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National Arts Centre & Facebook Canada to Pay Canadian Artists $100K for Their Online Performances

As Canadian performing artists have been deeply impacted by the closing of performance venues across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada are announcing a special partnership. Through the support of Facebook Canada, a $100,000 relief fund will pay Canadian artists for their live online performances.

The National Arts Centre will receive and administer applications from artists who will post a 45 to 60 minute online performance between today and March 31, 2020. In addition to receiving a financial grant, selected artists’ performances will be shared on the NAC’s Facebook page and discoverable by searching #CanadaPerforms.

“As Canadians make profound and rapid shifts in how we live our lives, we recognize the challenges that come with distancing and isolation. Music, dance and theatre have an enduring power to comfort, to inspire, to lift our spirits. Equally, performers thrive on their relationship with audiences. In this challenging time, artist and audience, indeed all of us, need each other more than ever. The National Arts Centre, in partnership with Facebook, hopes this initiative helps,” said Christopher Deacon, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre.

The National Arts Centre will receive and administer applications from artists who will post a 45 to 60 minute online performance between today and March 31, 2020. In addition to receiving a financial grant, selected artists’ performances will be shared on the NAC’s Facebook page and discoverable by searching #CanadaPerforms.

“Canadians have long shared their love of the arts across our platforms and it’s moving to see so many performers coming together to bring joy to their communities during this difficult time. As performance venues close and tours are canceled, with the launch of this fund we hope to offer some financial relief for artists whose livelihoods are directly affected by the impact of COVID-19 and to put the value of our platforms to work in celebration of the Canadian arts community.”, said Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy at Facebook Canada.

To kick-off the #CanadaPerforms online series, on March 19th Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley and Colin Cripps shared an online performance from their Facebook page. In the coming days, Canadian artists including Serena Ryder, William Prince, Irish Mythen, Erin Costelo, and Whitehorse will share online performances in support. Other performances by Canadian artists will be announced as they apply, are selected and confirmed to perform.

“Bringing amazing performing artists to Canadians is what we do at the NAC. Having to cancel and postpone so many performances has been heartbreaking, but we hope this collaboration will provide some short-term relief. Canadians are at home, fighting isolation and loneliness,” said Heather Gibson, NAC Executive Producer of Variety & Popular Music.

“We hope #CanadaPerforms will amplify a movement already started with more and more artists turning to online platforms to find audiences, and provide those artists some much needed financial support until they can get up again on stage in front of a live audience.”, concluded Heather Gibson, NAC Executive Producer of Variety & Popular Music.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply to this short-term relief measure, performing artists or ensemble (less than 10 people) simply need to write to the National Arts Centre at CanadaPerforms@nac-cna.ca, provide their name, a description of their 45-60 minutes performance, when they wish to share and on what platform. The National Arts Centre will select fund recipients in consultation with industry leaders. The NAC will announce online performances, as they apply, are selected and confirmed, via its Facebook page for Canadians to watch and enjoy.

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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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