As we all navigate these challenging times together, we want to address the impact the members of the BC music community may currently be experiencing.

While the situation continues to evolve, the Music BC office will no longer be receiving walk-in inquiries and all public events have been postponed until at least May 1st, 2020. The Music BC team will be working remotely until further notice, actively supporting our members and the BC community while we continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 alongside our partners and government funders.

We would like to invite members of the BC music community to reach out by email if they have any questions or concerns on how COVID-19 is impacting Music BC programs. These include Music BC Travel Grants for artists and businesses, our How-To Series workshops and seminars, the Let’s Hear It Live Concert Series and Micro Grant programs, as well as the many domestic and international showcasing opportunities being postponed or cancelled due to public health concerns.

At this time, we ask that any questions or concerns please be directed to


The federal government has released several guidance documents on recently announced business supports:
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – which provides up to 65% of a company’s rent, property tax, property insurance, and/or mortgage interest payment per month;
  • Lockdown Support for Businesses – which provides an extra 25% towards a company’s rent, property tax, property insurance, and/or mortgage interest payment if the business is forced to close due to a mandatory lockdown order; and
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension – which extends the wage subsidy program until June 2021 and freezes the current subsidy rate until December 19, 2020.
  • Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant – The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program provides fully funded grants to businesses to ensure they have the support they need during and beyond COVID-19.




On September 30th the government passed Bill C-4 An Act relating to economic recovery in response to COVID-19. This Bill, provides the legislative outline for the government’s transition from CERB to EI as well as three additional employment support programs have now been created:

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The CRB will deliver $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and still require income support. CRB will also support Canadians with an income drop of at least 50 per cent. However, as is typical with EI, these workers must be available and looking for work and must accept work where it is reasonable.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). The CRSB would provide $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for COVID-related reasons.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). The CRCB would provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or a family member that requires supervision because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19 or because the child or family member is sick or required to quarantine.

For more information:



Originally slated to expire in August, the government believes the four month extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will help stabilize businesses as Canada begins to recover economically and charts a course towards a rebuild. More specific details on the extension are expected before the end of the week.

CEWS subsidizes 75% of an employee’s salary, up to a maximum of $847 per week, for companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has been one of the most high-profile and certainly heavily accessed relief measures rolled out by the federal government since the pandemic took hold. As of July 6, 2020 CEWS had paid out approximately $18 billion to over 250,000 companies. The recent fiscal snapshot estimated the total cost of the program as $82.3 billion for the fiscal year 2020-21. The government has not said if this figure reflects the extension to December 2020.

Learn More



Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide eligible small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an interest-free repayable contribution of up to $40,000 to help alleviate financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. The objective of this program is to assist western Canadian SMEs that do not qualify for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program or the “RRRF – Community Futures Stream.”

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is open to businesses that are not eligible for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program, the “RRRF – Community Futures Stream,” or the “RRRF – Women’s Enterprise Initiative Stream”.

Learn More



On Saturday, Minister Ng announced that the Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the coming weeks, this investment will help thousands of women entrepreneurs and business owners navigate this crisis. It will help ensure women across the country get the support they need through things like business workshops, mentorship and skills training to adapt to a digital marketplace.

Empowering women-owned businesses across Canada remains a key priority, and the government will continue working hard to ensure women entrepreneurs are supported through the pandemic and into the economic recovery.

Learn More



Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia announced earlier this week the launch of a $750,000 fund. The Showcase BC program provides immediate support to BC musicians who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the Province of British Columbia, this program will be administered by Creative BC.

This new program will support emerging and established artists across the province as they create and perform. Micro-grants will be awarded to B.C. artists who are eligible and have previously applied to Amplify BC programs, to support livestreaming, songwriting and professional development. Online performances will be free and available to the public at Showcase BC or through the hashtag #ShowcaseBC.

This program supports BC artists who have previously submitted complete and eligible applications to:

  • Music BC’s Artist Travel Grant program
  • Creative BC’s Career Development program
  • First Peoples’ Cultural Council’s Indigenous Music Initiative

Learn more about the program, and about your automatic funding offer being sent to you in the coming days and weeks.



The Prime Minister announced comprehensive support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers. These measures include launching:

  • the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
  • the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.



Learn more about the expanded eligibility designed for artists and gig-economy workers.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) eligibility is now being opened to allow individuals to earn $1000 or less per month is welcome news for musicians and other creators, many of whom generate ongoing, but greatly reduced income, from performances, lessons etc.

There has also been clarification from the Minister of Canadian Heritage on how royalties will be treated for purposes of CERB. As explained by the Minister: “Creators who are receiving royalty payments from prior copyrighted work are eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, provided that they meet other requirements.”

The CERB supports Canadians by providing financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. This benefit is now available through the Canada Revenue Agency online or by phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

It provides a payment of $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week) for up to 16 weeks.

After you apply, you should get your payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should get it in about 10 business days.

Remember, if you are already enrolled in the Employment Insurance Program – you need not apply for this benefit.

How to apply for the Benefit.



As part of the province’s $5 billion action plan, the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program gives tenants and landlords temporary support towards rent payments for renters impacted by COVID-19. Payments are made directly to the landlords of eligible households.

