Since March 2020, Canadians’ access to arts, culture, heritage and sporting events has been severely limited due to closures, cancellations and postponements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events and experiences are at the heart of Canadian life, our economy, and individual and collective well-being. As more and more Canadians receive their vaccinations, as case rates decline, and as provinces and territories implement their reopening plans, Canadians are seeking opportunities to safely return to cultural and sporting activities.
In order to do so, arts, culture, heritage and sport organizations, and Canadians working in these sectors, need targeted support to continue to weather the impacts of the pandemic and create good jobs for the middle class.
“Our artists and other cultural and heritage workers as well as the amateur sport community have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and they will be among the last to fully recover from its prolonged economic impact. We continue to support them and show our commitment to the re-establishment of those sectors, which contribute so much to Canada’s vibrant cultural and economic life.” —The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, highlighted details of the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, which will be delivered by federal Regional Development Agencies.
This initiative will invest $200 million over two years to keep major, recurring Canadian festivals and events alive and help them adapt or enhance their activities in order to be better positioned when it becomes possible once again for national and international tourists to visit. It will complement the Reopening Fund and is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to support festivals and events across the country, and a sustained social and economic recovery for Canadians. Parliamentary Secretary Sheehan encourages organizations in Sault Ste. Marie and throughout Northern Ontario to apply for funding support to aide in their economic recovery.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed $1.9 billion to help support the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors. This funding will help ensure recovery and growth, and help create good, middle-class jobs in these sectors.
“Jobs and the economy remain my priority as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased to see further support for our highly affected sectors -tourism, festivals, museums, the arts and sporting events. I am looking forward to seeing our communities come back stronger than ever with the support of our Regional Economic Development Agencies.” —Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament, Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary top the Minister of Economic Development (FedNor) and Official Languages
The Recovery Fund for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors will leverage existing programs to provide $300 million over two years to organizations that are still struggling due to the pandemic. It will provide organizations and individuals with the financial means to help build organizational resilience and pursue business innovation and transformation. This will also contribute to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in these sectors, as well as greening activities.
“Major festivals and events are key levers of economic activity across the country. They attract national and international tourists, position Canada and its regions as destinations of choice, encourage investment in Canadian tourism assets and create jobs while binding communities together. They have an important role to play in the economic recovery and vitality of our regions. That is why I feel the support we are announcing today will make such a difference for our businesses and our communities alike.” —The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
The Reopening Fund will provide $200 million over two years through existing programming to help Canada’s festivals, cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events and more. It will support organizations and projects that deliver in-person experiences or events that draw visitors to our communities.