Here's where Canadian artists and freelancers can find help during COVID-19 shutdowns

This continuously updated list will direct you to the resources you may need right now

Posted: March 20, 2020
Last Updated: June 24, 2020

Toronto's Paradise Theatre left a message on its marquee as it temporarily closed its doors. (Peter Knegt/CBC)

COVID-19 has devastated the Canadian arts community. With social distancing heavily encouraged, theatres, concert venues, art galleries and stores have been forced to close. Touring musicians have cancelled gigs, book launches have been postponed and film productions across the country are halted. As a result, many workers who already were in precarious positions find themselves even worse off.

On March 18, the federal government announced it was creating two new benefits to support workers not normally eligible for EI. However, the application won't be available until April. In the meantime, there are a number of resources for artists that will help them through a difficult time — whether that's financially, mentally or just to improve their own skills.

Following the footsteps of a group of American artists and writers who created a COVID-19 freelance artist resource list, we've created a Canadian companion list. This list will be updated as more resources become available. To add a resource, please email H.G. Watson.


Emergency funding

Advocacy groups

Online training resources

Health and mental health resources

Temporary and remote job/volunteer opportunities

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at See more of our COVID-related coverage here.


H.G. Watson

H.G. Watson is a journalist based in Toronto. She teaches at Toronto Metropolitan University, and has worked for the National Observer, TVO, J-Source and more. You can find her at or on Twitter at @hg_watson.