Ottawa has rushed in to help, pledging $500-million in emergency funding for culture and amateur sport. The government also tweaked emergency benefits so artists could still earn small amounts from their work while collecting CERB. But once the benefits dry up, there will be a Darwinian reckoning as artists trying to restart careers encounter floundering producers and cautious audiences. Large organizations with better access to philanthropy and corporate sponsorship might enjoy an advantage here, and there have also been complaints that the federal money rewards incumbents. The Canada Council, for instance, divided its $55-million share proportionately among current grant recipients, with larger recipients getting more money. When One
Voice for Arts + Culture, a newly formed advocacy group, surveyed the sector, it was mainly small groups that responded: 20 per cent of them said that, despite the aid, they wouldn’t survive beyond 2020; another 20 per cent said they didn’t know.
And yet, the pandemic has also underlined the resilience of individual artists, and the bond between them and their communities.
Read full article