Will Bouma
Will Bouma

Delivering Much-Needed Support to Ontario’s Arts Sector

$25 million for arts organizations and artists will help cover losses due to COVID-19

NEWS March 2, 2021

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is supporting the arts sector as it rebuilds and recovers, through a one-time investment of $25 million to help Ontario’s artists and arts organizations cover losses incurred as a result of COVID-19. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, was joined by MPP Will Bouma, MPP Randy Pettapiece, MPP Mike Harris Jr., MPP Toby Barrett to make the announcement.

“Ontario’s arts sectors, like so many of the province’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, were among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will take the longest to recover,” said Minister MacLeod. “We’re proud to support arts and cultural festivals, live musicians, writers, filmmakers, and art galleries who are vital to the cultural fabric of this province. They also play an important role in the mental health and well-being of Ontarians and an equally important role in the province’s economic and social recovery.”

This funding will help artists and arts organizations remain solvent and prepare for a time when they can fully re-open their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back their visitors and audiences. Through the funding, $14 million will be provided to 130 core arts organizations across the province and $10 million will be provided to Ontario’s largest arts organizations, including the following in Brantford-Brant:

  • Outside Looking In, Ohsweken
  • Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford

Additionally, $1 million will provide much-needed support directly to artists and creators from across the province. More information on this, including eligibility requirements and application deadlines, will be available soon on the OAC website.

“We are honoured that Minister MacLeod has asked the Ontario Arts Council to administer this special initiative,” said OAC Chair Rita Davies. “While the pandemic has hurt so many in this province, we are grateful the government has recognized the arts sector as one of the most severely affected. The announcement today also underscores the essential contribution the arts will provide to the economic and social recovery of Ontario communities.”

“Arts organizations are the backbone of Ontario’s arts infrastructure, providing thousands of jobs for musicians, writers, painters, actors, dancers, stagehands and the many others working behind the scenes,” said Minister MacLeod. “Providing the help they need is a critical part of our plan to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, while building the groundwork for long-term economic recovery.”

Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19. More information about grant programs available to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations, is available on the OAC website.


  • Ontario’s Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
  • The government is building on earlier relief to provide a total of $13.5 billion in direct support for families, workers and employers, in addition to $11.3 billion in cash flow support.
  • The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries that provides grants to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations. Grants support a range of arts activities and disciplines.
  • The Ontario Arts Council offers two types of granting streams: one-time project grants for specific projects, and operating grants to support Ontario-based, not-for-profit arts organizations and for-profit book and magazine publishers. 


Arts Recovery Funding recipients 


2020 Ontario Budget/Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.


Disponible en français

Dakota Brasier
Minister Office
416 904-8384

Denelle Balfour
Communications Branch