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COVID-19 & ONTARIO MUSIC INDUSTRY UPDATE


  • By Cory Crossman


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COVID-19 & ONTARIO MUSIC INDUSTRY UPDATE

 

UPDATE FROM MUSIC ONTARIO

Music-Ontario has been working  diligently with national partners to understand the impacts of COVID-19 and is also educating Ontario's music sector on where to turn for answers. 


1. The music industry-wide survey to track and quantify the impact and losses COVID-19 is having on small businesses & companies, creators, freelancers, artists, musicians, and performers, among many others in Ontario's music industry has closed. Thank you to those who filled out the questionnaire. Results will be analyzed shortly, and we will keep you informed of future initiatives to gather data.

2. Canada's Federal Government has released details about its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, providing up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus an additional $55 billion to support Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals.

3. Measures for businesses announced yesterday include:

  • Essentially eliminating the payroll tax for three months by providing a 10% wage subsidy to small businesses – this will keep people employed;
  • Helping businesses with cash flow by deferring tax payments until August 31st;
  • Introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for self-employed people who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.
  • Applications will open in April through your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) "My Account" portal, your My Service Canada account, and a TBA toll free number equipped with an automated application process.

4. WHERE TO START for Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs:

  • Visit Canada's website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.
  • Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
  • Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare your business in the days and weeks to come. The London Chamber of Commerce also has information and is able to assist local businesses with their COVID-19 Business Resources. 
  • Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.
  • The Department of Finance Canada has a thorough resource here outlining how the governement is taking action to help Canadians experiencing hardship, including detail about flexibility for taxpayers.
  • For individuals, make sure you can access either your CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account to apply for EI relief funds before the applications open in April 2020. Better to sort that out now if you're unsure of your login information!

5. Read the full news release from the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, outlining Canada's $82 billion support and relief plan for Canadians.

6. Ontario Presents is offering to host online of phone-based meetings free of charge for any Ontario-based artist, agent, presenter, or other art presenting industry professional who needs to host a meeting but does not have the means to do so. You may contact natalie@ontariopresents.ca.

7. The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada have teamed up to launch #CanadaPerforms streaming concerts. Canadian performing artists (including musicians, comedians, dancers, singers, theatre artists, and ensembles of less than 10 people) can apply by email to the NAC at CanadaPerforms@nac-cna.ca. Performers are asked to send their names, a description of a 45- to 60-minute livestream performance they will give, their chosen date between Thursday and March 31, 2020, and what streaming platform they will use. PLEASE NOTE - The NAC is located in Ottawa. 

Performers will receive a $1,000 grant, with NAC staffers and industry leaders to select the fund recipients. Some artists will also have their performances shared by the NAC through its Facebook page as part of #CanadaPerforms.

 


MusicOntario & London Music Office will continue to update you as new and/or pertinent information becomes available.


As the music community comes together during the novel COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to keep you informed of developments as they roll out.

Ontario has declared a state of emergency, and we understand the severe implications for our members and stakeholders, with small businesses and venues closing, tours cancelling, and the gig economy in which so many of us thrive in limbo.

Artists, performers, and musicians are without income, and the entrepreneurs and companies that work to promote, support, and elevate Canadian music are all seeing their livelihoods in jeopardy. Please review the information below in case it may be of assistance.

We are staying abreast of the situation as it pertains to the music industry in Ontario, and implore everyone to stay as safe as possible through this stressful and uncertain time.

Please note that the offices of MusicOntario, City of London Culture Office (including Music Office) and London Arts Council are all closed. Staff are working and still available to assist during this unprecendent time period.
 


A number of Canadian music industry associations and organizations gathered data this week from stakeholders to quantify and understand the financial implications of COVID-19 related closures and loss of work and revenues.

The purpose of this survey is to give government a quick snapshot of the impacts, and to  encourage them to provide immediate and long-term relief to the industry. Responses will be analyzed shortly, and we will keep you posted regarding any other initiatives to gather data and intel as we continue to navigate these unknown waters together.


OTHER RESOURCES & INFORMATION:

  • Airline Cancellation Policies: A comprehensive guide by Forbes can be found here.
  • Bandzoogle has put together this handy blog: How musicians can ask fans for support during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Canada's official response to COVID-19 can be found here, with frequent live updates.
  • Canada Council for the Arts: Information about CCA's cancellation policy can be found here.
  • Canadian Live Music Association's Request for relief to the Canadian government can be found here.
  • Canada Public Health has info about the situation available here.
  • CAPACOA is asking you to track cancellations affecting the Canadian live performance sector here.
  • The Department of Finance Canada has a thorough resource here outlining how the governement is taking action to help Canadians experiencing hardship, including detail about flexibility for taxpayers.
  • FACTOR: Information about FACTOR's cancellatoin policy can be found here.
  • I Lost My Gig is a support group on Facebook for folks from various disciplines in the Gig Economy to gather, listen, and share.
  • London Arts Council COVID-19 resource page
  • Music Managers Forum Canada has an incredibly thorough resource page that is being constantly updated here.
  • MusicOntario (it's us!) will be reposting all sorts of things on our socials/to our stories - have a peek there for various updates, interesting content from the community, streaming events, and other tidbits to help pass the time.
  • Ontario Arts Council's policies on COVID-19 can be found here.
  • Ontario Ministry of Health resource page.
  • Ontario Presents is offering to host online of phone-based meetings free of charge for any Ontario-based artist, agent, presenter, or other art presenting industry professional who needs to host a meeting but does not have the means to do so. You may contact natalie@ontariopresents.ca.
  • Radio Starmaker: The Board of the Radio Starmaker Fund wants to inform all stakeholders that any previous tour dates that were approved and were to take place between February 15th and August 31st of this year will be fully funded if they were canceled as a result of the coronavirus. All you will need to do when filling out final paperwork is indicate the reason for the cancellation was coronavirus – no other proof will be necessary. This same policy will also be in effect with regard to tour dates approved by the Board for Round 74. We are currently examining the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the implications it may have on future touring. Currently, when we open our next round we are considering a moratorium on requests for tour funding for all performances from April 1st to May 31st of this year given the very high likelihood of cancellation. We will be monitoring this situation over the next few weeks and making a final determination on or before April 10th when we plan to open the next round of funding. In the meantime, we wanted everyone to know this is a possibility as tour plans are made this year.
  • Unison Benevolent Fund has information about how they can help here, or you can call 1-855-986-4766 for inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of coronavirus.
  • Worldwide Independent Network has a list of resources for the indie music community across the work here.

Public Health Organization are the most trusted sources of information. Please follow their recommendations.



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