The Canada Media Fund (CMF), is among the organizations welcoming $500 million in emergency COVID-19 relief for the arts, culture, sports, and media sectors, announced today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
To be distributed by Canadian Heritage, working in conjunction with organizations like Canada Council for the Arts, the funds will extend to both businesses and not-for-profit organizations who need more targeted help.
“Our government will give $500 million to Heritage Canada, to support those who work in the arts, culture, and sport sectors,” said Trudeau during today’s press conference. “Like the small businesses I was talking about, people and businesses in these sectors do not have access to some of the help we’ve announced because of how the companies operate, or how revenues are generated. With this investment, people will be able to receive wage support, and organizations that are struggling with cash flow will be able to access financing.”
Canadian Heritage Min. Stephen Guilbeault told reporters the fund will be accessible by small, community media outlets, particularly those with only one or two employees; groups that support Canadian talent like FACTOR; and those in television production, among others.
He added that the funding is aimed at encompassing independent workers who may be on contract or otherwise unable to benefit from previously-announced wage subsidies because they’re not employees. The department intends to consult further on the timing and rollout of the relief fund.
“Canada’s screen-based industry generates $12.8B to Canada’s GDP and 181,000 well-paid jobs and has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF, in a release. “We are extremely thankful to the Government of Canada for its support of our sector. It’s encouraging to see our industry included in the first package of sector-specific relief measures announced today. These additional funds will help companies impacted by the pandemic get through this difficult period. We will be able to build from this investment to make sure the industry gets back on its feet after the crisis.”
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