Additional COVID-19 Emergency Funding to Support the Sport Community Through the Provinces and Territories

News release

GATINEAU, November 27, 2020

Sport and recreation are vital for the health and well-being of our communities. Participation in sport improves physical health and contributes to better mental health and resilience. This is especially important now as we navigate this pandemic.

It is also important that financial assistance be made available to support the sport organizations managing the challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today that an additional $14 million has been made available to support the sport sector—more specifically, regional and community sport organizations—through existing bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories.

Today’s announcement builds on the funding of $72 million for the sport sector through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations announced on May 8, 2020.

The additional short-term financial relief is being allocated to provinces and territories, on top of the funding already allocated to them to support their sport organizations and athletes, and to retain jobs. The emergency funding already allocated to the sport sector includes:

  • $29.6 million to the Sport Support Program for national sport organizations, national multisport service organizations and Canadian Sport Institutes;
  • $5 million directly to athletes through the Athlete Assistance Program;
  • $37.4 million to the provinces and territories to support provincial and territorial sport organizations.

The investment announced today will allow provinces and territories to extend support to smaller recreational organizations and ensure the continuation of sport and recreation program operations across the country.


“Our government is proud to stand with the sport community throughout this difficult time. The collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, demonstrated by this investment, shows the commitment at all levels to meet the challenges we all face during the pandemic, and make sure our community sport organizations make it through these uncertain and unprecedented times.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Canada’s recovery from COVID-19 will depend on a strong and resilient sport community. Sport and recreation don’t just contribute to our collective health, but the sector drives our economy and employs Canadians, and sport helps to write the story of our country. The federal government is proud to invest in sport and support important programs that directly impact the physical and mental health of all Canadians.”

—Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport

“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on sports organizations, which are important to our communities, our quality of life and our economy. The additional funding from the Government of Canada will help provincial and community sports organizations continue to provide opportunities for Nova Scotians to train and play.”

—The Honourable Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Minister of Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage

“This has been a challenging and unprecedented time for amateur and professional athletes, coaches, and sport organizations, but this investment is an important step forward to ensuring Ontario receives its fair share of support for our sports and recreation sectors, as well as the social and economic recovery of our communities. Our government will continue to put the health and well-being of Ontarians first—and take the steps needed to ensure the people of Ontario can safely return to play.”

—The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

“This additional relief funding will be very welcome news for Yukon sports and recreation, and in particular to our community organizations as they work to keep all of us active and safe during this pandemic.”

—The Honourable John Streicker, Minister of Community Services, Government of Yukon

Quick facts

  • On April 17, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced funding of $500 million to establish a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The Fund was created as an additional temporary measure to provide financial support to organizations in these sectors, complementing the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures for wages and fixed costs.
  • The investment announced today is made as part of the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. It brings the total COVID-19 emergency investment by the Government of Canada for the sport sector to $86 million.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
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