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!

The Canadian music ecosystem continues to mobilize in the wake of confinement measures imposed by the various levels of government to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Facebook-NAC Fund in support of performing artists will grant $100,000 to broadcast online performances until March 31, 2020. This financial commitment aims at minimizing, in the short term, the impact of the closing of music venues across Canada.

Xavier Forget

Xavier Forget

“In the wake of the quarantine and report or cancellation of virtually all live shows, artists have done what they do best: they were creative and started giving performances from their homes,” says Xavier Forget, associate producer of variety and regional programming at the NAC. “Facebook took note of this and approached the NAC to look at how we can support artists. The #CanadaPerforms project is the answer. We invite professional performing artists to give home-based shows that will be broadcast on social media and, after reaching an agreement, the NAC will send them a $1,000 fee. The money was offered to us by Facebook and we will distribute all of it to those artists.

The NAC will receive and process proposals from artists who want to broadcast performances of 45 to 60 minutes. The initiative was launched yesterday and will continue until March 31. Apart from this financial support, the artists selected will see their performance broadcast on the NAC’s Facebook page and promoted with the hashtag #CanadaPerforms.

As for the selection process of those home-based performances, Xavier Forget insists on a commitment to represent the diversity of Canadian music: “Our artistic directors will select the proposals according to their experience. We obviously expect there will be a lot of musical proposals, but we also hope to get other types of proposals. We haven’t set quotas for content, we’re only looking for Canadian artists, and we’ll make sure we represent Canada, an egalitarian and unified country. Word of this spread rapidly on social media, and we’ve already received quite a lot of applications. We want to make sure these funds will go to professional artists who need it because their gigs have been cancelled.”

To submit a proposal for a paid performance, artists or bands of 10 members or less can contact the National Arts Centre at and submit the name of the performers, a description of their 45- to-60-minute performance, the proposed date, and the platform used to broadcast it. The NAC will make selections by consulting industry leaders, and will announce and broadcast the performances via its Facebook page as soon and they’re selected, so that they can reach the widest possible Canadian audience.

Lisa LeBlanc will be the first Francophone artist to present a performance at 2:00 p.m. on the afternoon of Friday, March 20. Franco-Ontarian artist Céleste Lévis will follow on Saturday, March 21, at 7:00 p.m. As for the Anglophone side of things, the first broadcast was Thursday, March 19, and featured Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley and Colin Cripps. Serena Ryder and Whitehorse have also confirmed their participation.

Other initiatives are also being developed, such as the one by the Énergie radio network and its “ÉNERGIE live sur le balcon” that offers a daily show, at 2:55 p.m., on its social media during the Ça rentre au poste program. Bleu Jeans Bleu’s Claude Cobra has already presented an à propos performance of the song “Cashmere.”

Other initiatives announced to take place on social media, however, have been cancelled due to the tightening of certain restrictions over the last few days, as well as because of the risks associated with large gatherings. One example is a project by Louis-Armand Bombardier, head of the L-Abe label and owner of a Montréal venue named Le Ministère, who was planning on broadcasting audience-less shows from his venue using a skeleton crew and increased sanitary precautions. “We will wait until the restriction on large gatherings is lifted. We have to be reasonable,” he said. The same things happened to Livetoune, a company specializing in live webcasts, which was planning on presenting a similar series from their offices. That project has also been suspended.

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!