Dear members of Ontario's touring and presenting industry,
We are all aware that the COVID-19 crisis is having unprecedented effects on our sector, and all of us are doing our best to navigate our constantly-changing reality. Ontario Presents is of course not a public health authority and we do not have all the answers, but we do want to let you know that we are here for the sector and we are working to do all that we can to support you at this difficult time.

Below are a few key updates on what Ontario Presents is doing, how arts service organizations are working together, how you can help, and other resources that may be of assistance to you at this time.

If you have a question, a resource to share, or simply need support, we invite you to get in touch with us, or to share directly with CAPACOA's COVID-19 mailing list.

Our thoughts are with everyone who is experiencing severe financial strain, fear, and stress. We hope that we can all be kind and work to empathetically support one another so that our sector can emerge from this crisis and continue to support live performing arts in our province.

If you need to see some uplifting creative work right now, check out #CreativeIsolation on Twitter, The Social Distancing Festival, or the many other ways that artists are finding to share their work online!

Stay well, we're all in this together,
The Ontario Presents Team
In this email (click to jump):
Ontario Presents Operations:

Our office, like most, has now fully closed in-person operations. Our small team continues to work hard from our home offices and in-person meetings are being moved online. We are in contact with presenters, agents, managers, and artists whose block-booked shows have been affected.

We are currently evaluating the situation and the impact that it will have on both our Spring Gathering (scheduled for June 24-26) and Ontario Contact (September 10-12). Currently both events are proceeding as planned, but we will share further information as it becomes available.


Conference Call Services:

We have heard from numerous arts workers who have a sudden need to host online or phone-based meetings and do not have a platform to do so. In response, Ontario Presents will be making our conferencing service available free of charge to any Ontario-based artist, agent, presenter, or other arts presenting industry professional who has a need to host an online or phone meeting and does not have the means to do so.

If you have the ability to set up your own conference service account, we ask that you save this free service for those who truly need it.

If you are interested in using this service to host a meeting, please contact



We are working with arts service organizations from across the country to advocate for support to our sector during and after this crisis. Right now, the most important thing is data collection so that we can track the impact on our sector. Here are a few steps that we are taking, and ways that you can help:
  • CAPACOA has created an Event Cancellation Tracking Document. Please continue to add any cancelled or postponed shows to this document. While it may seem overwhleming given the number of cancellations, this document remains important to track impact.
  • We all know that it is helpful to share information and best practices and to feel part of a supportive community. If you have not already, we invite you to join and participate in the conversations via the CAPACOA COVID-19 Mailing List. This is open to any performing arts stakeholders.
  • National arts service organizations are working together and are currently striking working groups to coordinate response. If you have expertise or a keen interest in any of the following topics and you are willing to commit time to support a working group, please contact Frédéric at CAPACOA:
    • Advocacy
    • Cashflow / working capital
    • Human resources
    • Data collection and impact assessment
    • Insurance / contracting
    • Mental health support
    • Long range recovery
  • Data collection is so important and as we organize our cooridnated response, individual ASOs are doing their part to measure impact. If you receive survey requests from ASOs, please take the time to respond and share your stories. This will ultimately help the sector.


Many groups have been working hard to provide information and support at this difficult time. Here are just a few resources that we believe may be useful, but there are many more available!

Collections of Resources:
Resources for Artists and Agents:
  • NAPAMA Resources and FAQs for agents, managers, and self-represented artists
  • #CanadaPerforms: Artists can apply now through March 31st to receive a $1000 grant and perform a livestreamed event that will be shared through the National Arts Centre's Facebook page.
  • The Social Distancing Festival: A place to celebrate the work of artists who have had events cancelled due to social distancing measures
  • A place for artists and freelance workers to share impact stories. Through surveys and more, will help track the financial impacts of lost gigs in the short-term, advocate for government intervention in the mid-term, and offer resources and support in the long-term.
  • A US-based, online emergency preparedness service for arts organizations. The site includes many resources, including business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability.
Funder Updates: Other Resources:

Thank you for being part of Ontario's live performing arts sector! We appreciate you and we are here for you!
Ontario Presents gratefully acknowledges the following public funders:


Ontario Presents     305-192 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C7     416 703 6709

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Ontario Presents · 305-192 Spadina Avenue · Toronto, Ontario M5T 2C2 · Canada

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