The Ottawa Film Office team continues to work remotely and heeding the recommendations of Ottawa Public Health, and we hope you’re doing the same and taking every precaution to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe and healthy. This is a difficult time for all us as we adjust to new ways of working and living, but especially for the many screen-based industry workers who currently find themselves unemployed. We empathize with your situation and are doing what we can, in collaboration with our partners and stakeholders across Ontario, to examine short and long-term solutions that will help alleviate the economic effects of COVID-19.
We are in regular contact with Ontario Creates, and through our role on the Ministers’ Film and Television Advisory Panel, with several other provincial organizations to discuss and propose initiatives that will support industry workers and businesses. We are also speaking with our own Film and Television Advisory Committee to ensure the needs and concerns of the local community are considered.
We’ve created this page to provide resources to workers and businesses in the film, television, and animation industry, and we'll update it as new information and financial packages become available. Please contact us should you notice key information is omitted, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding how COVID-19 is affecting you or your company.Contact Us
The Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada have partnered to launch Digital Originals, a new time-limited initiative to help artists, arts groups and organizations pivot their work for online sharing. Artists, creators and makers can apply for a maximum of $5,000 in funding per project; projects chosen for the curated CBC-Radio/Canada showcase will receive a supplemental amount of $1,000. Applications open mid-May and will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 15, 2020 (or until the budget has been allocated).
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. The deadline to apply was April 24, 2020.
The AFC supports entertainment industry professionals working in TV and film, music, theatre, and dance. The AFC can provide short-term emergency financial assistance for essential household bills and costs that cannot otherwise be paid.
Fondation des artistes
La Fondation soutient des artistes professionnels de toutes les disciplines, qu’ils œuvrent dans le milieu de la scène, du théâtre, de la télévision, du cinéma, du cirque, de la musique, de la danse ou des arts visuels.
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The Government of Canada will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month, for up to four months, to:
Ontario Works can help you with the cost of food and housing if you are in temporary financial need. This includes Emergency Assistance for those facing financial crisis due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or other emergency situations (e.g., flood, fire).
Income tax extension
The return filing date for individuals has been extended to June 1, 2020 and the deferred payment date, without penalties or interest, is September 1, 2020.
A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans
As of March 30, the Government of Canada is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers.
Child Care Benefit increase
An extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. You are not required to re-apply if you already receive this benefit.
City of Ottawa support and assistance
Visit the City of Ottawa website for information on financial assistance, social services, and its Human Needs Task Force. Additional municipal support programs can be found here.
COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund – Telefilm Allocation
The COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations announced by the Prime Minister on April 17, 2020 is an additional temporary relief measure created to help alleviate the financial pressures of cultural, heritage and sport organizations facing significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its objectives are to maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose cash flow and operational viability have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and to stabilize a sector that is a major driver of the Canadian economy. The deadline to apply to Telefilm Canada is June 12, 2020.
COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds – CMF Allocation
There are 3 primary objectives for the CMF Allocation of the Emergency Relief Funds:
The deadline to apply to the CMF is June 12, 2020. Applicants must apply to the organization (Telefilm or CMF) through which it receives the most funding annually.
Wage subsidies for small businesses
To help small businesses keep their workers, the Government of Canada announced a wage subsidy of up to 75 per cent, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Enhanced Work-Sharing program
The Government of Canada has extended the maximum duration of the work-sharing program from 38 to 76 weeks. This program helps employers avoid layoffs when there is a decrease in business activity by providing EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
This program will provide $65 billion in additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), and includes:
Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their financial request. Financial institutions will contact BDC and/or EDC where appropriate.
Income tax payment extension
Corporations now have until August 31, 2020, to pay their income tax.
Keep an eye on the pages below for updates from provincial and national organizations.
Ontario Creates | COVID-19 Response Plan
Film Ontario | COVID-19 update and resources
Ontario Arts Council | COVID-19 updates, FAQ and guidelines
Canada Media Fund | Information Hub for Canada’s Screen-Based Industries
Telefilm | COVID-19 updates
Canada Media Producers Association | COVID-19
ACTRA | COVID-19 updates
Canadian Heritage | Information for grants and contributions recipients related to COVID-19
Canada Council for the Arts | Important Information related to COVID-19
CBC Business & Rights | Information during COVID-19
City of Ottawa | Support for Businesses and Workers
City of Ottawa | Business Reopening Toolkit
Ottawa Board of Trade | COVID-19 Guidance and Resources
Ottawa Business Journal | Coping with COVID-19
Invest Ottawa | COVID-19 Response and Resources
Ontario Chamber of Commerce | COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses
Canadian Chamber of Commerce | Pandemic Preparedness for Business Guide
Canadian Chamber of Commerce | Canadian Business Resilience Network
The Conference Board of Canada | COVID-19: Implications for Canada and the economic impact
Canadian Federation of Independent Business | Covid-19 Small Business Help Centre
Whether it’s extended physical (social) distancing, uneasiness about unemployment, concern for a loved one or any other factor, it’s normal to feel lonely, anxious, and afraid during these unprecedented times. If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out to a friend, a family member, or one of the organizations listed below for help.
If you have an immediate life-threatening emergency, please dial 911.
Information and tips
The Government of Ontario is seeking businesses that can provide emergency products and innovative solutions to help fight COVID-19. If you know a company or film/TV production that can donate masks, gloves and other supplies, please direct them to the Ontario Together website for details.
Support local businesses
To support local small businesses and the city’s economy, the City of Ottawa has launched a Buy Local campaign. Recommended actions, for those able to do so, include:
Support the arts and culture sector
The arts and culture sector, like most other sectors, has been hit hard by COVID-19. Film and television productions have been postponed or cancelled, musicians have lost gigs and accompanying income, and arts organizations across the country have had to lay off staff. Here are a few ways to show support to artists and cultural workers during this difficult time:
You can also participate in an online art class, buy artwork online directly from the artist, or buy gift cards for art classes or venues that can be used later. Artwork Archive has several suggestions on how to support artists and the arts during COVID-19.