By Shakira, p
Posted on March 14, 2020

We have compiled a list of resources that can provide information on art-based funding assistance, government supports and daily updates surrounding the evolving nature of COVID-19. 

If you have further questions or need assistance surrounding any of the links provided below, email us at

Latest updated: June 1st, 2020


It is important that you stay up to date with COVID-19. This resource link will provide the latest news and information, including preventative methods, how to recognize symptoms, treatments and more. Click here for a nationwide update

CBC News: daily video coverages, press conferences and news on COVID-19

Canada COVID-19 APP
This is a central resource for accessing personalized, trusted, evidence-based information about the COVID-19 pandemic and track symptoms with Self-Check


Employment Insurance and Sickness benefits for COVID-19
Find out if you qualify for employment insurance, if you have a positive case of COVID-19 or if you are experiencing lay-offs: 

Economic Response Plan for COVID-19
Numerous other initiatives announced by the federal government to aid Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic are forthcoming, including deferred tax payments, Enhanced Canada Child Benefits, interest-free student loans, and more. 

Click here to access the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) support for individuals’ resource sheet.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

The CERB cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB applies to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). 

As of April 15th, 2020, CERB allows people to earn up to $1,000 per month. Extending the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

Click here to access the CERB Resource Sheet.

The New School of Finance created this guide to surviving a financial emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Toronto: COVID-19: Economic Support & Recovery
Economic Support and Recovery for Businesses, Individuals and Families

City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
Providing locations for essential services, improved neighbourhoods and population stats

Track Your Financial Losses

While our governments and arts councils are still in the process of determining what financial support they will be able to provide to workers who have been affected by event cancellations and public closures, they have all stated the importance of documenting your financial losses. Generator TO published a blog post about things to keep in mind when tracking financial losses due to COVID-19, including links to the following tracking tools: 

Help us Help you during this time. Share your story!


First Up with RBCxMusic
A series of 30-minute recorded performances submitted from selected emerging artists across Canada.

Each individual performance will be a part of a cross-country initiative that includes emerging Canadian musicians and recording artists. RBC will provide each selected individual participant with a $1000 reward (or up to $1500 for a group of 2 or more selected participants), promotional support and mentorship opportunities.

*Applications are open from May 20, 2020 at 9AM EST to June 4, 2020 at 5PM EST

Canada Council for the Arts – Digital Originals Grant
A new initiative offering a $5,000 micro innovation grant to help artists, arts groups, and organizations pivot their work for online sharing.

Artists, groups or organizations can either adapt their existing work or create a new work for digital dissemination to the Canadian public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funded projects will be housed on a dedicated CBC/Radio-Canada website. In addition, CBC/Radio-Canada will feature selected projects for showcase on at least one of its digital CBC/Radio-Canada platforms.

Selected projects for the curated CBC-Radio/Canada showcase will receive a supplemental amount of $1000.

Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund
Adobe established the $1M Fund to help visual creators stay on track and achieve their dreams. Application details.

Toronto Arts Foundation & the Toronto Arts Council – TOArtist Response Fund
To help the city’s artists who have lost performance income as a result of COVID-19, Toronto Arts Foundation is partnering with Toronto Arts Council to create the TOArtist COVID Response Fund. Qualifying artists will receive up to $1000 (about half a month’s rent).

For Professional Writers

Woodcock Fund
Emergency funding to Canadian writers facing lost income because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. A $2000-$10000 (typical) grant for professional writers (min. of 2 books published or equivalent) who are in midst of a book-length project and is facing an unforeseen financial need. 

The Writer’s Union of Canada & The Writer’s Trust of Canada – $150,000 Emergency Fund
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.  More information here. 

For Performing Artists

The National Arts Centre, Facebook Canada and Slaight Music Support for Canadian Performers
National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada announced that it would provide $100,000 to support Canadian Performers Impacted by COVID-19. The resulting livestream fund, #CanadaPerforms has now doubled to $200,000 thanks to a donation by Slaight Music.

