Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

On April 17, 2020, the Prime Minister announced funding of $500 million to establish a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The Emergency Support Fund will provide 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:

  • Up to $326.8 million to be distributed by Canadian Heritage, of which:
    • $198.3 million will be provided to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding through existing programs as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
    • $72 million will be provided to the sport sector;
    • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; and,
    • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
  • $55 million to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts to help arts organizations that support artists.
  • $115.8 million to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).

The use of the remaining funds will be assessed based on needs.

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:

  • Funding for eligible organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.
  • 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).

Further details on Phase 2 will be announced over the coming weeks.

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
My organization is currently funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Media Fund or Telefilm Canada
My organization is not currently funded by Canadian Heritage

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:

  • they need funding to ensure a continuity of operations and to safeguard jobs;
  • they remain in operation at the time of application and plan to keep contributing to their sector in the future;
  • they are not receiving funding from multiple sources to cover the same costs (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Business Account and Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses); and,
  • where relevant, funds will be used to support workers such as the self-employed and freelance workers, artists, and creators.

Further details on Phase 2 implementation will be announced over the coming weeks.

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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