On Tuesday, Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault announced a $40M injection of new capital into a "Covid-safe events fund" for the arts and culture sectors.
Guilbeault says the funding - part of the $181.5M support through 2021-2022 for the arts and live music sectors outlined in the Fall 2020 Economic Statement - is designed to "help absorb the risk" for those looking to hold in-person or virtual events during a time that health guidelines can change in an instant, forcing cancellations or postponements. It also includes a one-year extension of the $25M originally allotted to the Canadian Music Fund in 2019.
An eligible applicant can apply for a maximum $100,000 and can cover up to 100 per cent of a project cost, with 50 per cent of that cost dedicated towards the payment of artists, art workers and support staff.
The announcement comes nearly two weeks after Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Provincial Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, and Toronto Mayor John Tory announced $7M in funding for 87 local and virtual events in the Reconnect Festival and Event Program.
Among the events that the Reconnect Festival and Event Program will fund include:
The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience: Spring Edition, a virtual and live event showcasing the best in Canadian agriculture, food and equine sport;
Field Trip Life Launch, live and virtual performances to launch the return of the Field Trip and FieldTripLife.com festival;
Lights On Stratford, a winter lights festival illuminating heritage buildings, theatres, parks and storefronts in Stratford;
Hot Docs Podcast Festival, an online ticketed event showcasing popular podcasters;
Haunted Walk "Bubble Tours," which include adapted in-person and digital ghost tours in Ottawa.
In light of the pandemic, Minister MacLeod said in a statement: "It is critical that our government continues to support organizations that are finding new ways to engage with and reconnect Ontarians, while preserving jobs and supporting local economies. The Reconnect Festival and Event Program will help support the economic and social recovery of communities across Ontario."
The program opens March 17.
In related Federal announcements, the Canada Council of the Arts will receive $116.5M, with $50.5M of that amount earmarked for a one-time digital innovation program for virtual works.
The Department of Canadian Heritage will also receive $65M, with the majority of moneys allotted for short-term contracting of workers for live arts and music events.