April 17, 2020

$500M in emergency support announced for culture, heritage and sports

(OTTAWA) April 17, 2020 – Museums are among the organizations expected to benefit from new emergency funding announced today by the Government of Canada. We learned today that $500 million in targeted funding will help support organizations in the cultural, heritage and sports sectors in response to the impact of COVID-19.

During a roundtable yesterday organized by the CMA, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, hinted that more sector-specific support would be announced soon. We are pleased that our repeated calls for support for the sector are being heard and we appreciate this latest development announced by both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Canadian Heritage today.

The information we have about this new $500 million funding is limited at this time. We do know that it is intended to complement measures previously announced.

We understand it will be administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage with support from organizations such as the Canada Council of the Arts. We are told the fund is meant for organizations that cannot qualify for the existing wage subsidy, because of the irregular nature of their revenues, as well as to cover contract workers. The fund will also provide advances on future grants and contributions to help maintain liquidity as well as small subsidies to cover some fixed costs.

We also heard the Government’s commitment to work with the sector to fine-tune this financial aid. We do not yet know when the new funds will be accessible to museums or through exactly what mechanisms.

The CMA is pleased to work in collaboration with the Department, as well as our provincial and territorial colleagues and other sister organizations, to help ensure museums’ needs are addressed.

We commit to sharing updates with the museum community on these developments and continue to welcome any questions or feedback. We would encourage our members to help spread the word about the new fund and to share their views.