Federal Supports for Arts and Live Events Workers in Response to COVID-19

Date: Mar 17, 2021

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Simon Brault, Director and CEO for the Canada Council for the Arts, has announced further details about the implementation of $181.5 million in funding for the live arts and music sectors in 2021–2022.

This funding will support the planning and presentation of COVID-19-safe events in the arts and music sectors—including both live and digital—and provide work opportunities in these sectors. The Department of Canadian Heritage will deliver $40 million in new funding to stimulate short-term contracting of workers in the live events sector, through the Support for Workers in the Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund. The purpose of this fund is to:

  • support the arts and cultural sectors in immediately contracting and employing artists and cultural workers, as part of the federal government’s overall efforts to help Canadians and Canadian businesses weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • and, provide arts and cultural experiences, both live and digital to Canadians, while restrictions on gatherings and travel continue across the country

Information on how to access the new fund is available on the Canadian Heritage website.

In addition, there is a one-year renewal of an additional $25 million initially provided in Budget 2019 to help stabilize the overall environment for the arts and music sectors through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Canada Music Fund. Funding for workers in the live arts and music sectors is through the Local Festivals component of the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program.

For its part, the Canada Council for the Arts will invest $116.5 million. Through a new digital innovation initiative (Digital Now), $50.5 million will enable arts groups, collectives and organizations to adapt or create works to be shared with virtual audiences; and $66 million of new funding will be used to stimulate increased research, creation and production of new work through the Explore and Create program.

Arts and culture play a vital role in the civic and economic life of Canadians. This country’s creative sector, which is a major economic driver, is facing extraordinary challenges because of the COVID 19 pandemic. The Government is committed to supporting Canadian artists and cultural workers through this difficult time. This is why the government created the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations, and why we are continuing to provide additional support through targeted and sector specific measures announced in the Fall Economic Statement 2020.