Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

On May 8, 2020, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced the details of a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The $500 million Emergency Support Fund provides additional temporary relief to support cultural, heritage and sport organizations and help them plan for the future. The Fund will help maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose viability has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations, specifically:

The Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations is designed to complement other Government of Canada measures to help Canadian workers and employers impacted by COVID-19, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses.

Who is eligible

In order to accelerate the distribution of funds, a two-phased approach will be followed:

Phase 1

For funding recipients who are projecting a significant financial impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Phase 1 also includes support to the April 7, 2020, announcement of the Digital Citizen Initiative’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program to help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that often result.

Phase 2

As part of the $500 million budget envelope, the second phase will provide temporary support as follows:

Museums Assistance Program and Canada Periodical Fund

An online portal has been set up to simplify the application process and to streamline the review of the application. As of July 7, it will be possible to submit applications for assistance under the Canada Periodical Fund.

Funding distribution

The Government of Canada is acting quickly to make sure that this money is provided without delay to cultural and sport organizations.

How funds are distributed depends on the following circumstances:

My organization is currently funded by Canadian Heritage

A formula-based top-up to eligible existing recipients of the following arts and culture programs: Canada Periodical Fund, Canada Book Fund, Canada Music Fund (via FACTOR and Musicaction), Canada Arts Training Fund, Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Harbourfront Centre Funding Program, and Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program.

Funds to certain Sport Support Program and Athlete Assistance Program eligible recipients as well as formula-based top-ups to the bilateral sport agreements with provinces and territories will ensure a rapid disbursement. Emergency funding will also be available to the Aboriginal Sport Circle and the provincial and territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies. Existing agreements will allow for efficient and accelerated delivery.

Phase 1 also includes support to the April 7, 2020, announcement of the Digital Citizen Initiative’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program to help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that often result.

For further information about the Fund, consult the questions and answers page.

My organization is currently funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund or Telefilm Canada

Funds will be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada to support their recipients. Measures will be in place to avoid any potential duplication of funding between the Department and these organizations.

They will announce their own approaches to delivering the funds, while considering the realities and specific needs of their recipients.

My organization is not currently funded by Canadian Heritage

For Phase 1 of the funding, existing recipients of select Department of Canadian Heritage arts, culture and sport programs are eligible.

The second phase will provide funding for eligible organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program and funding for other organizations, which may include some that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada or the Canada Media Fund (e.g., non-recipient arts and culture organizations, small broadcasters, third-language producers, organizations in live music, local news organizations, magazines and community newspapers).

Implementation

The streamlined process, for Phase 1, will use the most recent applications submitted to the program as a basis for topping-up funding. Eligible recipients will not have to apply for funding. Existing recipients of targeted programs will be asked to fill out an attestation. Once the attestation has been received and reviewed, funding will flow shortly thereafter.

At a minimum, all eligible organizations will be required to attest the following in order to receive support:

For Phase 2, the Museums Assistance Program is now accepting online applications through the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Heritage Organizations. The Canada Periodical Fund is also accepting online applications starting July 7, for support through the COVID-19 Special measures for Journalism.

More information

For further information about the Fund, consult the questions and answers page.

You may also contact the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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