Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations Detailed

On April 17, 2020, the Prime Minister announced funding of $500 million to establish a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. The Emergency Support Fund will provide additional temporary relief to support cultural, heritage and sport organizations and help them plan for the future. The Fund will help maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose viability has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations, specifically:

  • Up to $326.8 million to be distributed by Canadian Heritage, of which:
    • $198.3 million will be provided to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding through existing programs as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
    • $72 million will be provided to the sport sector;
    • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; and,
    • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
  • $55 million to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts to help arts organizations that support artists.
  • $115.8 million to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).

The use of the remaining funds will be assessed based on needs.

The Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations is designed to complement other Government of Canada measures to help Canadian workers and employers impacted by COVID-19, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses.

Who is eligible

In order to accelerate the distribution of funds, a two-phased approach will be followed:

Phase 1

For funding recipients who are projecting a significant financial impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Phase 1 also includes support to the April 7, 2020, announcement of the Digital Citizen Initiative’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program to help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that often result.

Phase 2

As part of the $500 million budget envelope, the second phase will provide temporary support as follows:

  • Funding for eligible organizations with heritage collections through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.
  • Funding for other organizations, which may include some that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada or the Canada Media Fund (e.g., non-recipient arts and culture organizations, small broadcasters, third-language producers, organizations in live music, local news organizations, magazines and community newspapers).

Further details on Phase 2 will be announced over the coming weeks.