CBC- Here's where Canadian artists and freelancers can find help during COVID-19

COVID-19 has devastated the Canadian arts community. With social distancing heavily encouraged, theatres, concert venues, art galleries and stores have been forced to close. Touring musicians have cancelled gigs, book launches have been postponed and film productions across the country are halted.

This list will be updated as more resources become available. To add a resource, please email H.G. Watson.

Emergency funding

  • CBC Creative Relief Fund — In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CBC has launched The CBC Creative Relief Fund to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators. The unprecedented new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.

  • Woodcock Fund Grant — This grant provides emergency funds for writers mid-project.

  • The AFC — Provides emergency financial aid for entertainment professionals.

  • Unison — Provides financial aid for musicians.

  • Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers – Administered by Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto, this fund will help cover emergency aid and paid work for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers. 

  • CANADIAN Low-Income Artist/Musician Relief Fund — A group fundraising to support a relief fund.

  • Behind the Scenes Basic Needs Grants — Provides financial assistance for seriously ill entertainment technology professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists — Accepting applications from artists who post a 45 to 60 minute online performance between today and March 31, 2020. Financial grants will be given out from a $100,000 relief fund.

  • The Photographer Fund — A $25,000 fund to help self-employed photographers facing hardship.

  • Canadian Cinema Worker Fund — Fundraiser to create a fund for cinema workers who will not be compensated by their employers for the foreseeable future.

  • GTA Black Community Emergency Support Fund — Artist-organized community fundraiser for Black people in the GTA, particularly those working in the gig economy.

  • Toronto Arts Council — To assist Toronto artists in dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Counciare introducing the TOArtist COVID Response Fund. The Fund will allocate up to $1000 to self-employed, individual artists resident in Toronto whose creative work and income have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Writers Union of Canada — The Writers' Trust of Canada and The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) announced the creation of the Canadian Writers' Emergency Relief Fund to provide support to professional authors financially affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. The fund will begin with an initial amount of $150,000 and distribute grants in amounts of $1,500 to writers that have seen contracted or projected income evaporate due to the current public health crisis. Financial support for the program is supplied by three program partners: the Writers' Trust, TWUC, and RBC.

  • MusicTogether — A $300K emergency relief fund for Ontario musicians put together by the provincial government and members of the music community. Musicians can apply for a one-time $1,000 performance fee tied to a livestream.

Advocacy groups

Online training resources

Health and mental health resources

  • Crisis Services Canada — Providing suicide prevention and support. Call 1-833-456-4566.

  • Distress Centres of Greater Toronto — Volunteer-delivered crisis, emotional support and suicide prevention, intervention and postvention service agency. Call 416-408-4357.

  • NABS support line — Confidential and professional assistance to marketing and communications professionals. Call 1-888-355-5548.

  • Unison — A toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues in English and French. Call 1-855-986-4766.

  • TO Community response to COVID19 Facebook group — Facebook group connecting people in need with helpers in Toronto.

  • Calltime; Mental Health — An initiative created by British Columbia's motion picture industry unions to provide mental health resources for motion picture industry workers.

  • Isolate/Create — Free resource providing creatives with digital assets to spark creativity and inspire digital collaboration.

Temporary/remote job opportunities