As a first step to helping yourself in this crisis, start tracking your income losses now.

It will likely be a requirement of any government or grant funding.

Below are resources compiled by ODAC and the City of Orillia’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department to help you in the midst of Covid_19.  The content is sorted into the following headers to help you quickly identify relevant information; however, there is likely considerable cross-over as well. For instance, businesses within the tourism industry will find useful information under HR and Tourism Resources.  We therefore suggest you take some time to sift through all of the information to determine what might apply to you.

Note, this webpage will be updated as new details and resources become available. If you have a source you think should be listed here, please email



Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC)

The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) brings together cultural workers and employers to address training, career development and other human resource issues.

Work In Culture

Work-in-Culture supports the professional lives of artists, creatives, and cultural workers.

Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens

CARFAC is incorporated federally as a non-profit corporation that is the national voice of Canada’s professional visual artists. Their website has many resources, including a loss of revenues document designed to help artists track the impact of covid-19 on their creative enterprise in the event support becomes available for income losses due to cancellations.


World Health Organization Recognizes Importance of Mass Gatherings – NEW June 5, 2020

The WHO has put together checklists for event organizers to help identify and mitigate risk in light of Covid.  These include:

  • Generic Risk Assessment and Mitigation Checklist
  • Q&A: Mass gatherings and COVID-19
  • Sports addendum risk assessment and mitigation checklist
  • Religious addendum risk assessment and mitigation checklist
  • Practical considerations for religious leaders and faith-based communities
  • Considerations for mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19

The checklists are available on their website and the paper on key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak can be found by CLICKING HERE.


The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide – NEW May 12, 2020

The Reopening Guide was developed by the Event Safety Alliance to address health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers.  Since there is still insufficient testing, no contact tracing, and no vaccine against COVID-19, this guidance is particularly detailed.

The first edition is tailored to be especially useful for event professionals reopening the smallest events with the fewest resources available to mitigate their risks, since in every municipal reopening plan these will be allowed to reopen first.

Event Safety Alliance Canada

ESAC is a member of the Event Safety Alliance. Its mission is to

  • provide high quality health and safety learning opportunities to Canadian arts, entertainment and live event communities.
  • share expertise, solutions and reasonable practices based on Canadian needs and legislation.
  • with the goal of helping events prevent injuries and incidents, and protect both people and events.

The alliance is working on guidelines for the industry ,which should be available later this month. Details on the alliance can be found at

Covid_19  FUNDING

Reconnect Festival and Event Program – NEW! Oct 9, 2020

Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences. Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year’s Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.

The Program is open to organizers with a minimum $50,000 operating budget and the capacity to safely reconnect Ontarians with their communities.

The application deadline is December 1, 2020.

SOCAN Emergency Fund

SOCAN announced today that it is expanding its efforts to provide financial assistance to struggling members as a result of the COVID-19 crisis by allocating up to a total of $2-million for emergency royalty advances.

CBC and Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals  – posted April 23, 2020

A new $1 million fund to help artists, groups and arts organizations pivot their work to online audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Creators can apply for a maximum of $5000 in funding per project, a selection of which will be curated and digitally showcased by CBC/Radio-Canada.

CBC Creative Relief Fund

In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CBC has launched The CBC Creative Relief Fund to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators. The unprecedented new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.

Music Together: This is a new funding stream that will facilitate live concert streams by at least 300 Ontario-based artists, each of whom will receive a one-time performance fee of $1,000.

Woodcock Fund Grant: This grant provides emergency funds for writers mid-project.

The AFC: Provides emergency financial aid for entertainment professionals.

Unison: Provides financial aid for musicians.

Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers: Administered by Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto, this fund will help cover emergency aid and paid work for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers.

CANADIAN Low-Income Artist/Musician Relief Fund: A group fundraising to support a relief fund.

Behind the Scenes Basic Needs Grants: Provides financial assistance for seriously ill entertainment technology professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists: Accepting applications from artists who post a 45 to 60 minute online performance between today and March 31, 2020. Financial grants will be given out from a $100,000 relief fund.

