Canada House
March 18, 2020

The Council and Additional Federal Support for the Arts

May 8, 2020

Supporting the arts sector during COVID-19

The Canada Council for the Arts welcomes the new $500 million federal emergency support program for the arts and amateur sport. The Council will work to maximize the impact of the $55 million it has been allotted in this first phase of funding support for the arts sector, which will address the urgent needs of arts organizations, and which is essential to the many artists and cultural workers with whom they collaborate. These organizations play an irreplaceable role in thousands of communities. As agreed upon with the Government, the Canada Council will distribute emergency assistance to core and project-funded organizations. Eligible organizations will be contacted directly in the weeks ahead. The amounts allocated will be calculated according to a formula rather than following an assessment by peers.

The government measures adopted to date are a humanitarian and economic response to this crisis. The broad emergency funding measures for the arts that have been implemented thus far are essential to preventing a collapse of the arts sector. This $55-million is an addition to the other measures that the Council and other stakeholders have already put in place or which are still to come. 

Contributing to the arts sector’s recovery

Restrictions in terms of gatherings and travel, as well as distancing measures, will be with us for some time. The next stage—a progressive end to confinement and economic recovery—will require reassessment of the situation and other strong measures. The Council’s research initiatives provide a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the situation. Ultimately, the research will help the Council implement a support plan and new measures for the arts sector’s recovery.

The Canada Council for the Arts continues to be engaged in the discussions and decision-making around recovery, advancing the interests and contributions of the arts and culture—a sector that is essential to our social, democratic and economic development.

The Council will directly contact eligible organizations by email next week with additional information. More details will be posted on our COVID-19: Information and support for the arts sector page. You can contact us about this latest measure at