Slaight Music donation doubles performing arts fund during coronavirus outbreak

The $100,000 donation could help pay for up to 100 more performances to be livestreamed as artists lose work due to the pandemic.

Donation adds $100K to #CanadaPerforms series

Serena Ryder is one of the artists who was initially selected for the streaming series. (CBC)

Slaight Music is doubling a performing arts fund that will see performances livestreamed online to help artists affected by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The #CanadaPerforms series was announced Thursday as a partnership between the National Arts Centre (NAC) and Facebook Canada with an initial $100,000 donation. Slaight Music has now added another $100,000 to that fund.

"It's really a direct way to support artists until we get through this crisis," said Annabelle Cloutier, executive director of communications and public affairs with the NAC.

The fund has already received around 1,500 applications as of Saturday evening. Applicants are being chosen based on the quality of the pitch. The fund is looking for high-quality performances by professional artists and those who were directly affected by the closure of performing arts venues across the country, said Cloutier.

The 45- to 60-minute-long performances offered every day will include everything from theatre, music, classical music, and dance to comedy acts and poetry readings.

Performers will receive a $1,000 grant. 

The hope is to offer hundreds of performances and perhaps even more, as the NAC has had interest from other private donors looking to add to the fund.

Social distancing 

While trying to help artists affected by the viral outbreak, the NAC expects them to abide by public health guidelines set out by their province or territory.

"Of course, we're asking that artists perform in a space that is a home or their home studio, that they respect any public health guidelines in terms of self-isolating and social distancing," said Cloutier.