800-206-7218
 
If you are not able to reach Service Canada by phone, you may access EI support mechanisms online at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/my-account.html
 
 

2) Private Resources

Access Copyright – Access Copyright has launched #ReadAloudCanada for educators and librarians to access free, non-commercial usage licenses for books written by Canadian authors to be read for digital distribution. This is a non-funded program that gives students the opportunity to engage with materials. More information on the website: https://www.accesscopyright.ca/read-aloud To request permission, email permissions@accesscopyright.ca with the title, publisher, and ISBN of the work.

Actors Fund of Canada (AFC) – AFC is offering information and assistance to entertainment industry workers whose primary income has been impacted by COVID-19. They have prepared a website outlining the emergency financial aid program they have available (including eligibility requirements), and outlining other recommended support mechanisms. The AFC site is available at the following link, again check back for updates as things develop: https://afchelps.ca/covid-19-guide/ 
 
AFC is also recommending that applicants reach out to ask about eligibility and other assistance mechanisms at contact@afchelps.ca.  AFC is also welcoming donations from those who have the ability to lend support, if you are able then please visit https://afchelps.thankyou4caring.org/donate
 
ACTRA – For Canadian film and television actors, ACTRA has dedicated a page on their website for information on the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be updating the website as new information becomes available: https://www.actra.ca/covid19/
The ACTRA page includes details on governmental support, health information, how to call Parliament to action, an FAQ (‘Coming Soon’ as of this writing), branch-specific details, and other information. ACTRA can be contacted at actra@actra.ca or using the organization’s general enquiry line at 416-489-1311.
 

Akin Collective – Members of the Akin Collective can apply for rent relief during the COVID-19 crisis. The Fund, provided to current Akin artists and creatives, provides one-time, anonymous grants towards studio rent at Akin. The Fund is also open for donations. If you are an Akin member, more information can be found here: https://www.akincollective.com/rentrelief

 

Behind the Scenes – Behind the Scenes provides Basic Needs Grants to those who have earned a living for a minimum of five years in the entertainment technology industry. This grant is not available to performing artists. For more information, go to their website. To apply, fill out this form.

 

Black Emergency Support Fund – Black Lives Matter Toronto has organized a support fund for members of the Black Community in Toronto who have lost income due to COVID-19. The Fund aims to support those who have extreme needs, but the Application is based upon self-assessment of need. The application is now closed, but you can visit the GoFundMe to donate. 

Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA) – CAEA offers various forms of support for Canadian stage actors, including labour agreement negotiations, benefit plans, advocacy and other resources. CAEA is providing updates on information and developments relating to COVID-19, with a focus on the impact on CAEA’s members. For Canadian stage actors who are members of CAEA, the organization can be contacted using the following telephone numbers:
National Office: 1-800-387-1856 / 416-867-9165 in Toronto
Western Office: 1-877-682-6173 / 604-682-6173 in Vancouver
For Emergencies Outside of Business Hours:1-800-387-1856 (416-867-9165 in Toronto), press ‘4’ and leave a message for a callback asap.
 

Canadian Art in Isolation – This non-monetary initiative seeks to connect visual artists with seniors who have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19. The initiative asks for submissions by Toronto-based artists who can provide seniors with works of art that can be displayed in their room, an attempt to alleviate the stress of isolation. For more information, go to their website: https://cdnartinisolation.format.com/

 

Canadian Artists’ Representation (CARFAC) – CARFAC is encouraging all visual artists to document their economic losses through ILostMyGig.ca.

 

Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund (CAMRF) – The CAMRF has launched a GoFundMe to support Artists and Musicians that have been impacted by COVID-19. Their goal is to give $200 to 500 Artists across Canada. In order to qualify, you must fill out this Google Form. Dispursements are made every Sunday. For more information or to donate, go to their GoFundMe page.

 

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – The CBC has partnered with the Canada Council for the Arts to offer $5000 micro-innovation grants to creators to transition their work online. The grants are available to artists, groups or organizations to adapt existing work or to create new work for digital dissemination. Projects will be housed on a dedicated CBC website and will feature selected projects on their CBC/Radio-Canada platforms (eg. GEM, Listen). If selected, curated content will receive an additional $1000. Applications can be made through the Canada Council of the Arts and the deadline is June 15. 

Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) – The CFM has prepared an open letter to the Federal Government calling for urgent support for Canadian musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter is available here.
Additionally, CFM is encouraging members/musicians to contact local CFM offices to confirm all losses of work relating to COVID-19.
CFM’s head office can be contacted at 1 800 463-6333 / 416 391-5161 in Ontario. For information on CFM’s regional branches please visit http://cfmusicians.org/contact.
 