This new program will provide a temporary rental supplement for April, May and June 2020. It will cover part of the rent for low- and moderate-income renters who have lost income as a result of COVID-19. Applicants will only have to apply once. If they apply in April, they will get payments for all three month. If they apply in May, they will get payments for the two remaining months. It is expected that the first payments will be provided before the end of April.

The program gives $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents, and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents.

Learn more about eligibility, and how to apply here.



We ask for everyone who works in the BC music sector that has been financially burdened due to COVID-19 cancellations or postponements to diligently track and document your loss of income.

Short-term (last week or so), mid-term (3 months), and estimated long-term ripple effects for:

  • Anticipated revenue lost (e.g. ticket sales, rentals, donations, interest on endowments, sponsorships, etc.). Value and proportion of your overall revenue that this represents.
  • Unrecoverable expenses (operating and project) incurred as a result of COVID19 response (e.g. contractual obligations, contingency planning, extra cleaning staff, public relations response, work-from-home technology costs, etc.).
  • Travel cancellations – artists, workers, etc. Including touring, international stakeholders (e.g. workers, talent) coming to your organization and from your organization to return to their respective international home)
  • Impact on workers – salaries, part-time, contract – reduced hours and/or lay-offs. The total value of losses for your workers and the proportion of your workforce that is affected. EI eligible and ineligible
  • The number of, and/or details for, programs and activities either 1) cancelled, 2) delayed, and/or 3) change of scope (including events, workshops, donor campaigns, etc.). Consider your current season and projections into Summer.
  • Any notes on insurance cancellation policies, emergency reserve funds, etc. for contingency and sustainability planning
  • Any notes on cashflow and the immediacy of your financial need
  • Contingency and safety plans that your organization has put in place
  • Anticipated ripple effects in the mid-long term – risk-averse audiences; challenges in spinoff economy with transit/restaurants/bars, supply chain; partnerships and collaborations with other community and arts organizations, etc.



Amplify BC:

FACTOR Canada:

Canada Council for the Arts:

Watch this space for updates on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is affecting their programs and services: Important Information related to COVID-19.

The National Arts Centre

In support and to kick-off the #CanadaPerforms online series, today at 2pm ET, Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley and Colin Cripps will share an online performance from their Facebook page. In the coming days, Canadian artists including Serena Ryder, William Prince, Irish Mythen, Erin Costelo, and Whitehorse will share online performances in support. Other performances by Canadian artists will be announced as they apply, are selected and confirmed to perform.


To apply to this short-term relief measure, performing artists or ensemble (less than 10 people) simply need to write to the National Arts Centre at, provide their name, a description of their 45-60 minutes performance, when they wish to share and on what platform. The National Arts Centre will select fund recipients in consultation with industry leaders. The NAC will announce online performances, as they apply, are selected and confirmed, via its Facebook page for Canadians to watch and enjoy.

Safe In Sound:
Re-opening checklist for the live entertainment industry.



Unison Benevolent Fund:

COVID-19 Resources for the Music Community

For counselling inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of coronavirus, please contact 1-855-986-4766.

For emergency financial assistance, know that Unison will carefully review your situation and request in the context of finding the best way to assist you during this difficult time. You are reminded that Unison does not make payments directly to applicants, with the understanding that our resources are limited, dependent on the generosity of our donors, and are allocated in ways to best support as many individuals as possible. Please visit our website here to learn more about our financial assistance program and how to apply.

The Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit organization that provides counselling, emergency relief, and benefit programs for those in the Canadian music community who face personal or professional challenges due to hardship, illness, unemployment or economic difficulties. Find out more at

National Network of Legal Clinics for the Arts

There are presently five legal clinics providing critical capacity support to individual creators, arts organizations, their administrators, technicians and other arts professionals in performance, literary, digital/media and visual arts. They offer an online database of resources and dozens of educational opportunities annually (e.g. workshops and conferences). Responding to the urgent and varied legal questions and needs of artists, these forums foster and strengthen arts and culture networks through new collaborations and networking.

More about their services can be found at

A Message From The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM)

“The Canadian Federation of Musicians has written an open letter to the Government of Canada, urging them to take emergency measures to provide security to artists that have lost critical revenue due to the covid-19 crisis. Please find the full letter in the link below. We are asking all musicians that have lost revenue, gigs, during this time to please contact their Local office, which will be collecting data that we can use to more accurately assess the economic impact on our industry.”

I Lost My Gig

This is a support group on Facebook for folks from various disciplines in the Gig Economy to gather, listen, and share.

The Department of Finance Canada

The Department has a thorough resource here outlining how the government is taking action to help Canadians experiencing hardship, including detail about flexibility for taxpayers.




COVID-19 Updates: Provincial Tax & Revenue Changes:

The B.C. government is bringing financial relief for people and businesses as we address the effects of COVID-19.

BC COVID-19 Provincial Information Landing Page:

COVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool:

The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time $1,000 payment for people who lost income. Learn more here.


For business:

For the public:

B.C. Government:

City of Vancouver:

Metro Vancouver:

City of Surrey:


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator – For Employers

Canada’s Economic Response Plan to COVID-19:

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Learn More

Read more about the new Canadian Indigenous Community Support Fund.

For businesses and companies, learn more about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program here.