National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada launch $100K relief fund for Canadian artists

Mar 19 2020, 1:37 pm

Facebook Canada and the National Arts Centre (NAC) are launching a $100,000 fund for Canadian artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will go towards supporting online performances between now and March 31, 2020, to financially assist artists experiencing the unfortunate consequences resulting from the closure of various performance venues across Canada.

“As Canadians make profound and rapid shifts in how we live our lives, we recognize the challenges that come with distancing and isolation,” Christoper Deacon, president and CEO of the National Arts Centre, states in the official press release.

“Music, dance, and theatre have an enduring power to comfort, to inspire, to lift our spirits. Equally, performers thrive on their relationship with audiences. In this challenging time, artist and audience, indeed all of us, need each other more than ever. The National Arts Centre, in partnership with Facebook, hopes this initiative helps.”

The National Arts Centre will manage applications sent in from artists across the country who will post 45-60 minute video performances between today and March 31, 2020.

“As performance venues close and tours are cancelled, with the launch of this fund we hope to offer some financial relief for artists whose livelihoods are directly affected by the impact of COVID-19 and to put the value of our platforms to work in celebration of the Canadian arts community,” Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook Canada said in the release.

The inaugural #CanadaPerforms online performance series took place today with Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley, and Colin Crips, who livestreamed from their Facebook page.

Notable Canadian artists, including Serena Ryder, William Prince, Irish Mythen, Erin Costelo, and Whitehorse, are also expected to participate in livestream shows to display their support.

Other Canadian artists and performers will be unveiled as their applications come in, and their performances are confirmed.

If you would like to apply, as a single artist or ensemble (less than 10 people), simply email the National Arts Centre at [email protected] with your name, a description of your performance, when you wish to share and on what platform.

Artists will be selected by the National Arts Centre as well as other industry leaders and will be announced via the NAC Facebook page.

“Bringing amazing performing artists to Canadians is what we do at the NAC. Having to cancel and postpone so many performances has been heartbreaking, but we hope this collaboration will provide some short-term relief. Canadians are at home, fighting isolation and loneliness,” NAC’s Executive Producer of Variety & Popular Music Heather Gibson said in the release.

“We hope #CanadaPerforms will amplify a movement already started with more and more artists turning to online platforms to find audiences, and provide those artists some much needed financial support until they can get up again on stage in front of a live audience.”