Our aim is to:
- Share with funders the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on B.C.'s arts and culture sector;
- In response to requests from the community, compile and share policies and action plans related to the outbreak as used by Metro Vancouver and BC theatre companies;
- Promote dialogue to help the community to navigate through and beyond the current situation;
- Provide links to resource materials to help guide the decision-making of arts organizations.
See the links in the menu above for more details about our COVID-related projects and initiatives, or read more and click the images below.
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Canada, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website and consult your local health authority.
- The Provincial Health Officer issued an order of further province-wide restrictions in effect until December 7, in particular a suspension of *all* events and community-based gatherings. A newOrder for Gatherings and Events was also released (November 19, 2020)
- The Event Safety Alliance in the US has released a Six Month Update to its Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide (November 11, 2020)
- Revised Prevention Regional Measures were released, new Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health general guidance; new Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health business guidance; new Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health restaurant guidance; new Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health gyms, fitness centres and recreational centres guidance; and an updated Order on Gatherings and Events (November 10, 2020)
- On November 7, the Provincial Health Officer ordered further two-week restrictions in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley on social interactions and travel to help curb the outbreak. Additional clarification was provided on November 9 to address gaps in the initial order, including how it pertains to businesses such as movie theatres, restaurants, and worship services, which are not affected by the new restrictions.
- Provincial Health Officer's Updated Order for Gatherings and Events (October 30). Download a file comparing the changes from the Oct. 9 version here.
- COVID-19 Risks and precautions for the performing arts (September 23, 2020, National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health) - plus recorded webinar with Dr. Juliette O'Keefe (September 30, 2020)
- Updated Order of the Provincial Health Officer for Food Service Establishments, Liquor Services, and Events (September 18)
- The Government of British Columbia issued a Restart Plan outlining the guidelines and steps to relaunch.
- WorkSafeBC has released Protocols for Returning to Operation for the Performing Arts Industry.
- Actsafe Safety Association has a number of resources for the Performing Arts and Live Events industry on returning to safe operation, including an Industry Relaunch Framework developed to help performing arts organizations in BC complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan as required by WorkSafeBC, and to address public health orders relating to reopening of spaces. A full list of guiding documents and resources can be found here. Documents include guidelines on Audience Services; Equipment; Livestreaming; Loading/Unloading; Make-up; Performer/Client Guidelines; Rehearsals; Reporting & Communications; Risk Assessment; Shop; Sound Check; Wardrobe/Wigs; Working Remotely.
- The Event Safety Alliance in the US has released The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide with much information that can apply to reopening in Canada. They also posted a podcast on reopening here.
- CRA is hosting a webinar on November 4 for employers who want to learn more about the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS) COVID-19 relief measure.
- Transitioning from CERB to Employment Insurance (EI). If you need financial assistance after your CERB ends there are temporary changes (in effect for 1 year) to the EI program to help you access EI benefits. (September 27)
- New recovery benefits. If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021:
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB): provides eligible workers with $500/week for up to 26 weeks for those who have stopped working and are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19.
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): $500/week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, daycares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
- Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to 16 weeks to workers who are sick, quarantined, or caring for someone sick with COVID-19; those who have lost work or who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support; workers including self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for EI; and working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children. This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
- Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease you back into normal operations. The latest changes to CEWS can be found here. Also learn more about the updated subsidy calculator here.
Canada Council for the Arts
Canada Council announced it will provide $60M in advance funding to help stabilize backbone of arts sector as it faces COVID-19 crisis. By May 4, Council will issue advances enabling core funded organizations to: meet their immediate commitments, help ensure cash flow and address outstanding payments to the artists and cultural workers they employ. Ongoing updates from Canada Council can be found here.
- Phase 1: support for arts organization
- Phase 2: support for Indigenous and equity-seeking groups and organizations
BC Government Support
- The Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) provides grants to support economic resilience, tourism, heritage, and urban and rural economic development projects in communities impacted by COVID-19. Apply by October 29. (October 1)
- BC's Economic Recovery Plan includes an overview of new financial supports, including $21M to the arts and culture sector. (September 18)
- The Government of British Columbia released a $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan. The BC Emergency Benefit provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for those who receive EI, or the new Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits. Also available for workers who are self-employed and not EI-eligible. (March 23)
Community Gaming Grants
Applications are being received and processed as per the 2020 Guidelines, with additional guidance provided on April 3.
BC Arts Council
The BC Arts Council has FAQs for arts and culture grant applicants and recipients and a summary of changes to the BC Arts Council's programming. Announcements on May 30 included:
- 50% advance of operating grants for Operating Assistance Clients
- Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to Operating Assistance Clients & Eligible Project Clients (This one-time grant will range (maximum $15,000) depending on the size of your organization).
- Program Amendments, Extension of Deadlines and Program Deferrals
- The City of Vancouver announced COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance grants to assist Vancouver based non-profit arts and cultural organizations. (October 1)
Other Resources for the Arts Sector
- Actsafe maintains an up-to-date listing of resources pertaining to health and safety for our industry, including the latest from WorkSafeBC, Orders from the Provincial Health Officer, and other information related to the safe return to operations.
- BC Alliance for Arts and Culture provides a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource page for the arts and culture sector (funding, government response and relief, mental health, data collection, employment, etc.). Check their page for all of the most recent developments.
- PACT presents a weekly Town Hall Zoom session (Thurs, 1–2pm ET) and resource page.
- I Lost My Gig Canada is a space for creative industries and other vulnerable freelance and gig economy workers to connect and share stories.