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COVID-19 Resource List

OAC has compiled a list of information to help you locate resources that may be useful to you. Information will be updated as frequently as possible. To see when it was last updated, please refer to the date below the heading of each section.

Financial Resources


Last updated: April 8, 2020
The federal government has announced a number of special support measures you may be able to access. These include:
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
CERB will provide income support to Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are eligible for EI or not.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
This subsidy supports businesses, including non-profit organizations and charities, to keep and return workers to their payroll.
Other measures include a one-time GST credit payment and a one-time increase to the 2019-20 Canada Child Benefit (CCB) amount. The 2019 income tax deadline has been extended to June 1, and any taxes owed will not need to be paid until September 1, 2020.
Refer to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for details of these supports and others.
Global Affairs Canada has also established the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad to provide loans of up to $5,000 to help Canadians abroad return to Canada and to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return.

Provincial and Municipal

Last Updated: April 8, 2020
TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund
Powered by donations, this Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Council initiative supports artists in the city who have lost income as a result of COVID-19.
Hamilton Artists Relief Fund This Hamilton Arts Council emergency response fund supports artists in the Hamilton arts community who are experiencing financial repercussions due to pandemic-related cancellations.


Last Updated: April 8, 2020  

A number of organizations and ad hoc initiatives are offering support to the arts sector across various arts disciplines and communities. Below is a partial list of resources.  

LEAN Canada – Leadership Emergency Arts Network LEAN is a volunteer-run response network for Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations. Advisors with experience in strategic decision-making, crisis management, financial analysis, board direction, relationship mediation, HR management and inspirational leadership are offering pro bono, one-on-one advice and support.  

Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund
The Writers’ Trust of Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) will provide support to professional authors financially affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. The fund will begin with an initial amount of $150,000 and distribute grants in amounts of $1,500 to writers that have seen contracted or projected income evaporate due to the current public health crisis.
Opera Artist Emergency Relief Fund
Opera.ca has created a fund to provide urgent funds to opera artists experiencing immediate cash shortages for basic necessities as a result of lost engagements due to COVID-19.
The AFC can provide short-term emergency financial assistance for essential household bills and costs that cannot otherwise be paid. The fund supports entertainment industry professionals working in TV and film, music, theatre, and dance who are in immediate financial need.
Unison Benevolent Fund
The Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit charity that offers short-term emergency financial assistance and crisis counselling for the Canadian music community.
Glad Day: Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers
This emergency survival fund supports LGBTQ2S artists, performers, and tip-based workers, as well as keeping the Glad Day Book Shop open.


Other Arts Funders

Last updated: April 8, 2020
Government departments and agencies at the federal and municipal levels are also sources of funds and resources for Ontario artists and arts organizations. They include:

Information Resources and Impact Surveys

Last updated: June 8, 2020
A number of municipal, provincial and national arts service organizations (ASOs) and other entities have put together guides and resources, and are conducting impact surveys specific to their sectors. These include:


Staying Informed About COVID-19

Last updated: April 8, 2020
We encourage you to follow the most up-to date news and advice of our federal and provincial public health organizations, including Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Health, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.



Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058