COVID-19 Information & Resources for Canada's Music Industry

Posted on
March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Information & Resources for Canada's Music Industry

As the music community comes together during the novel COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to keep you informed of developments as they roll out. Artists, performers, and musicians are without income, and the entrepreneurs and companies that work to promote, support, and elevate Canadian music are all seeing their livelihoods in jeopardy. Please review the information below in case it may be of assistance. We are staying abreast of the situation as it pertains to the music industry across Canada, and implore everyone to stay as safe as possible through this stressful and uncertain time.

Please note that CIMA's offices are closed, and we will be working remotely until the proper health officials advise that it is wise to return. We are working to understand what that means for upcoming programs and events, and we will keep you posted via our various social platforms.

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MARCH 27:

In order to further support small businesses, The Government of Canada has announced the following updates

  1. Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
  2. Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
  3. Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
  4. Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

March 27 Industry Updates:

  • The Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project has been created to amplify the efforts of organizations that focus on helping those most in need, beginning with the Unison Benevolent Fund, PRS Foundation, MusiCares and Help Musicians. Spotify is making a donation to these organizations and will match donations to these above organizations dollar for dollar up to a collective total of $10 million. For more information click here.
  • In light of COVID-19, FACTOR has announced that they will be extending two of their upcoming deadlines. The new Business Development deadline is now May 21 and the Artist Development and Juried Sound Recording programs deadline is May 28. More information here.
  • Toronto Arts Council/Toronto Arts Foundation launches TOArtist COVID Relief Fund.To assist Toronto artists in dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Council are introducing the TOArtist COVID Response Fund.
    The Fund will allocate up to $1000 to self-employed, individual artists resident in Toronto whose creative work and income have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Music Canada and Connect Music Licensing are conducting the COVID-19 Music Artist Impact Survey. Today is the deadline to fill out the survey if you are an artist working in the capacities of recording live performance, artist entrepreneurs, songwriters, publishers etc.
  • Atlantic Presenters offer free webinar series from March 31-April 3 at 2pm ADT on "Rethinking Presenting and Touring in the Age of COVID-19: A Discussion". Here's how you can register.

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The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, and who might not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

For Individuals:

Support for Individuals & Families:

Support for people facing unemployment: 

Support for people who are sick, quarantined or in directed self-isolation:

Support for people who are unable to work:

Support for people who need it most: 

Support for seniors:

Support for students & recent graduates:

For Businesses

Avoiding Layoffs:

Access to Credit:

Supporting Financial Stability:

More Flexibility:

WHERE TO START for Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs:

  • Visit Canada's website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. 
  • Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19. 
  • Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare your business in the days and weeks to come. 
  • Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions. 
  • The Department of Finance Canada has a thorough resource here outlining how the government is taking action to help Canadians experiencing hardship, including detail about flexibility for taxpayers. 
  • For individuals, make sure you can access either your CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account to apply for EI relief funds before the applications open in April 2020. Better to sort that out now if you're unsure of your login information!


OTHER RESOURCES & INFORMATION:

  • Airline Cancellation Policies: A comprehensive guide by Forbes can be found here.
  • Alberta Music has shared information for Albertans and Canadians alike on how to prepare for COVID-19 in the arts sector. Get more information here.
  • Bandzoogle has put together this handy blog: How musicians can ask fans for support during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Canada's Banks: Contact your bank to find out how they have committed to support businesses and individuals through these difficult time. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.
  • Canada Business App: Download the app to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
  • Canada Council for the Arts: Information about CCA's cancellation policy can be found here
  • The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM): has sent an open letter to federal and provincial ministries overseeing culture, social security and employment.
  • Canadian Live Music Association's Request for relief to the Canadian government can be found here.
  • Canada Public Health has info about the situation available here.
  • CAPACOA is asking you to track cancellations affecting the Canadian live performance sector here.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce have put together a pandemic prepardness guide to help prepare businesses in the days and weeks to come. 
  • Event Safety Alliance: Preparing your organization for COVID-19. More information can be found here.
  • FACTOR: Information about FACTOR's cancellation policy can be found here.
  • Government of Canada Trade Commissioner Service: Resources for Canadian businesses can be found here.
  • Music BC has provided information and resources on their website and is encouraging company and artists to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding Music BC's programs.
  • Manitoba Music will be providing information and resources, including support efforts. Keep an eye on their updates here. They have also announced the launch of of an emergency financial relief fund for Manitoba's artists and industry workers. Find out more here
  • Music Managers Forum Canada has an incredibly thorough resource page that is being constantly updated here.
  • MusicOntario will be reposting all sorts of things on our socials/to our stories - have a peek there for various updates, interesting content from the community, streaming events, and other tidbits to help pass the time.
  • National Arts Centre & Facebook Canada will provide $100,000 in artist fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020 to ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada due to COVID-19.
  • Ontario Creates: COVID-19 Response Plan
  • PRS Foundation: Advice for overseas activities or performances. More information here.
  • Radio Starmaker: The Board of the Radio Starmaker Fund wants to inform all stakeholders that any previous tour dates that were approved and were to take place between February 15th and August 31st of this year will be fully funded if they were canceled as a result of the coronavirus. All you will need to do when filling out final paperwork is indicate the reason for the cancellation was coronavirus – no other proof will be necessary. This same policy will also be in effect with regard to tour dates approved by the Board for Round 74. We are currently examining the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the implications it may have on future touring. Currently, when we open our next round we are considering a moratorium on requests for tour funding for all performances from April 1st to May 31st of this year given the very high likelihood of cancellation. We will be monitoring this situation over the next few weeks and making a final determination on or before April 10th when we plan to open the next round of funding. In the meantime, we wanted everyone to know this is a possibility as tour plans are made this year.
  • SaskMusic will be launching an emergency relief fund for music industry professionals impacted by lost income due to COVID-19. More information can be found here.
  • Spotify: The Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project has been created to amplify the efforts of organizations that focus on helping those most in need, beginning with the Unison Benevolent Fund, PRS Foundation, MusiCares and Help Musicians. For more information click here
  • Toronto Arts Council/Toronto Arts Foundation launches TOArtist COVID Relief Fund.
  • Unison Benevolent Fund has information about how they can help here, or you can call 1-855-986-4766 for inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of coronavirus. Unison has also announced the launch of the COVID-19 Relief Program. 
  • Worldwide Independent Network has a list of resources for the indie music community across the work here.
  • World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/

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