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On March 2, 2021, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Simon Brault, CEO for the Canada Council for the Arts, announced details of the implementation of $181.5 million in new funding for the live arts and music sectors for 2021-2022. These funds were first announced on November 30, 2020, as part of the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.

This new funding will support the planning and presentation of COVID-19 safe events in the arts and music sectors – including both live and digital – and provide work opportunities in these sectors. It includes the one-year renewal of an additional $25 million initially provided in Budget 2019 to help stabilize the overall environment for the arts and music sectors through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program ($7 million), the Canada Arts Presentation Fund ($8 million) and the Canada Music Fund ($10 million).

For its part, the Canada Council for the Arts will distribute $116.5 million, as follows:

  • $50.5 million in new funding for a new digital innovation initiative (Digital Now), to enable arts groups, collectives and organizations to adapt or create works to be shared with virtual audiences
  • $66 million in new funding to stimulate increased research, creation and production of new work through the Explore and Create program

The Department of Canadian Heritage will deliver $40 million in new funding to stimulate short-term contracting of workers in the live events sector, through the Support for Workers in the Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund.


The Support for Workers in Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund aims to:

  • support the arts and music cultural sectors in immediately contracting and employing artists and cultural workers, as part of the federal government’s overall efforts to help Canadians and Canadian businesses weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • provide arts and cultural experiences, both live and digital to Canadians, while restrictions on gatherings and travel continue across the country

Programs delivering the Support for Workers in the Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund: