Questions and answers — COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

On this page

General

What are the objectives of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations?

The Emergency Support Fund is an additional temporary relief measure created to help alleviate the financial pressures of cultural, heritage and sport organizations facing significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its objectives are:

Why do the arts, culture and heritage sectors need additional COVID-19 response measures?

Due to the unexpected cancellations of cultural and sporting events, and the closure of facilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many cultural, heritage and sport organizations, their workers, and their families are grappling with extraordinary financial pressures.

The proposed fund is an additional temporary relief measure created to address the financial needs of those sectors. Culture, heritage and sport organizations play an essential role in Canadian society. They are a vital part of the social fabric of our communities. They are also major drivers of the Canadian economy.

Collectively, the cultural sector contributes approximately $53.1 billion towards Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and accounts for some 666,500 jobs. The related sport sector contributes $6.6 billion to Canada’s GDP, and accounts for roughly 118,000 jobs.

Canadians understand the contribution of these sectors to their quality of life during this period of quarantine and self-isolation. They have sought out cultural goods like books, newspapers and magazines, film and television productions, digital media, recorded music, and diverse kinds of virtual access to the visual and performing arts, history and heritage, and the world of sport.

How is this Fund different from the other emergency fund announced by the Government of Canada?

Measures already announced by the Government of Canada (i.e. Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Business Account, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses) seek to address key pressures for businesses and individuals across all sectors. However, organizations in the arts and culture, heritage, and sport sectors may not be in a position to benefit from the measures of broad application already announced by the Government due to the particularities of their sector.

More specifically, organizations operating in the cultural, heritage and sport sectors are more vulnerable to market failure, as they tend to be characterized by cyclical revenues, high self-employment and contract work, barriers to accessing credit, and a high degree of reliance on public funding. Even for-profit businesses in these sectors do not tend to have capital assets or reserves against which to leverage business loans – nor the profit margins necessary to repay them. Most arts and culture, heritage, and sport organizations operate year-to-year, and have made significant investments in events, projects or activities that will not take place, leaving them exposed and unable to recoup lost revenue moving forward.

How will the Fund be distributed?

In order to accelerate the distribution of funds, a 2-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:

The streamlined process will use the most recent applications submitted to the program as a basis for topping-up existing funding. Eligible recipients will not have to apply for funding. Existing recipients of targeted programs will be asked to fill out an attestation form for each program in the department that has provided financial assistance to them. Once the attestation has been received and reviewed, funding will flow shortly thereafter.

Phase 2

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

Phase 2 also includes funding for eligible organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program

How will I know if I am an eligible recipient for the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations?

For Phase 1, organizations who are funding recipients of the following programs will be eligible to receive funding through the Emergency Support Fund: the: 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, the Sport Support Program, and the Digital Citizen Contribution Program. Additionally, certain athletes may be eligible through the Athlete Assistance Program to access the Emergency Support Fund. Funds will also be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada to support their recipients.

For Phase 2, the Museums Assistance Program will provide funding to eligible organizations with heritage collections through the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Heritage Organizations. An online portal has been set up to simplify the application process and to streamline the review of the application. The application intake period for the Emergency Support Fund is now closed.

Additionally, temporary funding will be made available to organizations who do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada. This may include arts and culture organizations who are not recipients and supported through Phase 1, small broadcasters, producers of content in a language other than English or French, organizations in live music, local news organizations, magazines, and community newspapers.

I am a recipient of one of the programs distributing emergency funds for culture, heritage or sport. What will I need to attest to?

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

By what date can I expect to hear from Canadian Heritage regarding the attestations?

Canadian Heritage officials will provide you with further details in the following days on the attestation form that all organizations looking to access the Emergency Support Fund must submit to begin the process to release their payment.

How can the money be spent?

Funding should be used towards eligible expenses under the program through which they are accessed.

How much funding can my organization get?

A formula-based approach will be applied and recipients will be able to receive up to 25% of recently approved funding. However, any funding received will be consistent with the approaches taken by other federal funds, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the loan forgiveness aspect of the Canada Emergency Business Account.

What is the service standard for Phase 1 recipients?

Canadian Heritage, Portfolio agencies and delivery organizations will work diligently to have the funds distributed as quickly as possible to their recipients following the receipt of signed attestations.

What about funding awarded through the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada?

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

Like Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada will use a formula-based approach to deliver the funds, taking into account the realities and specific needs of their recipients. Clients of these organizations will be able to apply for up to 25% of recently approved funding. These organizations will provide additional guidance on how to apply for funding in the near future.

Is an organization such as a theatre or museum still eligible for this funding if it has been forced to close its doors to the public due to public health measures?

Yes. For the purposes of the attestation, “in operation at the time of application” is understood to mean complying with public health rules or guidance and actively planning to resume activities for the public when permitted or able to do so.