The Photographer Fund: A $25,000 fund to help self-employed photographers facing hardship.

Canadian Cinema Worker Fund: Fundraiser to create a fund for cinema workers who will not be compensated by their employers for the foreseeable future.

The Writers Union of Canada: The Writers’ Trust of Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) announced the creation of the Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund to provide support to professional authors financially affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. The fund will begin with an initial amount of $150,000 and distribute grants in amounts of $1,500 to writers that have seen contracted or projected income evaporate due to the current public health crisis. Financial support for the program is supplied by three program partners: the Writers’ Trust, TWUC, and RBC.

CBC Guide to Writing Prizes for Canadians: CBC Books has rounded up a list of literary prizes Canadians are eligible to enter.


Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Heritage
Celebrate Ontario
Ontario Arts Council
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Transfer Payment Ontario (formerly Grants Ontario)


Associated Designers of Canada 
Canadian Actors Equity Association
Canadian Crafts Federation
Canadian Live Music Association
Directors Guild of Canada
Music Canada
National Arts Centre
Ontario Creates
Ontario Presents
Playwrights Guild of Canada
The Canadian Dance Assembly
The Writers Union of Canada
Writers Guild of Canada


Insurance Bureau of Canada

IBC said that thousands of Canadians have already had their premiums deferred as a result of financial challenges stemming from the widespread shutdown of all but essential business across the country. In addition, a number of the bureau’s members will be offering a reduction in premiums over the next 90 days to reflect the reduced risk from less driving, with IBC suggesting customers reach out to their insurance company to see whether they qualify for any relief.

Six-month Insurance Premium Deferrals for Employers

The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province. More information here.


Toronto-Dominion, Scotiabank, BMO, Royal Bank, CIBC and National Bank have cut credit card interest rates personal and small business customers receiving payment deferrals due to the outbreak. Ask your bank what they can do for you or consult the Canadian Bankers Association website for information.

Mortgage Default Management Tools

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.


Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent – posted April 27, 2020

The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through a new program, the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA).

The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Until further notice, the Landlord and Tenant Board is suspending the issuance of eviction orders and all hearings related to eviction applications.


Canadian Museum Association is working to support museums across the country. This page will list resources and share updates on CMA activities as they relate to COVID-19.

Ontario Museum Association is working to support museums in Ontario. This page will list resources and share updates on OMA activities as they relate to COVID-19.


Digital Service Squad – NEW posted May 28, 2020

In response to challenges facing area businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County of Simcoe is providing $60,000 in funding towards a unique program to help local businesses adapt their sales models to meet the needs of the ever-changing online consumer world.

A team of highly trained professionals will work with businesses to gain a basic web presence or enhance their existing web presence by activating free and easy to use tools such as Shopify, Google My Business and social media. To sign up, contact the Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia Small Business Enterprise Centre at 705-720-2445 or

Orillia CDC

The CDC provides counselling, training & funding to local businesses to support job creation, growth and innovation. They work with many community partners on various community economic development projects to build an economy in Ontario’s Lake Country that is prosperous, growing and sustainable. They serve the City of Orillia, Townships of Oro-Medonte, Ramara, Severn, and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation and are the area’s go-to for Covid_19 business support.

City of Orillia

The City of Orillia is taking steps to assist Orillia citizens, businesses, and community organizations who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Establish an emergency fund of $100,000 to be distributed to critical lead service providers on an as-needed basis, to be determined and administered through a review process of a review panel consisting of the Mayor/Coun. Lauer, the Chief Administrative Officer and City Treasurer.
  • Establish an Economic Recovery Task Force to work with local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and to plan and develop measures to help the local economy recover moving forward.
  • Waive Orillia Transit fees until April 30,2020. (read more about changes to Transit Service).
  • Waive tax penalty through to June 30, 2020.
    • Includes both residential and businesses.
    • Waive water and sewer penalty through to June 30, 2020.
      • Includes both residential and businesses.
      • Waive parking fees through to April 30, 2020.
      • Defer implementation of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) from April 6, 2020 to Sept. 1, 2020.
      • Defer the second annual intake of the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) from the last day of April to the last day of June, 2020.


