COVID-19: Support for culture, heritage and sport sectors

As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture, heritage and sport sectors.

Continued Support for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sector Organizations

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed $1.9 billion to help support the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors. This continued support for Arts, Culture, Heritage and sports sectors will help ensure recovery and growth, and help create good, middle-class jobs in these sectors.

Learn more about the distribution of Recovery and Reopening Funds for the Arts, Culture, Heritage, and Sport Sectors and the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative.

Engaging with the community

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault, Parliamentary Secretary Julie Dabrusin, and Parliamentary Secretary Adam van Koeverden have been meeting with people working in the culture, heritage and sport sectors across the country to understand how the Government of Canada can best support them through this challenging time. In the fall of 2020, they hosted a series of town halls and roundtables that engaged nearly 4,000 individuals and organizations and received close to 1,000 written submissions. Participants had an opportunity to share their views about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their sectors. They also discussed ideas for a relaunch that will be more fair, inclusive and green. These conversations will help the Government of Canada build towards a stronger and more equitable recovery for Canadians. Here are the anonymized summaries of the roundtable discussions:

Emergency support - Closed

The Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations provided additional temporary relief to support these organizations and help them plan for the future.

We conducted a survey to determine whether this emergency support fund achieved its main objectives in helping organizations maintain jobs, and support business continuity. Here are the results from the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations Recipient Survey.

Other support measures

Notice: The information presented below is no longer updated. For the most recent information about continued support for arts, culture, heritage and sport sector organizations, contact the Department of Canadian Heritage.


Waiving payments for Part I licence fees for the broadcasting sector
  • The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020–21 fiscal year.The government will transfer the necessary funds to the CRTC to support its operations.
  • Waiving these regulatory charges for broadcasters provides immediate financial relief for the broadcasting industry, freeing up more than $30 million in cash.

More information

Support for Canadian Journalism
  • Budget 2019 had announced three tax measures intended to support Canadian journalism that include:
    • allowing certain journalism organizations to register as qualified donees
    • the Canadian journalism labour tax credit
    • the digital news subscription tax credit
  • A necessary condition for journalism organizations to benefit from these measures, is Qualifying Canadian Journalism Organization status. In addition, each measure has its own additional eligibility conditions. An Advisory Board is responsible for making recommendations to the Canada Revenue Agency on whether a journalism organization meets certain criteria to receive the Qualifying Canadian Journalism Organization designation.
  • The Government is proposing a number of changes and clarifications to these measures that would apply retroactively to the coming into force dates of each of the measures. These draft legislative proposals are in line with the original policy intent of the journalism measures and would help ensure that support is available to Canadian journalism organizations.

More information

Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
  • No one should have to choose between their health and their wallet. That is why the Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant, and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • A series of economic measures to help support Canadians and businesses have been announced. This includes workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

More information

By institution

Canadian Heritage

Support for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients

Visit the Support for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients page for information on Canadian Heritage funding support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Funding for national museums and the National Battlefields Commission

The Government of Canada announced an emergency investment of $25.7 million for Canada’s six national museums and the National Battlefields Commission

More information

Emergency funding for the National Arts Centre

The Government of Canada announced an emergency investment of $18.2 million to help the National Arts Centre (NAC) ensure the continuity of its operations and be ready to reopen to the public. The Crown corporation is the only multidisciplinary, bilingual performing arts centre in North America.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAC closed its doors to the public on March 13, 2020 to protect the health and safety of their staff, visitors, and all Canadians. This investment will support the national institution as it continues to be a leader and innovator in performing arts fields, supporting emerging and established artists, and producing quality educational activities. It will also protect jobs on which many Canadians depend.

This support complements the Government of Canada announcement of $25.7 million for Canada’s national museums and the National Battlefields Commission.

Crown corporations, such as the National Arts Centre, are not entitled to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or any other support measures that the Government of Canada has put in place to date.

Canada Council for the Arts

Advance funding - Canada Council for the Arts
  • Canada Council for the Arts will issue advances enabling core funded organizations to: meet their immediate commitments, help ensure cash flow and address outstanding payments to the artists and cultural workers they employ.

More information

Digital originals – Micro innovation grants
  • The Canada Council will provide a total of $1 million in funding to successful applicants to develop, create and share original or adapted works with Canadian audiences online.
  • CBC/Radio-Canada will showcase and amplify the discoverability of select projects on one or more of its platforms.

More information

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