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COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Update for September 17, 2020

OAC is producing several informational videos for potential applicants to the new Arts Response Initiative. The videos feature OAC staff in a Q&A format. They use various scenarios to address the three program categories for Individuals, Groups and Collectives and Organizational Partnerships.

COVID-19 Update for September 1, 2020

Given the ongoing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and changing public health guidelines for travel and public gatherings, OAC will be revising the Touring Projects program so that it can better serve the Ontario arts sector.

COVID-19 Update for August 11, 2020

The Ontario Arts Council's (OAC) new $1.6 million Arts Response Initiative (ARI) will help Ontario artists and arts organizations respond to challenges posed by the pandemic.

COVID-19 Update for May 6, 2020

In April 2020, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) undertook a survey to gather some high-level indicators of the early impact of COVID-19 on OAC-funded organizations. 

COVID-19 Update for April 14, 2020

OAC has temporarily suspended the intake of applications to the Market Development Travel Assistance program because of COVID-19 related travel advisories. The program will be closed until further notice while we monitor the situation and consider new approaches to supporting market development activity in response to the impacts of COVID-19. Continue to visit OAC’s website for the latest updates on deadline dates and funding opportunities.

COVID-19 Update for April 9, 2020

In response to current federal and provincial government restrictions, OAC has decided to not award new grants for activities involving travel or in-person gatherings taking place before June 30, 2020. This policy applies to all project programs that support touring, performance events, rehearsals, workshops, conferences, etc. Recent applicants who have proposed such activities scheduled to take place before June 30 will be invited to provide revised project plans. While we don’t yet know how long restrictions will continue to be in place, OAC will monitor provincial and federal advisories and may extend this date if required.

COVID-19 Update for April 1, 2020

OAC has extended all April and May project program deadlines by two weeks so that artists and arts professionals whose lives and work are impacted by COVID-19 will have extra time to develop their applications. Whether the projects are creation, presenting or producing, we understand that they may need to be reconceptualized or adapted in light of COVID-19 effects. Please check the Grant Program Deadlines and Important Dates 2020 page for updated deadlines and reach out to the program staff if you need assistance. 

COVID-19 Update for March 30, 2020

OAC’s Research section is gathering information collected through surveys being conducted by Arts Service Organizations (ASOs) and others to track the effects of COVID-19.

This week, OAC will undertake a mini-survey of OAC-funded organizations across all sectors to get a sense of the high-level impact figures. This will complement the more detailed work being done by the various ASOs whose surveys are naturally more specific to individual sectors. OAC will look at doing a more comprehensive analysis later in the year once we have a fuller picture of the impacts.

COVID-19 Update for March 27, 2020

OAC is acutely aware of the extensive disruption that COVID-19 is causing across the arts sector. As a result, the priorities, plans and budgets of many of our operating funded organizations must shift in response. OAC has therefore suspended all upcoming operating program deadlines and assessments while we prioritize processing payments to operating grant recipients as soon as we are able. We recognize the urgent need for organizations to access their operating funds under current circumstances and we are working to address that.

COVID-19 Update for March 25, 2020

OAC is offering as much flexibility as possible to grant applicants and recipients. We understand that grant recipients may need to pause, change or cancel their activities as well as adjust targets and dates. Once you are able to turn your attention to your project, OAC officers will work with you to advise on what is possible in the coming weeks and months. As impacts are better understood and your new plans come together, contact us to review changes to your project plans and budgets.

COVID-19 Update for March 23, 2020

We would like to reassure artists and arts organizations that OAC will be flexible and will work with grant recipients facing unanticipated expenses and changes related to COVID-19. We will not ask for repayment of grants for which related expenses have been incurred and will keep disbursing grant payments even in cases of altered events and plans. Our priority is to support Ontario art organizations, artists and arts professionals to get through this pandemic situation in strength and solidarity.

COVID-19 Update for March 20, 2020

Preparing an application? In the current context, we understand that application deadlines and requirements may be difficult to meet. Remaining March project program deadlines (Multi and Inter-Arts Projects, Literary Organizations Projects, Music Production and Presentation Projects) have been extended by two weeks, and extension requests will be considered for April deadlines. Certain mandatory application items (letters of confirmation, cost projections, etc.) may also be difficult to obtain. We will work with applicants to ensure these limitations are not barriers to applying. Contact program staff for support.

COVID-19 Update for March 18, 2020

For everyone’s safety and to help “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic, OAC’s offices are closed. OAC staff members are working from home and are committed to serving the arts sector through these exceptional circumstances, including continued delivery of our granting programs, grant payments and answers to your questions. Please bear with us, however, as there may be delays in response and grant processing times while we adjust to new ways of working and the limited availability of our staff.

Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Last updated July 17, 2020 – FAQs to help you navigate our information. Updates will be posted when new information is available. Up-to-date information will also be located on relevant program web pages and in Nova, OAC’s online granting system. Some updates will also be shared on social media.


Kirsten Gunter

Director of Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Shoshana Wasser

Senior Communications Coordinator (Government & Media Relations)
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058