Support Programs During COVID-19

Support for Crew, Musicians, Producers and Suppliers

Updated January 26th, 2021

CION has produced this plain-language guide for the individuals and organizations in Northern Ontario affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are updated regularly, so please bookmark this page.

We continue to add new resources weekly. Please email to include any new programs, resources or support that you think might help our industry and talent during the early stages of this crisis.

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Support for Crew Members and Production Support Employees
Support for Businesses - Vendors and Suppliers
Support for Musicians
Government, Funding Agencies, Unions and Industry Associations

Support for Crew Members and Production Support Employees

  • The Federal Government has announced they will cover 75% of employee salaries for the next three months. This will be backdated to March 15th, and must be renewed every 30 days. Companies with employees that provide equipment, transport, post-production, and other support services may be eligible. More information will be made public in the next week. SOURCE
  • If you are laid off, you are still able to apply for Employment Insurance. If you are a contract worker the Canada Emergency Response Benefit might be available to you for up to 4 months, especially if you do not qualify for EI, or have to support minor or sick family members. This begins April 6th, with applications accepted online through your CRA account. If you don't currently have an account, now is the time to open one. The government has mandated specific days to apply depending on the month you were born, so as not to overload the system. SOURCE
  • Income tax filing for 2019 has been extended to July 2020, with payments due extended to September 2020. SOURCE
  • Minister of Tourism and Culture, Lisa MacLeod is working to revise regulations so that contract and freelance workers can receive Ontario's three refundable film and TV tax credits. See the current film and tax credits listed hereSOURCE 1 SOURCE 2

Support for Businesses - Vendors and Suppliers

  • The Federal Government has announced they will cover 75% of employee salaries for the next three months. The most recent update to this program is available here and indicates that there has been some changes to how the rules will be applied. Companies with employees that provide equipment, transport, post-production, and other support services may be eligible. SOURCE
  • The Federal Government has announced 0% loans of up to $40,000 with $10,000 as a grant if paid back by December 2022. Apply through your financial institutions. Expect them to have online signups available in the next few weeks.
  • If you are not eligible for the subsidies, consider the Federal Work-Sharing program that allows companies to keep employees working at part-time hours while receiving EI with no penalties for hours not paid by the company.

Support for Musicians

  • The Government of Canada is making the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) available to businesses that have been operating out of non-business banking account.  
  • The Ontario Music Fund has been modernized and applications will open in May for the $7 million fund under three streams – music creation, live music, and industry initiatives.
  • SOCAN has introduced an enhanced $2 million dollar emergency fund for emergency royalty advances. Contact SOCAN’s Membership team at 1-866-307-6226, or by email at members@socan.comPriority will be given to SOCAN members who are faced with a loss in live performance royalties, or screen composers whose productions have been suspended, but all applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • UNISON has announced a $500,000 Benevolent Fund. If you work in the Canadian music industry and require assistance, please register for Unison’s services.  For counselling inquiries and support to help deal with the financial or emotional impact of COVID-19, please contact 1-855-986-4766. For emergency financial assistance inquiries, please review the application process here.
  • Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, Lisa MacLeod is reworking the $7 million dollar Ontario Music Fund to get more money into the hands of emerging artists during the crisis.
  • Ontario Arts Council announces they will continue to pay out any existing grants, and will account for the crisis in the delay or change to outstanding projects. 
  • National Arts Centre and Facebook announce $100,000 in funding for virtual live performances. $1,000 will be available to individual artists for a 40-60 minute live online performance. Send your name, description of your performance, when you want to do your performance and on what platform to:
  • Additional programs for live, virtual performances are being announced regularly - bookmark this page for regular updates.

Support for Event Staff and Event Producers

  • LiveNation, the live event and ticketing conglomerate, has started a $10 million dollar fund for live music event crew impacted by COVID-19. Called CrewNation, details on the application process will be available here shortly.

Support for Producers

  • The Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety Committee has released the guidelines for the industry at this time (revised January 25, 2021).
  • The Canada Media Fund has assembled an extremely detailed list of all assistance programs across Canada broken down by province.
  • Bell has announced criteria related to their funds.
  • CBC has announced the Creative Relief Fund, which has three streams and will spend $2 million dollars on "a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries."
  • Ontario Creates is still accepting film and television  inquiries and applications. Visit or contact Rob Riselli, Film Programs and Reporting Supervisor for more information on the next intake round and deadline dates.
  • The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has added some stability to the industry with the announcement that there will be no program changes this year, and all $353 million will continue to be available for media productions in Ontario for 2020/2021.

Support for Arts Organizations

  • Recently announced, Leadership Emergency Arts Network (LEAN), is a group of over 50 arts organizations leaders banding together to support arts organizations throughout this crisis. Check out their mandate here.

If you are experiencing any mental health issues, consider the following resources:

Cultural Human Resources Council

Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

Industry Codes of Conduct (Please consider becoming a signatory)

Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)

Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Exchange (SHARE)

Government, Funding Agencies, Unions and Industry Associations

Federal Government  
Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

Canadian Media Fund - COVID-19 Flexibility Measures to CMF Programs

Heritage Canada Phase 2 Covid-19 Emergency Funds

Click here for the Canada Border Services Agency one-pager regarding the Film & TV industry during COVID-19.

Provincial Government

COVID-19 Resource Page

Emergency Support Funds Resources

Unison Benevolent Fund Financial Assistance
AFC Financial Assistance
Glad Day Lit Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists

Community Resources

Unison Benevolent Fund COVID-19 Resources for the Music Community
MMF COVID-19 Updates
FACTOR Resources for Canadian artists, writers and media workers during COVID-19 shutdowns

Canadian Funding Agencies Statements

Canada Council for the Arts COVID-19 Updates
Canadian Heritage COVID – 19 FAQ
Ontario Arts Council COVID-19 Updates
FACTOR  COVID-19 Updates
Telefilm COVID-19 Updates

Public Health and Government Statements

World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Government of Canada COVID-19 Updates
Government of Canada Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 global outbreak
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EU) COVID-19 Updates

Industry Organizations

Canadian Media Producers Association – COVID-19 Update


IATSE 667 COVID-19 Update
IATSE 634 Website
DGC COVID-19 Update
ACTRA COVID-19 Back to Work Best Practices
NABET 700 COVID-19 News