Heritage Canada outlines distribution of $500 million of arts and culture COVID-19 support

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Indigenous Arts And Stories

OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is offering more details on which Canadian arts and culture organizations will benefit from $500 million of COVID-19 government support.

The funding, and how the money will be distributed, comes after the federal government first announced the temporary relief plan in mid-April.

Nearly $327 million will be handed out by the heritage department in the initial stages, while it says how the remainder of the money is distributed will be “assessed based on needs.”

About $198 million of the funds are being used as “top-up” for arts and culture programs, such as the Canada Music Fund, the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Periodical Fund, which have already qualified for other forms of COVID-19 support.

And $116 million will go towards the television and film industry through the Canada Media Fund ($89 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).

The Canada Council for the Arts will receive $55 million, while $53 million is earmarked for the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.

The Digital Citizen Initiative, a government-led effort to counter online disinformation, will get $3.5 million, while the sports sector receives $72 million.

Guilbeault says the ultimate goal of the funding is to keep the country’s arts, culture and sports infrastructure intact as they weather mass cancellations of events.