Support & Resources for Artists During COVID-19

As we move into the middle of May, Toronto looks at implementing phase one of lifting some of the lockdown restrictions. This can be as soon as May 19th CBC reports. Thanks to our collective due diligence, persistence to social distancing and lockdown measures - let's continue to avoid a second wave.

Below is a list of resources to support artists while we are planning around COVID in the coming months. While protecting the health of our communities, it’s inevitable that without income our collective health will be impacted by stress while managing the necessities to get by. There are supports out there beyond the emergency relief fund. Governments, organizations and grassroots have diligently and compassionately compiled resources and support for everyone who needs, to seek them.

Recently, Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) conducted a survey in early April 2020 to better understand the needs of the professional arts sector to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. The report can be found here. Of their membership, 8,842 replied. Where 42% of individual respondents said they had or would be applying to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit; and 61% expressed confidence that the emergency aid measures announced by the federal government would be helpful to them – that leaves 39% who believe it will not. 

Despite the uncertain future, the city, communities, organizations and government have come together support as best as they can. Below is a partial list of resources available for artists, individuals and even organizations.

Supports For Artists

CBC Compiled a list of where Canadian artists and freelancers can find help during COVID-19 shutdowns

Freelance Artist Resource: This is a list of free resources and financial relief for those artists of all disciplines. This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists and those interested in supporting the independent artist community.

Artwork Archive: Financial Relief,

Edu Arts: This includes a list of specific resources by category,

Toronto Arts Council: Federal and local supports,


General Resources

  • 519: A more holistic list of resources and information about services, supports, and care during COVID-19. Including essential services, care, emotional supports and supports for newcomers and refugees.
  • 211: A List of Food Banks in Ontario
  • Tapa Micro-Grant: A one-time micro-grant of $75 for artists for groceries (you can also donate)
  • Grassroots Resource: A Toronto-based, community grassroots effort, organized by initiative and type of support. You can either look for support or provide it. This excel includes, volunteering and financial, with tabs at the bottom that include: how to help; health/mental health; support services; free activities; and more – updated regularly in this excel.

Be well,

To stay up to date on the Canadian response and supports available during COVID, see updates on the federal website for individuals, businesses and sectors. And if you plan on applying for the Emergency benefits, which have now been extended to August 2020, you can read about How to apply for EI and COVID-19 emergency benefits, on CBC here.