COVID-19

Support Resources for Creators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By March 23, 2020 March 26th, 2020 No Comments

(Last updated: March 26, 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.

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.
 
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 hto 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 Manitboa (NMM), La Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, SaskInteractive, and Videogames PEI. The taskforce has released a survey for digital interactive media companies, available here, to assess the impact of COVID-19. The deadline to respond to the survey is March 31.
 
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. We note that some of the support mechanisms are to be implemented in the coming months and so instructions are not yet available.
 
The website is available here, and again artists should check back as things develop to see if there are any updates: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html
 
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.
 
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.
 
Additionally, TAC has partnered with the Toronto Arts Foundation for the TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund. Artist who qualify for the fund may receive up to $1,000 for relief from arts cancellations stemming from COVID-19. To qualify for the fund, artist must (a) be self-employed professional artist/arts professional, (b) have a permanent address in Toronto, (c) be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or approved refugee claimant, and (d) provide documentation evidencing their lost revenues. Artists may apply for the fund here, and the first grants are slated to be released in mid-April
 
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

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 eligibity 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.
 
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 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 at http://www.cfmusicians.org/uploads/file/CFM%20OPEN%20LETTER%20TO%20GOVERNMENT.pdf.
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.
 
CONNECT Music Licensing – Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing are circulating a survey for Canadian musicians, with questions about the impact of COVID-19. The results of this survey will be used in discussions with government about the appropriate support measures for musicians. The deadline to complete the survey is this Friday, March 27. Please find the survey here.
 
Film/TV Industry Task Force – Various Canadian funding and production organizations have jointly created an industry task force to assess the local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are circulating a survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on production companies. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31. The survey may be found here.
 
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/
 
Interactive Digital Media Taskforce – Groups in the Canadian interactive digital media industry have partnered with the Canada Media Fund (CMF) 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 Manitboa (NMM), La Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, SaskInteractive, and Videogames PEI. The taskforce has released a survey for digital interactive media companies, available here, to assess the impact of COVID-19. The deadline to respond to the survey is March 31.
 
Music Canada – Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing are circulating a survey for Canadian musicians, with questions about the impact of COVID-19. The results of this survey will be used in discussions with government about the appropriate support measures for musicians. The deadline to complete the survey is this Friday, March 27. Please find the survey 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/ 
 
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/
 
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.