1. Funding
  2. Strategic Funds and Initiatives
  3. COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund

Federal emergency support administered by the Canada Council for the Arts

The Government of Canada has set aside $500M to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations through the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage, and Sport Organizations.

Canadian Heritage, its portfolio agencies, and key delivery organizations are responsible for the distribution of these funds. This funding is being distributed in two phases.

This federal emergency measure is intended to help maintain jobs, support business continuity for organizations, and stabilize the arts sector—as a major driver of the Canadian economy.

Phase 1: support for arts organizations

In the first phase, the Canada Council is administering $55M to eligible arts organizations experiencing a significant financial impact as a result of the pandemic.

Phase 2: support for Indigenous and equity-seeking groups and organizations

As part of a second phase, the Council is distributing $7.8M in emergency support to arts collectives, groups and organizations from Indigenous, culturally diverse, Deaf and disability, and official language minority communities affected by the pandemic. 

Phase 1: support for arts organizations 

You do not have to apply for this funding.

The Canada Council has emailed information about these emergency measures to key contacts at arts organizations that have applied for and received a project or core grant from the Council over the past three years (April 2017 to April 2020).

The Council has identified key contacts from organizations’ accounts on the Council’s online granting portal.

We will be sending instructions and additional communications to these key contacts.

Please ensure your organization has updated the key contacts in your portal account and profile.

Eligible Phase 1: Core and project organization recipients

Organizations eligible in phase 1 include Canadian arts organizations that experienced a 25% reduction in revenues and:

  • applied for and were awarded core or project funding from any Canada Council program, fund, or special initiative between April 2017 and April 2020 (except for funding awarded through the Commission internationale du théâtre francophone [CITF], prizes or the Canadian Commission for UNESCO);
  • only receive emergency support funding from one participating department or agency (Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Media Fund, or Telefilm Canada)

The Canada Council is working closely with Canadian Heritage and Portfolio organizations to coordinate our funding responses and to avoid double funding. Organizations will be contacted by either the Canada Council or one of the other partner organizations or portfolio agencies with instructions on completing the attestation.

Publishers, museums, cultural/educational institutions and provincial/territorial entities

Only literary book publishers that receive funding through the Canada Council, and not from Canadian Heritage, are eligible for this support from the Canada Council. Other book publishers will be supported through Canadian Heritage’s Canada Book Fund – Support for Publishers program.

Museums that are eligible to receive funding from the Canada Council in Phase 1 have already been contacted. Eligible museums with heritage collections currently funded through Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program (MAP) were addressed by funding through the MAP.

Cultural institutions associated with educational institutions or universities are considered eligible. 

Provincial/territorial crown corporations are not eligible for this funding.  Provincial/territorial government agencies must contact the Emergency Fund team to determine their eligibility.

Submit: Portal attestation form

To receive Phase 1 funding, organizations are required to complete a form through the Council’s online application portal to attest that:

  • need funding to ensure a continuity of operations and to safeguard jobs;
  • have experienced or anticipate experiencing a 25% loss of total revenue for a three-month period in 2020 as compared with total revenue for a comparable three-month period in the previous fiscal year;
  • are only receiving emergency support funding from one (1) participating Department or Agency (Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada);
  • remain in operation at the time of application and plan to continue contributing to their sector in the future.

Additionally, the Council has asked core funded organizations to update their CADAC financial and statistical projections to help us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on their organization.

Funding: Formula based

There will be no assessment process. Funding will be calculated according to the following formula:

  • For organizations that have core funding in 2020-21:
    • 25% of your 2020-21 core grant;
    • plus, up to 25% of your highest annual project funding amount in the past three years.
  • For project-funded organizations:
    • up to 25% of your highest annual project funding amount in the past three years.
  • If you held a core grant between 2017 and 2019 but no longer receive core funding, a portion (up to 25%) of your last core grant amount may be considered in the calculation.
  • In the calculation, the Digital Strategy Fund amounts will be capped at $25,000. 
  • Each eligible organization will receive a minimum of $5,000. 
  • Exact amounts are subject to demand and availability of budget.

There will be no appeals. 

Reporting COVID-19 Impact in CADAC (Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada): for Core Grant Recipients

The Canada Council for the Arts asks organizations that receive core funding from the Council (excluding publishers) to provide updated financial and statistical (if applicable) projections in CADAC by July 19, 2020.

Updated CADAC data will enable the Council to evaluate the immediate and short-range impact of the disruption caused by COVID-19 on the operations of organizations and provide insights into what other initiatives may help the arts sector in this time of crisis.

Organizations receiving core grants are asked to update their financial and statistical forms (if applicable) and record any variances in projections due to COVID-19 that might affect annual projections.

The update might cover one or two years, i.e., 2019-20 and/or 2020-21, depending on your fiscal year end. Update CADAC data for the year(s) that contain the months of March, April, May and June 2020 and any additional months where there is a known impact from COVID-19 (e.g. confirmed cancellations).

