Important COVID-19 Resources for Creators and Publishers

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought unprecedented challenges to Canadian creators and publishers. Events and conferences have been cancelled and postponed, authors’ tours and travel are no longer possible and bookstores are temporarily closing.

Documenting Economic Losses and Emergency Relief

As of April 16, more creators and artists will be eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault has created a video that explains the criteria for eligibility for artists and creators. If you are eligible, please visit the CERB website to apply.

You may also be eligible to apply for Employment Insurance (EI). Please visit the EI website to apply.

We join with other organizations in advising you to record any economic losses related to interruptions in your work as a creator or publisher resulting from COVID-19, including losses in income, sales as well as any events or jobs that have been cancelled or temporarily suspended. This information will be invaluable in the efforts to work with governments to support our creative economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a writer, please take a few minutes to fill out the Writers’ Union of Canada economic impact survey.

The Canadian Artists’ Representation (CARFAC) encourages visual artists to document their economic losses through

The Association of Canadian Publisher will be sending out a weekly impact survey to members. If you are on the ACP mailing list, please fill out and pass along to any of your publishing contacts.

We also encourage you to keep supporting creators and publishers. Please consider supporting independent bookstores by ordering books from them during this time. Click here for a list of indie bookstores all over Canada that can deliver books right to your door.

Below is a list of resources for creators and publishers to assist during these challenging times. Please check back here often, as we add additional resources to the list. (List is current as of May 29, 2020.)

Access Copyright initiatives 

Read Aloud Canadian Books Program: A joint initiative of the Association and Canadian Publishers and Access Copyright, the Program allows, on a temporary basis, a waiver of licence fees related to the reading of all or part of select books from participating publishers and posting of the video recording online. If you would like to offer your work for the Program, please email

voicEd Radio Canada has created a podcast – I Value Canadian Stories – a new series highlighting the work, the creative habits and unique perspectives of Canadian children and young adult authors.

Literary Festivals Going Virtual

Telling Tales, the Hamilton children’s book festival, will be going virtual on Sunday, September 20; meanwhile, a new Telling Tales graphic-novel event will take place June 10–12 with virtual workshops.

The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story, unfortunately, has been cancelled for this year due to COVID-19. However, the short story contest will still take place with an online event on June 6th to announce the winners.

The Edmonton Poetry Festival will be postponed until the fall. As the situation develops, they will make a final announcement on their social media platforms, please keep an eye out on their Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram pages. 

When Worlds Collide has been postponed till August 2021. If you have already bought tickets you can request a refund by August 1st or keep this years pass for next year. Visit their website for more information. 

Verses Festival of Words has made all of its event virtual. To learn out more please visit the Vancouver Poetry House.

Winterset in Summer has canceled its festival but will have virtual programming that will roll out later in summer. Please check their social media accounts for any news and updates. 

Writers at Woody Point has canceled its festival for this year, but will be announcing a "virtual" festival soon. Please keep checking their website. 

Ochre Fest 2020 will be going digital. Please check their website in late June for a full schedule.

NorthWords Festival will be going virtual and will be hosted online from June 19 to 28 2020. The full schedule will be posted in a couple of days. 

gritLIT Writing Workshops are online. 

Voices of Today festival is going online. Check their website for scheduling and performer updates. 

Eden Mills Writers Festival is going online. From May – October 2020, they are presenting a series of online events. Registrations are open for both adult's and children's events. 

Saskatchewan Festival of Words is going virtual and has been extended to July 13-19, 2020. All events will be free! 

Funding Resources, including Emergency Relief 

A new initiative from the Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada: Digital Originals program provides grants of $5,000 to writers, artists and artistic organizations wishing to create a new work or adapt a work to share digitally with Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more please visit the grant website here.

Access Copyright Foundation has extended the application deadline for Professional Development grants to June 1, 2020.

Canada Council for the Arts has a page with useful information for artists and art organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Glad Day has created an emergency fund to help LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers who are facing dire financial need. You can apply for support by applying here.

CBC has a comprehensive list of funding and resources for artists and freelancers.

The BC Arts Council has an extensive FAQ page with new funding and grant opportunities.

The BC Emergency Benefit for workers provides a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment; Self-employed and workers not eligible for EI can apply for the benefit.

The Photographer Fund is a $25,000 fund set up to help photographers impacted by the global pandemic.

#CanadaPerforms is a $700,000 short-term relief fund administered by the National Arts Centre (NAC) that pays professional Canadian artists and professionally published authors for their online performances. Artists who are selected will receive $1,000 and their online performance will be broadcast on the NAC’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Cultural Human Resources Council has an extensive list of funding resources for the cultural sector workers that is separated by province.

The Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia has compiled a list of government programs, funding updates, and advocacy relevant to BC publishers.

The Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association has COVID-19 resources for its members, including information about their grant applications extensions.

The Saskatchewan Arts Board has an info page regarding their grants and event cancellations.

The Manitoba Arts Council has an FAQ regarding their grants and a list of resources for artists dealing with COVID-19.

Ontario Arts Council is regularly updating a list of resources for creators and has information about grant applications.  

Arts Nova Scotia has extended their grant application deadlines. Please visit their website to learn more.

The Edmonton Arts Council has posted an info page with FAQs regarding their grants, events and services.

The Calgary Arts Council has created a COVID-19 short- term funding to assist for cultural workers. You can find more information about the fund here.

Please visit the following sites for cancellations or policy changes for content use during COVID-19:

CBC Books has a list of book launches, events and readings that will be held online.

Publishers Weekly has a list of cancellations, policy changes and more related to the publishing industry.

Publishers Weekly also has a list of creative resources that children’s authors and publishers are providing to help keep children engaged.

School Library Journal has a list of children's publishers, who have temporarily altered policies to help teachers move their classes online.

Publishing Perspective has a Coronavirus Industry Resource List.

Quill & Quire has a Virtual-event listings for the Canadian kid lit community.

While Access Copyright’s staff is working remotely we remain available to answer your calls and emails as per usual.

Access Copyright urges you to visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for the latest information on COVID-19. We continue to monitor the situation and diligently work towards supporting publishers and creators during these unprecedented times. Please stay safe and healthy.