“Toronto benefits socially, culturally, and economically from the collective output of its artists. Yet, many artists are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19. As self-employed professionals outside the reach of many government income support programs, artists have specific needs.
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. We recognize the adverse impacts that the cancellation of performances and productions, the closure of venues, and the loss of teaching opportunities have on the freelance workers that make up the majority of professional artists in Toronto.
This emergency relief fund exists for vulnerable artists in the Toronto arts and culture sector, specifically, artists who are self-employed and are NOT eligible for Employee Insurance (EI).
If you are eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits through any other employer, or have alternative options to access bridge funding, please do not apply for these relief funds. The objective of this fund is to assist as many self-employed artists as possible – including the most vulnerable workers in the creative sector. The fewer demands there are for this fund, the more able we will be to distribute to those truly in need.
Applicants must declare that all the information provided in the application is factual. If you apply, you may be called upon to offer further verification.
All applicants must:
- Be a self-employed professional artist/arts professional. This is defined as someone who has developed skills through training or practice, is recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work and actively practises their art. Short breaks in artistic work history are acceptable.
- Have a permanent physical address within the City of Toronto and be able to provide proof of residency, e.g.. government issued form of identification, or other proof of residence (see criteria below).
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, or approved refugee claimant, or have an application pending for permanent resident status and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.
- Provide documentation of lost revenue, such as contracts, offer letters and notices of cancellations. Materials should include the agreed upon or expected payment or fee. Documentation may be formal contracts or less formal communication such as emails, texts, or messages, providing the details of the performance agreement are explicitly stated.
For more information and to apply, please visit: https://torontoartscouncil.org/grant-programs/toartist-covid-response-fund“
-from Toronto Arts Council