Only update the impacts that are known (e.g. cancellations that are confirmed) versus impacts that are likely (e.g. possible touring cancellation in the fall). The space provided for details in the CADAC financial and statistical forms should be used to record relevant information related to these variances in projections.

Specific instructions on how organizations can update their CADAC financial and statistical data are available under FAQs Reporting COVID-19 Impact in CADAC (PDF).

The guide Reporting COVID-19 Impact in CADAC (PDF) provides instructions on how revenues and expenses related to COVID-19 should be recorded in CADAC.

For all questions regarding this update, please contact CADAC at 1-866-249-0296 #1 or send an email to cadacinfo@thecadac.ca

Phase 2: support for Indigenous and equity-seeking groups and organizations

You do not have to apply for this funding.

The Canada Council is emailing potentially eligible arts collectives, groups and organizations that have self-identified in the Council's online portal as belonging to one of Council’s designated equity priority groups (culturally diverse; Deaf and disability; Indigenous; official language minority communities).

The Council has identified key contacts from these organizations’ accounts on the Council’s portal.

We will be sending instructions and additional communications to these key contacts.

Please ensure your organization has updated the key contacts in your portal account and profile.

Eligible Phase 2: Indigenous and equity-seeking groups and organizations

Those eligible for this phase are Canadian arts collectives, groups and organizations whose activities are negatively impacted by COVID-19 and belong to one of Council’s four designated equity priority groups:

In addition, eligible recipients must correspond to one of the following:

  • groups that applied for and received eligible Council funding* between April 2017 and June 2020;
  • organizations that applied for eligible Council funding* between April 2017 and June 2020 and whose project was recommended but not successful;
  • organizations that applied for and received eligible Council funding* between April 2017 and June 2020, and who declined Phase 1 funding;
  • have not already received and will not receive other emergency support funding from a participating funding department or agency (Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Media Fund or Telefilm Canada).

* Eligible Council funding refers to core or project funding under any Canada Council program, fund or special initiative, apart from Commission internationale du théâtre francophone (CITF) funding and funding awarded through prizes or the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Submit: Portal attestation forms

To receive Phase 2 funding, entities will be required to complete a form through the Council’s online application portal to attest that:

  • For Indigenous collectives, groups and organizations: at least 50% of their group/collective membership is of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and that at least 2 of their leaders and core members are professional artists and/or arts professionals and/or cultural professionals and/or cultural carriers; or that their organization has 3 or more members, a majority of whom are First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples;
  • For other collectives and groups: their mandate or purpose, group structure, artistic activities, and choice of artists reflect and support culturally diverse, Deaf and disability and/or official language minority communities.
  • For other organizations: the majority (i.e., 51% or more) of their activities, artistic content and financial/human resources are regularly dedicated to culturally diverse, Deaf and disability and/or official language minority communities; they may refer to Council’s diversity evaluation tool for guidance.
  • In addition, to be eligible, entities must declare that their activities have been or will be negatively impacted by COVID-19, and that they have not already received and will not receive other emergency support funding from a participating funding department or agency (Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Media Fund or Telefilm Canada).

If a collective, group or organization does not meet the above criteria, they must decline funding. Those that already accepted phase I funding are not eligible for Phase 2.

Funding: Formula based

There will be no assessment process. Funding will be calculated according to the following formula:

  • For organizations that have core funding in 2020-21:
    • 25% of their 2020-21 core grant;
    • plus, up to 25% of their highest annual project funding amount in the past three years.
  • For project-funded collectives, groups and organizations:
    • up to 25% of their highest annual project funding amount in the past three years.
  • Organizations whose applications were recommended for, but not awarded funding will receive $5,000.
  • If an entity previously held a core grant between 2017 and 2019 but no longer receives core funding, a portion (up to 25%) of their last core grant amount may be considered in the calculation.
  • In the calculation, the Digital Strategy Fund amounts are averaged to a maximum of $100,000 and capped at $25,000. 
  • Each eligible organization will receive a minimum of $5,000. 
  • Exact amounts are subject to demand and availability of budget.

There will be no appeals.

Portal

Eligible organizations have been contacted with instructions on how to complete the attestation in the portal.

When are funds distributed?

Emergency funds are being released in batches based on dates of when the portal attestation is received.

For more information

For further information, you can email: emergencyfund@canadacouncil.ca.

Individuals who are Deaf and/or have disabilities, including those living with mental illness, and require additional support for the process of completing an attestation, can contact us by calling 1-800-263-5588, ext. 5060 or by emailing emergencyfund@canadacouncil.ca. We welcome Video Relay Service (VRS) calls, and we can also support conversations with your preferred sign language interpreter in ASL or LSQ. As always, we will cover these interpreting costs.