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COVID-19: How to Help, Where to Get Help, What to Do & More

Many musicians and music industry professionals are reeling as measures to address the global coronavirus pandemic have cancelled concerts and tours, major conferences and festivals, and more. It’s a challenging time indeed, but one we'll get through together.

To help overcome some of the hardships, confusion, and uncertainty, we’ve compiled this list of resources for the creative community and will update regularly as the situation progresses and new opportunities get announced.

  • The application portal for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) is now open. CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks to Canadians who have lost their jobs or source of income because of COVID-19. It provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. shorttakes.canadianmusician.com/cerb-portal-now-open/
  • The Unison Benevolent Fund is launching the critically-needed Unison COVID-19 Relief Program. The non-profit, which provides provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community, Anyone working in the Canadian music industry and who requires assistance are asked to please REGISTER for Unison’s services as soon as possible.  For counselling inquiries and support to help deal with the financial or emotional impact of COVID-19, contact 1-855-986-4766. For emergency financial assistance inquiries, please review our application process HERE.
  • On March 18, PM Justin Trudeau and Finance Minster Bill Morneau unveiled the federal government’s economic response plan to help individuals and businesses. To see which parts are most relevant to musicians and small businesses in the music industry, go here: https://shorttakes.canadianmusician.com/trudeau-announces/
  • Also, many Canadian banks and financial institutions have introduced programs or policies to ease the burden on their clients, so be sure to have a look at how yours might be able to help.
  • SaskMusic is in the process of setting up an emergency relief fund for its members: https://shorttakes.canadianmusician.com/saskmusic-emergency-financial-response-fund/. While the initiative is local to the province, we’re hoping to see other provincial and regional music industry associations follow suit.
  • A group of music industry associations and organizations are using the results of a recently-completed survey initiated by CIMA to gauge the severity of crisis’s impacts on the Canadian music industry and encourage the government to provide immediate and long-term relief. More to come on that...
  • FACTOR will honour all current commitments at 100% of the approved amount in situations where the event or activity was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, this includes SXSW and the Junos, as well as all other activities such as tours, showcases, and certain collective events. Payments will be made as soon as the applicant submits documentation of project component completion to FACTOR, indicating a coronavirus cancelled activity.” https://www.factor.ca/covid-19-update-cancellation-policy/
  • The Music Managers Forum of Canada (MMF) has put together a list of suggestions and resources for musicians: https://mmfcanada.ca/news/2020/3/12/covid-19-updates
  • Our friends at Bandzoogle have shared a helpful post called “How Musicians Can Ask Fans for Support During the Coronavirus Pandemic” at: https://bandzoogle.com/blog/how-musicians-can-ask-fans-for-support-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
  • CBC Music has shared “5 Ways to Support Canada’s Musicians during the coronavirus pandemic: https://www.cbc.ca/music/5-ways-to-support-canada-s-musicians-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-1.5499058
  • There’s really no better time to get into live streaming, so check out Canadian Musician’s feature article and podcast episode about how creators can take advantage of Twitch: https://indepth.canadianmusician.com/twitch-its-not-just-for-gamers/ and https://www.canadianmusicianpodcast.com/episodes/351, respectively.
  • Music journalist Cherie Hu has compiled a helpful directory in a Google Doc format with live streaming tools, a digital events calendar, and other resources for musicians: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11wWL_7I4BG76t0V2kw1a4yIeWxUSfGwMQFYdUWAgSnA/preview
  • From SoundCloud's blog, we get “7 ways to stay connected with your fans during COVID-19,”
  • SoundCloud has outlined a number of new initiatives to help artists, including a resource guide, discount on Pro memberships, and a livestreaming partnership with Twitch, and live discussion with its artist relations and marketing teams. Read more here: https://shorttakes.canadianmusician.com/soundcloud-outlines-artist-supports/
  • Sarah Jamer, co-owner of The Syrup Factory, has kindly offered free help for musicians and their teams who needs help navigating any cancellations at this time. The Syrup Factory specializes in project management, marketing, and business strategy. www.syrupfactory.ca.
  • Vinylgram is offering a free 1-of-1 custom cut 45 to any Toronto band that has been affected by cancellations due to Covid-19. They will be giving these discs to the artist outright. However, they would like to see them auctioned off to either cover the band's costs or have the proceeds donated to a local charity. Reach out to them here.
  • Fit on Tour is running Instagram Live guided workouts (yoga, HIIT, meditation and more). Follow them on Instagram @fitontour
  • Starting on Thursday, March 26, the Guild of Music Supervisors of Canada is offering Canadian musicians the opportunity to virtually meet with Music Supervisors across the country. Sign up sheet here: https://bit.ly/3dtwnCj
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Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of Canadian Musician Radio and NWC Webinars’ series of free music and entertainment industry webinars.
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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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