Last Friday, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, provided more details regarding the distribution of the $500 million Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sports Organizations. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage and delivered through existing departmental programs and Portfolio agencies such as the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada, as well as other key delivery organizations to provide much needed additional temporary relief to cultural, heritage, and sports organizations as they make every effort to rally back from the dire impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. More details can be found on the updated Department of Canadian Heritage website.
The Canadian Association for the Performing Arts/Association Canadienne des Organismes Artistiques (CAPACOA) congratulates the Federal government for their recognition of the annual contribution of the arts and culture community to the economic vitality of Canada and their timely response and support to one of the hardest hit sectors during this global health and economic crisis.
“On behalf of its national membership, comprised of artist producing organizations, artist agents, artist managers and presenters – both festivals and series, CAPACOA would like to extend our gratitude to the Government of Canada for the government’s ongoing partnership and support not only through the Canada Council but also the Department of Canadian Heritage’s long standing programs especially the Canadian Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF)” said Sue Urquhart, Executive Director of CAPACOA. CAPF supports organizations that professionally present arts festivals and performing arts series in communities throughout the country as well as organizations that offer support to arts presenters.
More than ever, Canada’s performing arts sector will look to the government to increase assistance through this program in order to stabilize arts presenters who employ artists and art workers alike to showcase Canadian artists and their work to Canadian audiences. Presenters across the country have been adversely impacted with cancellations of major festivals and temporary closures of arts venues during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has brought about a complete halt to community gathering and engagement as well as economic activity made possible by the arts presenting sector.
Michele Emslie, CAPACOA Board Chair states, “CAPACOA extends our commitment to continued collaboration with the federal government to provide a platform to strengthen the capacity of our exceptional local and national arts organizations while promoting reciprocity of talent and creativity with our international arts and culture partners. COVID-19 has imposed this intermission but the show will go on and we look forward to bringing our Canadian audiences from coast to coast to coast back to our theatres and festivals!”