Backgrounder: Rollout of funding announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement Supporting Arts and Live Events Workers in Response to COVID-19.


GATINEAU, March 2, 2021

On March 2, 2021, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, provided details of the rollout of funds supporting arts and live events workers in response to COVID-19, as announced through the Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement. A total of $181.5 million will be invested in 2021–2022 to help provide work opportunities for artists and cultural workers and stabilize the overall environment.

These funds will :

  • support the planning and presentation of COVID-19-safe events in the arts and music sectors—including both live and digital—and to provide work opportunities in these sectors; and
  • provide a one-year renewal of funding provided in Budget 2019 for the live arts and music sectors.

As part of the $181.5 million, the Canada Council for the Arts will receive $116.5 million to be invested as follows:

  • $50.5 million for a new digital innovation initiative enabling artistic groups, collectives and organizations to adapt or create works to be shared with virtual audiences; and
  • $66 million of new funding to stimulate increased research, creation and production of new work through the Explore and Create program.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is receiving $65 million, which will be delivered through existing departmental programs:

  • $40 million in new funding for distinct project activities to stimulate short-term contracting of workers by supporting live arts and music events and their digital dissemination through the:
    • Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program;
    • Canada Arts Presentation Fund; and
    • Canada Music Fund.
  • $25 million in funding provided as a one-year extension of Budget 2019 resources allocated to the:
    • Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program;
    • Canada Arts Presentation Fund; and
    • Canada Music Fund.

Information on how to access the $40 million in new funds to support live arts and music events will be available next week on the Canadian Heritage website. The funding application processes will support organizations as quickly and efficiently as possible. Applications will be accepted on a continuous intake in 2021–2022.

Other actions to support the creative sector

The $181.5 million in funding builds on a number of targeted actions taken by the Government of Canada to support the culture, heritage and sport sectors, and their workers. Measures already taken by the Government of Canada include the $500-million Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations; financial relief for the broadcasting industry; and additional support for Canada’s six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission.

In addition to new pandemic relief measures, Canadian Heritage continues to provide approximately $1.2 billion per year in grants and contribution for regular programming activities to help provide continuity and stability for the sectors within the Department’s mandate.

Additional information is available on the Canada Council for the Arts website about opportunities and support available to artists, arts groups and arts organizations that keep allowing the community to create work and deliver their programming digitally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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