Canadian musicians, music industry professionals, and music organizations are continuing to creatively adapt to the COVID-19 situation lengthens throughout the country:

Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share on sales Friday, March 20, 2020 (from midnight to midnight, Pacific Time), and rallying the Bandcamp community to put much needed money directly into artists’ pockets.

Google Arts & Culture has partnered with more than 1,200 museums and art galleries to offer online tours and exhibitions that can be viewed from the comfort of your home – good news for visual artists, whose rights SOCAN now administers.

As CIMA did, Canada Music Live has launched a survey to gauge the severity of COVID-19’s impacts on the Canadian music industry, in order to give government a quick snapshot and to encourage them to provide immediate and long-term relief specific to the industry.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) has sent an open letter to federal and provincial ministries overseeing culture, social security, and employment, in part to ensure that compensation is made available for musicians who’ve had gigs or tours cancelled, for both lost revenue, and other expenses paid as petition fees for P2 visas for U.S. entry.

Roots Music Canada is testing technology to allow artists to stream performances on its website and sell tickets, and make some money to offset their losses from coronavirus cancellations. RMC’s website also includes five simple actions fans can take to support artists during the pandemic.

Ashley MacIsaac plans to livestream a ceilidh on April 1, 2020, surrounded by a small circle of friends, including George Canyon and comedian Bette MacDonald. He plans to livestream it on his website and social channels. He’s aiming to keep the price between $4 and $6 to watch or download, or free if he can find a sponsor.

Yesterday, Québec Prime Minister François Legault asked social media influencers to set a good example by urging their youthful followers to self-isolate. Several SOCAN members posted on social media, and some even wrote songs about it:

More to come as we see how the Canadian music ecosystem continues to adapt. Take care and stay safe!


Canadian musicians, music industry professionals, and music organizations are continuing to creatively adapt to the situation.

If you’re a Canadian musician, artist, writer, or media worker, you’re going to want to look at this list of links to resources that will help get you through the COVID-19 situation

Music Managers Forum Canada has a very thorough resource page that’s being constantly updated here.

Here’s some information on how various funding organizations are dealing with the situation:

SOCAN is continuing operations to ensure that our members receive their royalty payments for the duration of the situation.

CAPACOA is asking musicians to track cancellations affecting the Canadian live performance sector here.

I Lost My Gig Canada is a support group on Facebook for folks from various disciplines in the gig economy to gather, listen, and share.

The Government of Québec is providing a temporary assistance program for workers. The program is designed to provide financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because of the need to isolate to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, can no longer earn the totality of their revenue, and who are not admissible to another financial assistance program.

The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec has established an emergency assistance program. It’s not a compensation or pre-payment measure, but special assistance using monies from existing programs that deal with short-term situations.

The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada have announced a $100,000 fund to bankroll artists fees for home-based online performances. Among the performers are Jim Cuddy, Serena Ryder, William Prince, Lisa LeBlanc, Irish Mythen, Erin Costelo, and Whitehorse.

Almost daily since the onset of the quarantine, Roxane Bruneau offers coronavirus-themed parodies of songs from the Québécois repertoire. Have a look here and here.

Dan Davidson will be hosting a digital country music festival on Instagram Live, March 28, 2020, featuring Dallas Smith, Meghan Patrick, Jason McCoy with Clayton Bellamy, Jess Moskaluke, and many more.

Mark Marczyk, known as the ringleader of Lemon Bucket Orkestra, has established URGNT,  a crowdfunded livestream concert series for Toronto musicians to perform in some of the city’s venues, as well as DIY and indie spaces.

Special COVID-19 hotline number of the Quebec ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (Minister of Health and Social Services): 1-877-644-4545

Stay safe!

Canadian musicians, music industry professionals, and music organizations are quickly reacting to the COVID-19 situation in the first few days of widespread “lockdown” throughout the country.

With most tours and live performances cancelled, SOCAN members are already creatively adapting to the situation. Here are just a few examples:

  • Arkells’s Max Kerman and other members of the band are offering free guitar/song lessons online via Instagram live every day at 1:00 p.m. ET.
  • Dan Mangan video-recorded a recent scheduled show at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall with no audience, then started streaming it free on YouTube on March 16.
  • David Myles suggested on Twitter that CBC Music play only Canadian content for the next two months to offset the losses of musicians now temporarily unable to tour.
  • Julian Taylor has started offering a twice-monthly live song and “story behind the song” performance series for a modest $3 monthly subscription.
  • Choir! Choir! Choir! are presenting a “Choir!ntine” event on Facebook Live tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET, billed as “An Epic Distan-Sing-Along.” The tagline reads, “If we all have to be alone… we may as well sing together.”
    Click to see musician activity in Québec.
    CBC Music has posted an ongoing list of online music performances.

The music industry is working hard to help its own, too. A few instances:

  • SaskMusic, a non-profit representing Saskatchewan musicians and music industry workers, has announced an emergency relief fund to help offset income loss due to COVID-19, and called for private donations as well.
  • Hamilton patron of the arts Ellen Davidson has started a CONTRIBUTE 2 The RENT campaign to help out indie musicians in Hamilton with their rent payments.
  • Popular and extremely artist-friendly Toronto music venue 120 Diner has started a GoFundMe page to help offset ongoing expenses while its doors are closed.
  • CIMA is conducting a survey of the Canadian music industry to measure the impact of COVID-19.
  • The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec has created downloadable emergency aid applications for both artists and organizations in Québec.
  • The government of Québec has created a program offering financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.
  • SODEC has announced  various measures to deal with the COVID-19 situation, including advance payments of grants under certain regular programs; payments for cancelled events; and postponement of repayments of loans that they’ve financed.

Online pages of ongoing information and strategies for Canadian music industry people who’ve “lost a gig” or work in live performance sectors have been created as well.

More to come as we see how the Canadian music ecosystem continues to adapt.

Take care and stay safe!