On October 21, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland announced new targeted measures in place of programs which were set to expire on October 23, 2021. These include the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.
The backgrounder indicates that the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program will cover festivals, which suggests the performing arts and the music scene will also be fit under the program. These programs will provide wage and rent subsidies until November 20. They may be extended up until July 2022.
These sector-specific programs had been advocated for by the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, with the support of many performing arts associations, including CAPACOA.
The government did however not announce any plans for the replacement of the Canada Recovery Benefit, which is expiring October 23. In its platform, the Liberal Party committed to “implement a COVID-19 transitional support program to provide emergency relief to out-of-work artists, craftspeople, creators, and authors who are primarily self-employed or independent contractors.”
“We are extremely grateful for the announcement of the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program. At the same time, we are very concerned about the fate of thousands of freelance performing arts workers who will find themselves without any income support unless a new targeted program is quickly introduced in replacement of the Canada Recovery Benefit.”Michele Emslie, CAPACOA Board Chair
According to the latest employment statistics, one in two live performance workers have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic and the sector has not seen any recovery yet.
CAPACOA anticipates a confirmation shortly from the government as to which sectors will be eligible to the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program. We also hope to see a transitional support program announced for self-employed live performance workers very soon.