Arts Grants and Emergency Funds

Published On: May 13th, 2020|Categories: Featured, People and Places|Tags: , , |

We’ve assembled a list of grants and emergency funds for artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and community organizations that may require financial support during these difficult times. This list will be continuously updated:

Grants for Artists

Canada Council and CBC – Digital Originals

Artists, groups or organizations can either adapt their existing work or create a new work for digital dissemination to the Canadian public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital Originals offers a $5,000 micro innovation grant from the Canada Council. Funded projects will be housed on a dedicated CBC/Radio-Canada website. In addition, CBC/Radio-Canada will feature selected projects for showcase on at least one of its digital CBC/Radio-Canada platforms. Selected projects for the curated CBC-Radio/Canada showcase will receive a supplemental amount of $1000. Applications will only be accepted through the Canada Council portal beginning in mid-May. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 15, 2020 or until the budget has been allocated. More information here. 

Behind the Scenes – Grants for Entertainment Technology Professionals

Behind the Scenes has three types of grants:

  1. The Basic Needs Grant: For entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured and are seeking assistance with basic living expenses (such as rent or mortgage, property taxes, utilities, insurance and transportation) or for medical expenses (including health insurance, doctor and hospital bills, medication, physical therapy, home health care and medical equipment). This grant is also appropriate if the eligible person has an immediate, dependent family member who is seriously ill or injured.
  2. The Counseling Grant: For entertainment technology professionals who would like to initiate or support ongoing counseling or participate in an in-patient or out-patient recovery program.
  3. The Funeral Assistance Grant: For immediate family members of an entertainment technology professional who has passed away and assistance with funeral costs is needed.

Canadian Heritage Emergency Support Grants

As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture and heritage sectors. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations. More information here.

Metcalf Foundation

The Metcalf Foundation has a comprehensive database with all current and upcoming foundation grants. They have committed to increasing their 2020 granting commitments to 5% of their assets in response to the crisis generated by COVID-19. More information here.

Curating Care by Aboriginal Curatorial Collective

In response to gallery and museum closures and program suspensions due to COVID-19, the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective is inviting independent indigenous curators and arts creatives to join their Curating Care project in order to receive a small honorarium. More information here.

Modest Needs – Grant Application 

Modest Needs’ hallmark grant is the Self-Sufficiency Grant to assist individuals and families living just above the poverty level that are ineligible for most types of conventional social assistance. More information here.

Glad Day: Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers

This emergency survival fund supports LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers. Bonus: it will also keep the Glad Day Book Shop open. More information here.

Unison Benevolent Fund for the Canadian music community 

The Unison COVID-19 Relief Program was created to support Canadian musicians affected by COVID-19 thanks to a generous $250,000 donation by the Slaight Family Foundation. More information here.

Unison also offers a toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues. Call 1-855-986-4766.

Writer’s Trust of Canada: Woodcock Fund Grant

This grant is quick-access emergency assistance for professional Canadian writers (minimum of 2 books published or equivalent) in mid-project who are facing unforeseen financial need. More information here. 

Canadian Artist and Music Relief Fund

The Canadian Artist and Music Relief Fund (CAMRF) team aims to provide support for low-income artists and musicians whose livelihoods have being effected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide emergency and preventative resources to those at financial risk. At this time the funds will go to support artists and musicians in Montreal and Toronto. More information here.

Fondation des artistes – Fonds d’urgence Netflix

La direction de la Fondation des artistes ainsi que son personnel travaillent à l’unisson depuis début mars pour venir en aide aux artistes ayant besoin de soutien. Pour recevoir de l’aide de la Fondation, vous devez remplir le formulaire de demande d’aide qui vous concerne et fournir les pièces justificatives demandées. Si vous êtes aux prises avec de graves difficultés financières dues au coronavirus, veuillez fournir les pièces justificatives démontrant la perte ou le report de vos contrats. Plus d’information ici. 

Emergency Funding for Community Organizations and Entrepreneurs

COVID-19 Emergency Support to Community Organizations

The Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) is a $350 million emergency support program from the Government of Canada in collaboration with the United Way Centraide Canada and Canadian Red Cross. The ECSF will provide support to frontline organizations. More information here.

Financial Support for Women Entrepreneurs

This federal government investment will help thousands of women entrepreneurs and business owners navigate the COVID-19 crisis through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) program. More information here. 

McConnell Foundation

The McConnell Foundation has launched an Emergency Response Fund and a Social Innovation Fund for Organizational Re-building post-COVID-19 to provide short-term support for community organizations facing increased demands and to help organizations respond to new opportunities during the first few months of the pandemic and recovery period. More information here. 

Telus Friendly Future Foundation

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation is offering two types of grants: National and Provincial Grants up to $200,000 and Community Grants of up to $20,000 both focused on public health and technology initiatives. More information here.


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About the Author: Sarah Bobak

Sarah is a content contributor for artsUNITE/UNITÉ des arts. She enjoys travelling, learning new languages and tossing a frisbee.

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