Government of Canada Launches Program to Provide Additional Support for Cultural Workers in the Live Performing Arts Sector

News release

GATINEAU, February 1, 2022

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the recovery of the arts and culture sector, which has been among the hardest hit sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of renewed shutdowns and public health restrictions due to the emergence of the Omicron variant have been particularly severe for the live performance sector, negatively affecting the livelihoods of the artists, technicians and other skilled cultural workers who bring live performances to stages across the country. The Government continues to stand by these talented workers through these challenging times.

Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the launch of the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund. This new temporary funding program will provide $60 million to help workers in the live performance sector. It will finance initiatives led and delivered by organizations in the sector to directly support independent and self-employed workers (gig workers) in the live performance sector.

The Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund will fund initiatives that:

  • provide short-term financial assistance to those experiencing economic hardship and requiring emergency support; and/or
  • provide workers with guidance, information, and professional development opportunities in areas such as financial management, mental health and well-being, and career transition.

By working with organizations that support the live performance sector, the Government of Canada will leverage industry expertise and capacity to best address the specific needs of its cultural workers and maximize the number of people who will benefit.

This funding opportunity is available to eligible applicants such as artist unions, guilds, associations, service organizations, benevolent foundations, or Indigenous organizations that are mandated to represent the interests of cultural workers in live performance occupations, including musicians, actors, directors, choreographers, designers and technicians.

Organizations receiving funding will be responsible for designing their own initiatives, which may include enhancements to existing programs and activities, as well as new initiatives that align with the funding program’s policy objective of directly supporting individuals.

This will provide much-needed relief to our hard-working live performance artists and cultural workers until we can get together again and experience amazing live performances in communities across the country.

Funding eligibility requirements are available on the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund webpage. The deadline to apply is March 4, 2022.


“Our workers in the live performance sector are not only critical to the Canadian economy, but more importantly they bring stories and musical performances that we all love to see on stages across the country. The Canada Live Performance Workers Resilience Fund will help support our artists and skilled technicians, so they are ready and able to bring our stages back to life when the time comes, giving Canadians and visitors the amazing cultural experiences they are craving and miss so much right now.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • The cultural sector represents 726,600 workers, including 158,100 professional artists. 

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) for culture recorded its fifth consecutive increase in the third quarter of 2021 and is at 97 percent of pre-pandemic level. However, live performance GDP lags significantly and sits at 53.4 percent of its fourth quarter 2019 levels. 

  • While jobs in the overall culture domain in the third quarter of 2021 were at 93.2 percent of their 2019 fourth quarter levels, live performance jobs were 73,072, which is 62.3 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

  • The Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund builds on the $181.5-million investment in 2021–22 supporting arts and live events workers in response to COVID-19, announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, and complements support to performing arts organizations available through the two-year (fiscal years 2021–22 and 2022–23) $300-million Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors and the $200-million Reopening Fund, announced in Budget 2021.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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