Health and Safety Guidelines for Workplaces – posted May 1, 2020

The Ontario government works closely with four provincial health and safety associations (HSAs) to help set, communicate and enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the HSAs have released a series of more than 60 technical sector guidance documents to further support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

This links below are specific parts of the province’s action plan that may relate to artists and arts organizations facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Child Benefit

The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs. Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario’s Support for Families web page to access this financial support. Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.

Ontario Works – Expanding Emergency Assistance Program

The Province is expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency.

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

The Province is providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)

The Province is proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

Interest and Penalty Relief for Businesses

Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, providing $6 billion in relief to help support Ontario businesses when they need it the most.


COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

This links to the federal government’s economic response plan for Canadians and businesses. The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) – NEW! May 14, 2020

The federal governement announced new funding to help support small and medium-sized businesses that do not qualify for, or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief funding. The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) will have two funding options: 1) up to a $40,000 conditionally repayable contribution (interest-free loan) and 2) up to $500,000 unconditionally repayable contribution (interest-free loan).

For more information about the program, including how to apply, please see the program guidelines and the frequently asked questions. ​

  • The Application Guide for the RRRF program can be found here. ​
  • The application portal for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program has not yet opened. Please visit the Canada Housing & Mortgage Corporation site for more information.

Federal Government Announces $500M for Culture Sector –  May 11, 2020

Funding is to protect jobs and support business continuity for organisations whose viability has been negatively affected. It is designed to complement the other federal government measures in response to COVID-19, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

Using a 2 phased approach,

  • The wage subsidy program will be extended beyond June. This may help organisations that did not qualify for the CEWS to now access the program as we enter the peak season for productions, festivals, and museums. You can apply to the CEWS here.
  • $198.3 million will be allocated to the arts and culture sector through existing funding programs at Canadian Heritage.
  • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector through the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program.
  • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
  • $55 million will be distributed through Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) in order to help artistic organisations that support artists.
  • $115.8 million will support the Canadian audiovisual sector through the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).

Here are the links to helpful documents on the Emergency Fund: News release; Backgrounder; FAQ

CEWS for businesses – posted April 23, 2020

The Prime Minister announced an update to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS):

  • calculator has be launched to help businesses determine the amount they may receive with the CEWS. Through this website, businesses can learn more about the eligible employers and eligible employees for the wage subsidy.
  • Beginning on Monday April 27th applications will be open for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. More information on the application process can be found on the CEWS website.

Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installment, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

CERB for individuals – posted April 15, 2020

Individuals making $1000 or less ARE NOW ELIGIBLE for the CERB. This information may not be updated on the official government site but you can find more here:


Orillia and Lake Country

OLC is the industry’s local destination marketing organization. Their website provides updates and resources about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Ontario’s Lake Country (Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Rama First Nation, Ramara, and Severn) businesses and the public.

Festivals and Events Ontario

Provided by Festivals and Events Ontario, this resource pulls together announcements from both provincial and federal levels including information on SOP’s, insurance policies and the Force Majeure Clause, wage subsidies, and more.

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)

If you are a tourism operator, a small business or an organization affected by COVID-19 and need pressing assistance, the regional development agencies (RDAs) could assist you with access to federal funding and services. They are the front line for economic development in Canada and help to address key economic challenges by providing regionally tailored programs, services, knowledge and expertise. RDAs are closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge and the potential impact it could have on your business and your workers, as well as the broader economy.

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact your local RDA office. Your local RDA office can review your situation and provide guidance.

  • You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.
  • Further support will be determined on a case-by-case basis as the situation evolves.

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, the RDAs could assist you with:

  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.
  • Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available.




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