Rollout of Funding Announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement Supporting Arts and Live Events Workers in Response to COVID-19  

News release

GATINEAU, March 2, 2021

Arts and culture play a vital role in the civic and economic life of Canadians. This country’s creative sector, which is a major economic driver, is facing extraordinary challenges because of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian artists and cultural workers through this difficult time. This is why we created the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations, and why we are continuing to provide additional support through targeted and sector specific measures announced in the Fall Economic Statement 2020.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Simon Brault, Director and CEO for the Canada Council for the Arts, is announcing further details today about the implementation of $181.5 million in funding for the live arts and music sectors in 2021–2022.

This funding will support the planning and presentation of COVID-19-safe events in the arts and music sectors—including both live and digital—and provide work opportunities in these sectors. Funding will also help stabilize the overall environment for the arts and music sectors by providing a one-year renewal of funding for three Canadian Heritage programs originally provided in Budget 2019.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is receiving $40 million in new funding to stimulate short-term contracting of workers in the live events sector through three Canadian Heritage programs: Building Communities through Arts and Heritage, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Canada Music Fund. Information on how to access the new fund will be available next week on the Canadian Heritage website.

In addition, to help stabilize the overall environment for the arts and music sectors, the Government is extending a one-year renewal of funding of $25 million for these three Canadian Heritage originally provided in Budget 2019.

For its part, the Canada Council for the Arts will invest $116.5 million. Through a new digital innovation initiative (Digital Now), $50.5 million will enable arts groups, collectives and organizations to adapt or create works to be shared with virtual audiences; and $66 million of new funding will be used to stimulate increased research, creation and production of new work through the Explore and Create program.


“This year has deprived too many Canadian cultural workers of their job, their passion and the stability they need to keep creating and connecting with the public. Through this funding, we are telling them that their government knows how difficult the situation has been and continues to be. We are standing up for Canadian artists and cultural workers and will keep working with them to address job losses in the industry, while stimulating Canadian creativity, talent and storytelling for years to come.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“It is during these challenging times that artists and cultural workers—whose outputs and creations so uplift and inspire all Canadians —need our government’s support the most. We are honoured to receive $116.5 million to support the recovery and sustainability of the arts sector, by making it possible for eligible recipients to financially bridge this prolonged period of pandemic restrictions.”

—Simon Brault, Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Communications and Engagement
Canada Council for the Arts

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