COVID-19 Short-Term Relief Funding

Grant Announcement Categories: All Programs

COVID-19 Short-Term Relief Funding

As announced at Calgary Arts Development’s March 25, 2020 town hall, $1.15 million has been allocated toward providing immediate relief to some of the arts organizations as well as arts and cultural workers in the most urgent need due to COVID-19 impacts.

The short-term relief funding of $1.15 million has been hived off of our future 2020 grant program funding envelopes that had not yet been activated in order to rapidly respond to emerging and urgent needs. These dollars will be directed in two ways:

  1. Arts Organizations
  2. Artists & Cultural Workers

For Arts Organizations

During the week of March 16, 2020, Calgary Arts Development sent out a survey to arts organizations to understand the current needs, severity of impact, and actions taken by the sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data collected demonstrated a full spectrum of need as nearly every organization has been affected by the COVID measures. However, some organizations are in more urgent need than others and they will be the focus of the short-term relief dollars.

The team at Calgary Arts Development is looking at the organizations that have the fewest months of operating dollars or reserves, those most severely impacted by the mandated measures, lost revenue, and a consideration of the actions organizations have already taken. We know that each organization is unique so we are taking a one-size-fits-one approach. We have allocated $950,000 of the total towards organizations.

Based on the data, the initial group of urgent need organizations has been identified from those that submitted the survey data. The community investment team is reaching out to have conversations with them. We know this is a different way for Calgary Arts Development to identify and fund organizations but these are unusual times that require flexibility and responsiveness.

For those organizations that do not receive short-term funding, be assured that we are already beginning to look at the next phase of potential support as we move into the medium term or recovery phase. Whatever the next phase of support looks like, it will have an application and assessment process.

We are aware that this situation is shifting so please keep us informed of any changing circumstances affecting your organization and be sure to check our COVID-19 information page often for other resources and supports.

For Artists & Cultural Workers

With $200,000, we will support arts and cultural workers. We realize this is far less than what the need will be so the focus is really on those individuals in the arts sector that are in urgent need of funding due to cancelled events and projects. We recommend individuals look at all the avenues of available funding from various sources to see what would work best for them. For the disbursement of this funding, we are working with several arts services organizations (ASO) to identify the needs and artists in most urgent need.

We are prioritizing artists and cultural workers that are specifically impacted by COVID-related cancellations between March 12 and April 30, 2020. Artists have been urged to document losses and this is why it is necessary.

Each grant will cover demonstrated lost revenues and unrecoverable incurred expenses due to COVID-19 cancellations up to a maximum of $1500. Artists and cultural workers will be identified in partnership with the ASOs and then the grant will be issued by Calgary Arts Development.

A more full description of the guidelines and process will be published the week of March 30, 2020 on the COVID-19 Short-Term Relief Funding page.

Again, we are working with all levels of government and seeking to understand how best to support artists in this time of need. Please be sure to review the new EI opportunity for eligibility and to make the best decision for yourself.

We are aware that this situation is shifting so please be sure to check our COVID-19 information page often for other resources and supports.

Please contact the community investment team at with any questions.

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