Covid-19 Resources for Artists

By May 19, 2020 July 7th, 2020 Uncategorized

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)


CERB will cover people who have lost their job, people who are sick or quarantined, and parents who must stay home without pay to care for children. The new CERB also includes workers who have lost income due to the COVID-19 slowdown, but who haven’t yet been officially laid off. It will cover employees, contract workers, and self-employed workers. To qualify, applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application.

Applicants are eligible if they meet the above criteria and have earned $1000 or less in the four week period they are applying for.

Royalties for work completed before the pandemic are not counted as income for the purpose of this benefit. Artists may receive royalties, up to $1000 in employment or self-employment income, and CERB at the same time.


  • $2000 benefit paid out every four weeks for up to 24 weeks between March 15 and October 3 2020
  • You need to apply separately for each four week period that you require financial assistance
  • Applicants are asked to apply on different days depending on their birth month to avoid system overload. See this page for details.
  • If you are getting your payment by direct deposit, expect payment within 3 business days from the day you submitted your application. If you are getting your payment by cheque, expect payment within 10 business days from the day you submitted your application.
  • For the fastest application process, make sure your CRA My Account for Individuals is set up with direct deposit. Most banks will let you set up direct deposit through their online banking system. If you are unable to do this, that’s okay – you can still apply through the automated phone system at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.
  • If you are behind on your taxes, you can still apply, either online or through the automated phone system at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.
  • When you apply you will be asked for your SIN, the four week period you are applying for, and you will be asked to attest that you are eligible for the benefit. You will be asked to confirm your postal code (if applying by phone) or payment information (if applying online).


Actor’s Fund of Canada


You are professionally eligible if you:

  • Are working age and have earned the majority of your income from entertainment industry work in 2019


  • Are over 65 and have earned the majority of your income from the industry over your working life

If you do not meet these guidelines exactly, we still encourage you to apply. We are aiming to help as many people as possible during this crisis. 

AFC is prioritizing support to artists who do not have enough money in the bank to meet basic needs for the next 4-8 weeks.


Grants will cover basic needs including rent or mortgage payments, food, utilities, phone bill, car payments, car and home insurance, or medical expenses.

How much money can I get?

  • The dollar amount will depend on your immediate basic needs and your monthly expenses.
  • It is common for people to receive only part of their request.
  • Smaller requests (under $1,500) will be processed faster; however, if you need more, we encourage you to ask for what you need. 

Estimated wait time for a decision is three weeks.



Glad Day Emergency Survival Fund


LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers


  • Provides $200-$1200 in emergency relief
  • If you don’t receive support, you can apply again in ten days


Micro artist grants for groceries


Artists of any discipline


  • A one time, no questions asked, micro grant of $75 for groceries, food and other essentials
  • Grants will be first come, first served
  • Requests can be made via email to badnewdaysperformance(at) (include the artistic discipline you work in and the email address where you would like to receive your e-transfer)
  • Funds will be dispersed as soon as possible


Last updated: July 7 2020