My organization is receiving another federal support funding (e.g. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Business Account, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses). Can we apply for support from Canadian Heritage’s Emergency Support Fund?

Yes. This additional temporary relief measure is meant to complement the broad measures already announced by the Government (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Business Account, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses).

However, organizations may not claim funding from multiple sources to cover the same costs.

If I am a recipient of multiple Canadian Heritage programs, can I apply for the relief funding for all of them or only one?

If your organization receives funding from more than one Canadian Heritage funding program, you may claim relief funding under each program. However, your organization may not use the funding to cover the same costs.

If your organization receives funding from more than one participating department or agency (Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada), you may only request funding from 1 of these organizations for support from the Emergency Support Fund.

What if my organization received funding from both Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts, for example?

If your organization receives funding from more than 1 participating department or agency (Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada), you may only request funding from 1 of these organizations for support from the Emergency Support Fund. Canadian Heritage and Portfolio organizations will coordinate their funding responses to avoid double funding.

What if my organization applied for funding but was rejected, or told that I would have been eligible if the funding envelope was bigger?

Canadian Heritage is continuing to explore ways it can support the culture and heritage sectors.

My organization received funding from Canadian Heritage previously, but not in the last fiscal year. Can we apply for emergency support?

Canadian Heritage is continuing to explore ways it can support the culture and heritage sectors.

If I receive COVID-19 emergency support from my province/territory, will it have an impact on my eligibility and/or level of funding under this federal fund?

No.

Are provincial/territorial crown corporations or other public sector organizations eligible for this emergency support?

Provincial/territorial crown corporations would not be eligible for funding.

Arts and culture sector

Who is eligible for the Fund?

Current recipients of the following Canadian Heritage programs may be eligible to receive a top-up funding equivalent to up to 25% of the total amount of funding approved in the most recent funding cycle:

Organizations supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada may also be eligible to emergency funding. Enquiries should be made directly to the relevant organization.

How can we apply?

The streamlined process, for Phase 1, will use the most recent applications funded by 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.

As for recipients for Phase 2, information on how to apply for funding will be posted on the Department’s website in the next few weeks and interested applicants will be able to contact Canadian Heritage through its toll-free line or through their existing funding program contacts.

Recipients of the Canada Music Fund should communicate directly with FACTOR if they are in the Anglophone market, or Musicaction if they are in the Francophone market, to apply.

Recipients of funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada should check directly with these organizations for details on how to apply for relief funding.

How will the Fund support cultural workers?

In helping to alleviate the significant financial pressures faced by organizations in the culture, heritage and sport sectors, the Emergency Support Fund will help maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations that play an essential role in Canadian society and that represent unifying elements of their communities.

Where relevant, organizations are expected to use the emergency relief funding to fulfill their obligations towards vulnerable workers who are not currently covered by the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, such as the self-employed and freelancers, including artists and creators.

Sport sector

Who is eligible for the Fund?

Recipients of the following Canadian Heritage sport programs could benefit from the Fund:

Funding will also be available to supplement bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories to support provincial and territorial sport organizations funded in each jurisdiction.

Emergency funding will also be available to the Aboriginal Sport Circle and the provincial and territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies.

How will I know if I am an eligible recipient?

Sport organizations that already receive funding (reference level / enhanced excellence / next generation) from Canadian Heritage are eligible for the emergency fund.

Currently carded athletes and athletes who are eligible to be nominated into the carding system, those who have already qualified or who were considered on track to qualify for the Canadian Olympic or Paralympic Teams, could be eligible for funding.

How will the funds be awarded?

Funds will be distributed as part of existing Canadian Heritage programs. A total of $72 million will be available for the sport sector as follows:

How can we apply?

The streamlined process, for Phase 1, will use the most recent applications submitted to the program as a basis for topping-up existing 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.

As for eligible recipients for Phase 2, if applicable, information on how to apply for funding will be posted on the Department’s website in the next few weeks and interested applicants will be able to contact Canadian Heritage through its toll-free line or through their existing funding program contacts.

How much could I receive through this fund?

Depending on the hardship your organization has experienced, you could receive up to 25% of the amount of your previous approved funding (core, enhanced excellence, and next generation).

Flexibility will be provided to national sport organizations to make adjustments to carding criteria. This is intended to accommodate for the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the lack of qualification opportunities for athletes.

What is the maximum amount one can receive?

The maximum amount an organization can receive will differ from one organization to the next. You could receive up to 25% of the amount of your previous approved funding (core, enhanced excellence, and next generation).

How much time should I expect it will take between the submission of my application and the response from the Department, and then for the payment to be received?

A streamlined application process will expedite the disbursement of funds.

We are a provincial/territorial Indigenous sports body. Where do we apply for this emergency support?

Funds have been identified for Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies and details of the process will be communicated to you.

How will the Fund support the sport community?