The fund pays $1,000 to each act for their livestream performances. Performing artists or ensembles (less than 10 people) can apply by emailing and providing a description of their 45-60 minute performance when they wish to share and on what platform. The concerts will be streamed live on the National Arts Centre Facebook page.

Ontario Live presents MusicTogether 
This is a paid opportunity. MusicTogether supports working Ontario musicians during the COVID-19 crisis with direct funding, new opportunities for fan discovery, and eCommerce tools. $300,000 has been committed thanks to the generosity of the music community funders listed below and matching funds from OntarioLive. 

ART APART |The National Theatre School of Canada – Fund for Emerging Artists
The National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is allocating $60,000 in support of emerging artists (as 80 grants of $750). These funds will be granted to theatre artists in training, or artists who have completed a theatre training program within the past five years, to present a piece of art online. 

Unison Financial Assistance for the Canadian music community 
Unison provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. They announced the Unison COVID-19 Relief Program, with $500,000 to support Canadian musicians affected by COVID-19.

Unison also offers a toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues. Call 1-855-986-4766.

AFC – the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry
Actors Fund Emergency financial aid for entertainment pros

Artist Fundraising Pick
Spotify fundraising tool for Artists: the Artist Fundraising Pick that enables people to raise support directly from your fans on Spotify—for yourself, your team, or an artist relief organization.

For Photographers

Format’s Photographer Fund
25,000 fund to help photographers impacted by COVID-19

For Visual Artists

CANVAS Artist Relief Fund
The Fund provides Ontario visual artists with assistance for the relief of poverty and provides short-term financial aid for rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, food, dental and medical care, and prescription medicines. 


BLMTO: COVID-19 Black Emergency Support Fund

This is an EMERGENCY FUND for Black individuals living in the GTA, who, as a result of the pandemic, have lost income and are at a loss for how to fill their revenue sources, who now have unforeseen childcare costs, folks who have to find the money for children’s food now that schools are closed, artists, freelancers, and gig economy workers who have lost out on gigs, seniors and elders in our communities, disabled folks, folks who are facing daily challenges of capitalism and are living on or near the street. * May not be accepting applications at this time.

TAPA – Bad News Days: Micro Artist Grants for Groceries
Artists of any discipline can request a one time, no questions asked, micro-grant of $75 for groceries, food and other essentials. 

NABS financial assistance for media, marketing, and communications pros
NABS is a unique charity specifically designed to support the health and well-being of all individuals in the media, marketing, and communications industry in Canada. They offer financial, career and personal counselling.

Akin Collective- Rent Relief Fund
This fund is to provide current Akin artists and creatives with anonymous, one-time emergency grants towards their studio rent at Akin. The goal of the Akin Rent Relief Fund is to provide short term financial aid in unexpected situations or times of financial instability. 

Glad Day Bookshop: Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers
Support for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers who are in dire financial need, as well as helps keep to Glad Day Book Shop open.



A list of Toronto-based mental health services, crisis and suicide lines

Cover Health
OHIP covered Virtual Walk-in Clinic

Mental health resources during COVID19/Coronavirus
Toronto-based comprehensive list for mental, physical health and overall well-being

Bounce Back Online: A Self Directed Course (Canadian Mental Health Association)
The Bounce Back Online, a self-directed course from the Canadian Mental Health Association to help people manage low mood, stress, and anxiety. The online version is available for free, no referral needed.

Work Responsibly
A collection of resources for a healthy and balanced approach to work, covering sleep, anxiety, stress and focus.

Wellbeing check-in for Black employees
Minding our Minds: by Caribbean African Canadian (CAFCAN) Social Services has compiled a list of articles to help with COVID-19-related anxiety. 

Anxiety Canada has released MindShift, a free app (available on the App Store and Google Play) that provides evidence-based mental health relief, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) strategies. 

An ever-growing list of free arts/culture/education/health/wellness resources where folks can access some fun, nourishing, and educational experiences from home.

For more resource and information, visit:

* Note: Some fund application deadlines on this list have passed.

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