COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Apr 21, 2020
As we've become used to, things are changing every day! Below are the latest COVID-19 updates. Please continue to refer to the COVID-19 Response for the Live Performance Sector document and to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We're in this together! - The OP Team
In this email (click to jump):
Reminder: Canada Survey on Business Conditions
ICYMI: $500M Fund for Culture
OAC Updates
Chronicles of a Pandemic
Arts Response Webinar
Audience Outlook Monitor
Reminder: Canadian Survey on Business Conditions


Thank you to our friends at CAPACOA for the following message:

The deadline to particpate in Statistics Canada's Canadian Survey on Business Conditions is coming up this Friday, April 24th.

This survey will directly inform the government’s decisions with regards to industry-specific measures, during the crisis and over the recovery period. It is essential that the performing arts sector be well represented in the survey results.

This is our chance to let the federal government know how severely our industry is impacted by the pandemic.
Take the Survey (due Friday)
ICYMI: $500M Fund for Arts, Culture, and Sport

As we're sure you've heard, last Friday the government announced a $500 million fund to support cultural, heritage, and sport organizations. Our sincere thanks to everyone involved in advocating for and creating this much-needed fund!

While little details are available as of yet, below is an update from the Minister of Canadian Heritage's office. Beyond this notice, it is our understanding that fund is primarily intended to support the people and organizations (of all sizes) whose needs are somehow not being addressed with the current suite of relief programs. The Ministry is working with partners to determine the fastest and most effective mechanisms to ensure that much-needed funds are received quickly.

We will monitor and share any updates.
Update from Irene Cheung, Policy Advisor, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage:
The Government of Canada is providing $500 million in 2020-21 to establish a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the complex financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors.

The Fund is meant for organizations that can’t qualify for the existing wage subsidy because of the lumpy or irregular nature of their revenues as well as to cover contract workers. The Fund will also provide advances on future grants and contributions to help maintain liquidity as well as small subsidies to cover some fixed costs.

Eligible organizations and businesses include:
  • Canadian not-for-profit cultural, heritage and arts organizations
  • National Sports Organizations, Multisport Service Organizations, and Canadian Sport Centres and Institutes 
  • Canadian journalistic organizations
  • Canadian book publishers 
  • Canadian production companies that work in the film or television industries
  • Organizations in the music industry 
  • Television and radio broadcasters
  • Recipients of the Digital Citizen Initiative
Full press release
OAC Updates

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has announced a number of actions to support Ontario’s artists and arts organizations at this time:

New COVID-19 Response Initiative: OAC is developing a strategic fund to help Ontario artists and arts organizations respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Changed or Cancelled Projects: Many artists and arts organizations have lost income or incurred unanticipated expenses due to changed or cancelled projects. Any change or cancellation costs due to COVID-19 will be considered eligible expenses. OAC will not ask for repayment of grants for which related expenses have been incurred, including any reasonable expenses related to unexpected changes and cancellations, up to the total grant amount.

Project Program Deadlines and Requirements: All spring deadlines for project programs have been extended by two weeks to provide additional time for applicants to adjust their plans and add any COVID-19 contingency measures to their applications.

Operating Grants: Program deadlines and peer assessment of operating grants have been suspended for 2020. OAC will release 2020-21 operating grant payments as soon as possible, to respond to the cash flow needed to sustain operations. Operating grants will not need to be returned if activities are changed or cancelled.

Travel and In-Person Gatherings: OAC is not allocating any new grants for activities that involve travel or in-person gatherings that are expected to take place before June 30, 2020. The next Touring Projects deadline is June 25, 2020, for tours beginning this fall or later. The Market Development Travel Assistance program is suspended while we consider new approaches to supporting market development activities.

A Province-Wide Snapshot of COVID-19 Effects on Arts Organizations: OAC has completed a mini survey of OAC-funded organizations across all sectors to get a sense of the high-level impact figures in Ontario. This complements the more detailed work being done by sector-specific Arts Service Organizations (ASOs), which OAC is also following. OAC will do a comprehensive analysis later in the year once we have a fuller picture of the impacts.
See OAC's Overview
Chronicles of a Pandemic

As all of us work to adapt to this new reality and with the situation evolving rapidly, CAPACOA is working to document what they and our fellow arts service organizations are hearing from the arts sector. CAPACOA has just shared the first chapter of their new "Chronicle of a Pandemic and the Performing Arts Sector." They will continue to capture snapshots through these Chronicles to help you stay informed.

Chapter I focuses on Performing Arts Presenters and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
Read Chapter I
Arts Response Webinar
Business / Arts arts response webinars bannerBusiness / Arts is offering a free webinar tomorrow (Wednesday, April 22 at 3pm EDT) to review how arts organizations can access government support.

Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, will share the latest news about how the federal government is continuing to support artists and arts organizations during these unprecedented times, through the expansion of programs such as the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

The webinar will also feature Sean Casey and Tara Mazurk of Global Public Affairs, who will provide an update on activities taking place across the arts sector nationally.

Audience Outlook Monitor

Audience Outlook Monitor graphicThis week, WolfBrown announced the COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor: A worldwide tracking study of audience attitudes about attendance at arts and cultural programs and venues during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

The research will take the form of a longitudinal tracking study of audiences and visitors in partnership with funders and service organizations. WolfBrown hopes to bring timely and essential data to the sector’s decision-making about when and how to resume programming.

Find out more

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:


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