Co-Mission – Co-Mission is an organization designed to raise money to pay musical performing artists by commissioning new recordings for compilation albums. Co-Mission pays artists to record and submit new music, which will then be made available on Bandcamp as part of one of more compilation album(s) (the first of which is available now). The contributing musicians retaining all rights in their music, and proceeds from compilation album sales will be used to fund additional song commissions for future albums. To apply or receive more information, email Fred Knittle of Folkadelphia. For more information on the project, visit their website: https://comissioncompilation.wordpress.com/

 

 

Festival Academy – The Festival Academy provides useful resources, including webinars, that help to move a festival online. These resources can also help consider how to create revenue-generating livestreams for companies looking to transition. More information on their website: https://www.thefestivalacademy.eu/en/covid-19/

 

 

Glad Day Book Shop – The Glad Day Bookstore has organized a non-profit program, Glad Day Lit, to raise money for an Emergency Survival Fund to assist those in the LGBTQ2+ community. The Fund is available to artists, performers, and tip-based workers in the community who need emergency support. They are providing paid work and swift grants and loans up to $800 to go towards living expenses. To apply, donate, and for more information, go to gladdaylit.ca 

 

Independent Game Developers Association (IDGA) – The IDGA has prepared a page setting out COVId-19 related information and resources for the gaming development community, including tips for working from home: https://igda.org/resources/covid-19-resources/
 

Music Together (Ontario Live) – Music Together is an online living-room concert series that pays musical artists in need. The program, funded by arts leaders and the Ontario Government, provides funding, discovery, and eCommerce tools during COVID-19. The program pays $1000 to play a livestream show to new and established audiences and gives the opportunity to monetize the audience via merchandise. In order to be selected, you must be a working musician (making a living through music), Ontario-based, and have the ability to film your own livestream. More information on criteria, benefits, and application can be found on their website.  

 

Netflix – Netflix has provided a $150M relief fund for employees and crews that have been impacted by COVID-19. If you were working on a Netflix production before the shutdown and have not received funding, reach out to your Production head or union rep. The fund is currently only reported to be until the end of April, but we will see as things progress.

 

Ottawa Music Development Fund (OMDF) – Available to Ottawa-based musicians who are members of Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC). The $25,000 fund provides Educational grants and Needs grants of $500 each. There are 3 Education and 45 Needs grants available. OMIC is also setting up Confined Dining, a program that provides musicians with a 20-minute set. Recipients of grants will be invited to partake and will be coached on adapting to a virtual audience. The application form can be filled out here. More information can be found on the website: https://ottawamic.com/news-nouvelles/2020/4/30/9g9u0ii9ai3pxcaaf7obftneiuhp92

 

Ontario Creates/Ontario Film Commission – The Ontario Film Commission has compiled a list of Professional Development & Learning Resources that are available online during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The full list of resources can be found here.

 

Ontario Creates is also working to release funding more quickly, increase flexibility on filing, and have created a second application deadline of August 31. A full list of their COVID-19 response can be found here.

 

Playback Magazine – The film, television, broadcasting and media magazine, Playbackhas removed its online paywall for articles relating to COVID-19, and is allowing all users to review the magazine’s current articles and archives. Playback’s COVID-19 related coverage can be found here.

 
Re:Sound – For music creators, Re:Sound has posted a notice to their website confirming that they are continuing to operate, and indicating that they will be providing more information as it becomes available. For more details visit https://www.resound.ca/ 
 
Side Door – A platform for setting up ticketed livestreaming. Unlike free-to-view platforms, Side Door offers a pay-based platform designed to create an online venue, offering hosts and artists the majority of proceeds for shows. Set up a profile on their site: https://sidedooraccess.com/home 
 
SOCAN – For music creators, SOCAN has collected a list of resources, events, and information sharing networks: https://www.socanmagazine.ca/news/covid-19-update-more-resources-from-the-canadian-music-community/
 

Social Distancing Festival – The Social Distancing Festival is a submission based multidisciplinary festival that provides a platform for the dissemination of art in a isolated world. Submissions are ongoing and open to all, though preference is given to works that were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. More information and submissions can be made on their website: https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/submit 

Unison Benevolent Fund – The Unison Benevolent Fund continues to support the Canadian music community with counselling and emergency relief services.
 
Unison is reviewing individual requests for assistance on a case-by-case basis. They are available at 1-855-986-4766 (1-855-9UNISON). Unison is also always accepting donations from those who with the means to assist, if you can help please visit https://unisonfund.ca/support-us/donate.

As of March 22,  UNISON has announced the Unison COVID-19 Relief Program, a $500,000 funding program for the Canadian music industry. Details are still emerging but Unison has stated that the funding is intended for Canadian musicians’ urgent needs for groceries, housing costs, and medical expenses.

 

Work In Culture – Work in Culture has waived all fees for posting jobs for the month of May. You can post work-from-home jobs on the JobBoard and training, events, or calls-for-submissions on the DiscoveryBoard. To make a posting, email info@workinculture.ca.

 

They have also compiled a list of information and resources, including free webinars and roundtables, which you can find on their COVID-19 Response page.

 

Writers’ Trust of Canada (WTC) – The Writer’s Trust set up the Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund. The last round of funding completed on May 7, but stay up-to-date on their website for new deadlines.