COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS - Nia Centre for the Arts


By Alica Hall, 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: December 29th, 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.

After CERB: Transitioning to New Benefits
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). 

CERB allows people to earn up to $2,000 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.

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

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!


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. 

For Performing Artists

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. 

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.


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. 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.

Subscribe to our Newsletter and Follow Us on our social media pages, @niacentre, to stay up to date with programming, resources and information.

Copyright © 2024 Nia Centre for the Arts All Right Reserved.