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

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

  • Crisis Services Canada — Providing suicide prevention and support. Call 1-833-456-4566.

  • Distress Centres of Greater Toronto — Volunteer-delivered crisis, emotional support and suicide prevention, intervention and postvention service agency. Call 416-408-4357.

  • NABS support line — Confidential and professional assistance to marketing and communications professionals. Call 1-888-355-5548.

  • Unison — A toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues in English and French. Call 1-855-986-4766.

  • TO Community response to COVID19 Facebook group — Facebook group connecting people in need with helpers in Toronto.

  • Calltime; Mental Health — an initiative created by British Columbia's motion picture industry unions to provide mental health resources for motion picture industry workers.



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