Four independent organizations will provide COVID-19 transitional support to self-employed cultural workers in the live performing arts sector

News release

OTTAWA, May 2, 2022

The Government of Canada recognizes that the live performing arts sector has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We stand with Canada’s artists and cultural workers in this sector.

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, announced that the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund will provide more than $50 million in direct funding to independent, self-employed workers in the live performing arts sector who are experiencing financial hardship, up to a maximum of $2,500 per individual. This important funding support will be provided to individuals through four independent organizations: La Fondation des artistes, The Actors’ Fund of Canada, The Canadian Dance Assembly and The Unison Fund.

The announcement was made in advance of the National Culture Summit at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The summit welcomes industry leaders from across Canada on May 2, 3 and 4 to discuss the long-term competitiveness and future growth of the arts, culture and heritage sectors.

Over the next few weeks, the four independent organizations will work to deliver direct funding efficiently and securely and, together, will provide national coverage for all genres and all types of workers in the sector.

These organizations were selected following a national call for applications through Canadian Heritage’s Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund. This new temporary funding program announced on February 1, 2022 has an overall budget of $60 million (2022–2023) to help workers in the live performance sector. More details on how the funding support will be distributed for initiatives such as professional development, support programs and career counselling and mentorships will be shared later this spring.

Visit our website for the latest information on the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund.


“People who work in the performing arts had a really difficult time over the past couple of years. As the pandemic continues into its third year, the performing arts still face uncertainty. We promised more direct support during the election campaign and now we’re following through on that commitment. We’ll continue to support cultural workers whose amazing skills and many talents bring our stories to life on stage.”

—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 levels. However, live performance GDP lags significantly and sits at 53.4 percent of its fourth quarter 2019 levels.

  • While overall culture sector jobs in the third quarter of 2021 were at 93.2 percent of their 2019 fourth quarter levels, live performance jobs totalled 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 2021–2022, which supports arts and live events workers affected by COVID-19. Announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, this complements support for performing arts organizations available through the two-year (fiscal years 2021–2022 and 2022–2023) $300-million Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors and the $200-million Reopening Fund, announced in Budget 2021.

  • To complement previous initiatives, Budget 2022 proposes to compensate Canadian arts, culture and heritage organizations for revenue losses due to public health restrictions and capacity limits by providing an additional $50 million in 2022–2023 to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts and Telefilm Canada.

    To further support the arts sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to address historic inequities in funding levels for Indigenous and racialized arts training organizations, Budget 2022 proposes $22.5 million over five years, starting in 2022–2023, and $5 million ongoing, to Canadian Heritage’s Canada Arts Training Fund.

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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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