Government of Canada photo.
Government of Canada photo.

Trudeau Aid in the Nick of Time

A basket of aid programs for the entertainment sector totalling well in excess of $200M featured in the Trudeau government’s Fall economic stimulus bill.

Along with the extra arts funding, the fall economic statement also makes clear that the government “understands that certain major live events and festivals will require unique support.”

“The government will work with industry to prevent the closure of unique and irreplaceable flagship events and festivals across Canada, and to ensure the survival of key, globally-recognized assets in this sector,” the document says, but does not provide further detail.

There is also $50 million in relief promised to local television and radio stations by having the CRTC waive broadcasting Part II licence fees in 2020-21. In September, the government announced a separate $50-million Short-Term Compensation Fund for film and television productions.

Other sweeteners in the package that still has to be ratified by the House include a proposed increase to the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75 percent for the period beginning December 20, 2020, and to extend this rate until March 13, 2021.

To provide greater certainty to businesses and other organizations, the government is proposing to extend the current subsidy rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for an additional three periods. This means a base subsidy rate of up to 65 percent will be available on eligible expenses until March 13, 2021. With the 25 percent Lockdown Support also being extended, businesses may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 90 percent of their eligible expenses.

The Canadian Emergency Business Account program will be expanded, allowing qualifying businesses to access an additional interest-free $20,000 loan, in situations where there is a need. Half of this additional amount, up to $10,000, would be forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.

Canadian Live Music Association president and CEO Erin Benjamin offers key points mapped out in the government stimulus plan and is asking stakeholders to write, call and tweet appreciation to the PM and the respective cabinet ministers. You can find the details on the CLMA website.

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