Backgrounder: Final Component of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Culture, Heritage and Sport Organizations


GATINEAU – July 7, 2020

On May 8, 2020, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced the details of a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The $500-million Emergency Support Fund provides additional temporary relief to support cultural, heritage and sport organizations and help them plan for the future.

The Fund will help maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose viability has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is intended to provide financial support to organizations in these sectors that complements the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs for organizations.

A two-phased approach was taken in order to accelerate the distribution of funds.

Phase 1

Phase 1 included support to existing recipients of a number of arts, culture and sport programs. A streamlined process was used to minimize the application burden.

The Fund was administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies, as well as key delivery organizations:

  • Up to $326.8 million to be distributed by Canadian Heritage:
    • $198.3 million to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding via existing programs, as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
    • $72 million to the sport sector;
    • $3.5 million for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
  • $55 million to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts to help organizations that support artists;
  • $115.8 million to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).

As of June 29, almost 75 percent of the funds have already been allocated to eligible organizations.

Phase 2

The first component of Phase 2 was announced on June 18. It included $53 million in support to organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program. Details on the application process for small community museums will be available very soon.

Today, the details of the final components of Phase 2 were announced. It primarily includes funding for arts and culture organizations that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, Musicaction or FACTOR, and/or did not receive funding in Phase 1.

As in Phase 1, the second component of Phase 2 emergency support will be provided through grants and contributions. The distribution of funding is as follows:

  • $45 million for special measures in support of journalism under the Canada Periodical Fund to assist free magazines and weekly newspapers, including those that serve official-language minority or ethnocultural communities.
  • $25 million distributed through partners to help independent broadcasters that invest in news and community broadcasts.
  • $20 million to help presenters in the live music industry (artist managers, booking agents, concert promoters, for-profit festivals and venues, etc.) through the Canada Music Fund.
  • $2.5 million to support producers of content in a language other than English or French through the Canada Media Fund.
  • $52.1 million to various arts and culture organizations that do not usually receive funding from Canadian Heritage programs and/or did not receive funding in Phase 1. This amount will be provided as follows:
    • $8.2 million for the arts sector;
    • $27.8 million for the audiovisual and digital media sector;
    • $5 million for the music industry;
    • $10 million for the publishing sector; and
    • $1 million for arts and culture organizations that serve official-language communities.

Simplified funding application processes have been put in place to support organizations in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. As of July 7, it will be possible to submit applications for assistance under the Canada Periodical Fund. Application details for the other Phase 2 funding opportunities will be available shortly on the dedicated COVID-19 emergency funding section of the Canadian Heritage website.

Phase 2 – Key Principles

The key principles guiding the design of Phase 2 are that:

  • The culture and heritage sectors should be treated similarly to other sectors of the economy (i.e., funds should be complementary to broader measures already announced by the Government, the approach to allocations should be consistent with the approaches taken for those measures, and multiple funding sources should not be used to cover the same costs);
  • The funds should flow as quickly as possible;
  • The process should be streamlined wherever possible and not burdensome for applicants; and
  • Funding should be disbursed to address gaps that remain after Phase 1, which include: a) program coverage of the cultural “value chain” (such as some previously ineligible sub-sectors and disciplines); b) diversity and the unique needs of equity-seeking groups (such as Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2 communities, racialized communities and official-language minority communities); and c) regional distribution of funding.

Other Actions to Support the Cultural, Heritage and Sport Sectors

The Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations builds on a number of recently announced actions by the Government of Canada to support these sectors and their workers:

  • Funding to help Canadians become more resilient to COVID-19 pandemic disinformation.
  • Waiving of regulatory charges for broadcasters by the CRTC, providing more than $30 million of immediate financial relief for the broadcasting industry.
  • Accelerated processing of the Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund 2020–2021 annual contributions.
  • A new Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures, and draft legislative proposals that would make adjustments to these tax measures for greater clarity and alignment with their initial objectives.
  • Canada Council for the Arts’ support to more than 1,100 core funded organizations with approximately $60 million in advance funding.

Emergency funding to Canada’s six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission through an investment of $25.7 million.

The $52.1 million investment in various cultural organizations that are not current recipients of Canadian Heritage programs and/or did not receive funding through Phase 1 will be distributed as follows:

Arts Professional not-for-profit arts festivals and performing arts series presenters (not currently funded but eligible applicants to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund) $390,033
Professional arts training organizations (not currently funded but eligible applicants to the Canada Arts Training Fund) $45,000
Professional not-for-profit Canadian arts groups and organizations that represent Indigenous and other equity-seeking communities (via Canada Council for the Arts) $7,800,000
Audiovisual Audiovisual training and development partners (to be funded through Telefilm Canada) $1,000,000
Independent groups producing access programming for community television (via a partner organization) $1,000,000
Audiovisual producers making Canadian content that did not receive funding in Phase 1 (via the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada) $12,000,000
Interactive digital media companies (via the Canada Media Fund) $10,000,000
Indigenous radio and television broadcasters (current recipients of the Northern Aboriginal Broadcasting Program) $1,741,341
Movie theatres that show Canadian films (via Telefilm Canada) $1,755,000
TV5 (current recipient) $345,000
Music Recording studios and other music organizations, such as Canadian-owned record labels, music video producers and music publishers that are not recipients of the Canada Music Fund (via FACTOR and Musicaction) $5,000,000
Publishing Canadian independent publishers who are also operating as book distributors (current recipients of the Canada Book Fund) and other Canadian book distribution entities (previously ineligible recipients, to be funded through the Canada Book Fund) $10,000,000
Official Languages Official-language minority community organizations with a primary mandate in the arts and culture sectors (current recipients of the Community Life component of the Development of Official-Language Communities Program that are not current or eligible recipients of other Canadian Heritage programs issuing emergency funding) $1,060,000

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