The funding will help to ensure workforce stability and business continuity of important sport organizations.

Support will also go directly to athletes as part of the additional funding available through the Athlete Assistance Program – to help relieve some of the financial pressures for athletes whose evaluation process by national sport organizations has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby delaying their qualification for carding support.

Heritage sector

Who is eligible for the Fund? Will my heritage organization be eligible to apply for the Museums Assistance Program emergency funding?

Not-for-profit organizations with a heritage collection, such as museums (including seasonal museums and those without full-time staff), archives and historic sites will be eligible to apply to the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.

Indigenous and official-language minority community organizations with a heritage collection may also be eligible to apply.

Zoos, aquaria, public libraries and other organizations that do not have a heritage collection are not eligible to the emergency funding under the Museums Assistance Program.

How soon can my organization apply for emergency funding through the Museums Assistance Program?

The application intake period for the Emergency Support Fund is now closed.

How can I apply for the Museums Assistance Program emergency funding?

The application intake period for the Emergency Support Fund is now closed.

How much support might I receive from the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program?

Funding ranging from $1,000 up to a maximum of $100,000 may be awarded to eligible heritage organizations according to a formula based on the applicant’s 2019 expenses or last completed fiscal year.

Where can I find more details about the emergency support for heritage organizations available through the Museums Assistance Program?

Additional details are available through the Museums Assistance Program website.

For further information about the Fund, you may also contact the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Phase 2

How will the Fund be distributed?

Through the $500 million, the second phase will provide temporary relief to support:

Phase 2 also includes funding for eligible organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.

How will I know if I am an eligible to Phase 2?

Phase 2 will provide funding to organizations in the arts, culture and heritage sectors that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, Musicaction or FACTOR.

Professional organizations (as opposed to amateur organizations or individuals) will be eligible for funding, with the exception of heritage institutions (including volunteer-run organizations).

Other exceptions include independent media organizations (such as community newspapers and magazines as well as volunteer-run campus and community radio and television stations), and the Official Languages Support Programs (which may include community organizations with a primary mandate in arts, culture or heritage).

Visit the Programs’ information page to see if your organization is eligible:

Organizations (including heritage organizations) that are owned and operated by provincial/territorial departments will not be eligible for funding. Organizations operated by provincial/territorial Crown corporations and public agencies, as identified on each provincial/territorial governance website, will also not be eligible, with the exception of cultural institutions with separate budgets that are associated with municipalities or universities.

To obtain more information about Canadian Heritage Programs, visit the funding pages.

How will the funds be awarded?

As in Phase 1, the emergency support will take the form of grants and contributions.

The Phase 2 will provide a temporary support for some groups affected by the pandemic that are not current recipients of Canadian Heritage or portfolio programs and/or did not receive funding through Phase 1.

The second component of the phase 2 COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Culture and Heritage will be distributed through grants and contributions as follows:

How will the 52.1 million for organizations that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage programs be distributed?

The $52.1 million investment in various cultural organizations that are not currently recipients of Canadian Heritage programs and/or did not receive funding in Phase 1 will be distributed as follows:

Arts Professional not-for-profit arts festivals and performing arts series presenters (currently not funded but eligible for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund) $390,033
Professional arts training organizations (currently unfunded but eligible for the Canada Arts Training Fund) $45,000
Professional not-for-profit Canadian arts groups and organizations that represent Indigenous and equity-seeking communities (via Canada Council for the Arts) $7,800,000
Audiovisual Audiovisual training and development partners (via Telefilm Canada) $1,000,000
Independent groups that provide community television access programming (via partner organization) $1,000,000
Audiovisual producers that produce Canadian content and did not receive funding in Phase 1 (via Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada) $12,000,000
Interactive digital media companies (via Canada Media Fund) $10,000,000
Indigenous radio and television broadcasters (current Northern Aboriginal Broadcasting recipients) $1,741,341
Movie theatres that show Canadian films (ineligible recipients, via Telefilm Canada) $1,755,000
TV5 (current recipient) $345,000
Music Sound recording studios and other music organizations that are not Canada Music Fund recipients (via FACTOR and Musicaction) $5,000,000
Publishing

Independent Canadian book publishers (current Canada Book Fund recipients) that distribute other Canadian publishers’ titles, and other Canadian book distributors (usually not eligible) that distribute books published by Canadian publishers. The Funding will be provided via the Canada Book Fund.

Support for Distribution – Canada Book Fund (Application deadline: Friday, September 18, 2020, by 5 pm (ET))

$10,000,000
Official languages Official language minority community arts and culture organizations (current Official Languages Support Programs recipients) $1,060,000

How can I submit an application?

Simplified funding application processes have been put in place to support organizations in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. Application details for the other Phase 2 funding opportunities will be available shortly on the dedicated COVID-19 emergency funding section of the Canadian Heritage website.

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

Additional information will be required as part of the application process.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: