Published May 08, 2020Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $500 million in aid would be provided to support Canadians who work in the arts, culture and sports sectors affected by coronavirus. Now, the federal government has offered a closer look at how those funds will be divided.
Details were shared by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault today, who told the Canadian Press, "Ultimately, the goal we're pursuing is to keep our arts, culture and sports infrastructure intact... And that once we emerge from the crisis, the ecosystem is still there to support our artists and our athletes."
Per CP, the plan's initial stages will see nearly $327 million of the funding distributed, while the rest of the funds will be "assessed based on needs." It remains unclear when the funds will be distributed.
Under the plan, $198 million in funding will be used as a "top-up" for arts and culture programs, including the Canada Music Fund, the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Periodical Fund. CP notes that all three organizations have already qualified for other forms of COVID-19 support.
Another $116 million has been earmarked for the television and film industry, through the Canada Media Fund ($89 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million). CP reports that both organizations intend to further outline how their shares of emergency funding will be distributed.
Then $55 million will go to the Canada Council for the Arts, while $53 million will go to the heritage sector through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.
Elsewhere, amateur sports sectors will receive $72 million to cover national and provincial organizations, Canadian sport institutes and Indigenous sport groups. The government's Digital Citizen Initiative, formed to counter online disinformation, will get $3.5 million.
Minister Guilbeault is reported to have said that organizations will only qualify for support that isn't already covered by other sources, such as the emergency wage subsidy or commercial rent assistance for small businesses.
As previously reported, artists and organizations alike in Canadian arts community are facing an uncertain future due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
The country's live music sector suffered from countless tour and festival cancellations, while Canadian record stores have voiced their concern of the pandemic's impact on their business. The current moment has also seen record labels make decisions of whether it's a financially feasible to release new albums, while the country's music manufacturers have moved to produce PPE for frontline workers.