Due to factors such as the high rates of self-employment and restrictions in accessing credit, many Canadian organizations in the culture, heritage, and sport sectors are facing challenges in accessing existing government funding programs to relieve pandemic impacts.
In response, the Emergency Support Fund has allocated $500 million to support cultural, heritage, and sport groups that are facing financial strains due to COVID-19.
These industry organizations hold a vital role in Canadian society because they boost the social foundation of our nation. Cultural, heritage, and sport groups create unity, promote societal collaboration, and spark civic pride. Comprising three percent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product, they are also major economic drivers in our communities.
What is the Emergency Support Fund?
The Emergency Support Fund was developed to support cultural, heritage, and sport organizations withstand impacts caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The allocated funding aims to help industry organizations to maintain operations, support artists and athletes, and preserve jobs.
ʺWe are proud to stand with the cultural, heritage and sport communities throughout this difficult time. We recognize that the Canadian culture, heritage and sport sectors, in all their diversity, strengthen the development of our communities and our national identity. They are also major contributors to the Canadian economy.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
Division of the Emergency Support Fund Across Canada:
Administered by Canadian Heritage, approximately $326.8M will be divided among the following departmental programs, Portfolio agencies, and key delivery organizations:
- $198.3M will be delivered to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding;
- $72M will be distributed to the sport sector;
- $53M will be provided to the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.
The additional Emergency Support Fund grants will be distributed as follows:
- $55M to be delivered by the Canada Council for the Arts;
- $3.5M will be arranged for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative;
- $115.8M to support the Canadian audiovisual sector will be issued by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8M) and Telefilm Canada ($27M);
- The remaining funds will be assessed based on needs.
The Value of Cultural, Heritage, and Sport Organizations
Since the Emergency Support Fund was announced mid-April 2020, hundreds of supportive and impactful organizations that drive social community needs have received COVID-19 government funding assistance.
“These organizations are dealing with individuals or families that are really in need right now, and that is where we want to focus the funding allocation during the pandemic.”
– Laura Kempthorne, BACF Executive Director
Emergency Support Fund Community Success Story:
With $109,120 in grants distributed by the Brandon Area Community Foundation (BACF), the following organizations were presented funding to address the needs of social inclusion, mental and physical health, and to solve the ongoing issues of food allocation:
- Bear Clan Patrol: A non-profit community solution to provide restoration and maintenance of harmony within Indigenous communities.
- Big Brothers & Sisters of Brandon: A non-profit organization, with thousands of communities across the country, enabling life-changing mentor relationships to motivate the potential of young people through mental and physical education.
- CNIB: A non-profit organization delivering innovative programs that empower people impacted by blindness to live their lives to the fullest.
- Helping Hands of Brandon: A non-profit organization which strives to meet the most basic needs of impoverished citizens by providing a nutritional meal, comfort, and support in a warm and caring environment.
- Prairie Oasis Senior Centre: A non-profit organization that helps seniors improve their personal wellness through social interaction, recreation, and volunteerism.
- Samaritan House Ministries: A non-profit organization that offers food banks, shelters, and resource centres to those less privileged in the community.
- Seniors for Seniors Co-op Inc.: A non-profit organization helping seniors stay active and well within the community through meals, outreach programs, and events.
- The Women’s Resource Centre: A non-profit organization that supports abused women and their children in getting help to live their lives free of abuse and violence.
Other COVID-19 Government Funding Support Programs
The Government of Canada is constantly adding and changing government funding programs to help support small businesses across the country through the global pandemic. There are various support programs available that provide funding through grants, loans, or a combination of both, such as the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).