General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsCOVID-19 News Support Fund now open to broadcaster applications

COVID-19 News Support Fund now open to broadcaster applications

The COVID-19 News Support Fund (NSF) for private, independent TV and radio broadcasters is now officially open for applications as the broadcast industry continues to emerge from the pandemic.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is once again acting as the fund’s administrator, on behalf of the federal government.

The $9.4 million fund, directed at independent local TV and radio broadcasters, is for qualifying stations that can demonstrate:

  • they provide news and/or information programming;
  • have eligible Canadian programming expenditures of at least $5,000 annually; and
  • have been negatively impacted by the pandemic resulting in financial hardship to their operations and therefore in need of government funding.

The initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund announced as part of Budget 2021 in June, one of a number of Canadian Heritage measures in continued support of arts, culture and sport.

“As Canadians continue to deal with a global pandemic, local TV and radio broadcasters have stepped up to help provide the news and information they need to understand these unprecedented events,” said CAB President Kevin Desjardins, in a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “At the same time, the economic fallout of COVID-19 has undeniably had a profound impact on the local advertising market. The News Support Fund is a vital extension on the Department of Canadian Heritage’s previous emergency relief funding, recognizing the value that local and independent broadcasters provide to their communities, and the business challenges they face.”

Sylvie Bissonnette, who recently retired from her longstanding position as the CAB’s VP of Finance and Accounting and CFO, will again be responsible for independently administering the fund, assisted by CAB General Counsel Peter Miller.

Required application materials are available on the CAB website. Unlike the Fall-Winter 2020 Emergency Support Funding round, there is a firm application deadline of Dec. 3, 2021.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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