Short-term relief funding created for Calgary art sector amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Calgary Arts Development has announced $1.15 million in short-term relief funding for those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The funding will help provide immediate relief to arts organizations and workers in the city.

During a virtual town hall meeting last week, Calgary Arts Development’s president and CEO, Patti Pon, announced the funding.

“We know COVID-19 has impacted everybody — individuals and organizations alike,” Pon said during the town hall.

“We see that there’s a spectrum of urgency and need, and we’ll be using this $1.1 million to address those most urgent needs that are being shared with us.”

The organization re-directed money from existing grant envelopes to make this short-term funding possible.

Pon said the idea was quickly developed following a survey that assessed needs, and severity of the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry so far.

The survey was completed by industry workers and organizations during the week of March 16.

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“We’re using that data to help us understand where that need is right across the spectrum,” she said.

“The funds have been approved and we are going to move ahead as quickly as we can.”

The funding will be divided two ways: between organizations and individuals, including artists and cultural workers.

Of the $1.15 million, $950,000 will be allocated to supporting organizations.

The remaining $200,000 will go towards helping individuals cover lost revenue and expenses, Pon said.

“For those who are individual arts workers, document your losses. I cannot stress that enough.”

“That includes the cancelled plane tickets for events that got cancelled and the contracts that you didn’t get fulfilled.”

Pon said this funding will be used to fulfill urgent needs and help create more stable footing for the arts industry to continue on in the future.

“The short term funding will be used to bridge until we’re able to solidify a clear picture of that medium and long-term recovery,” she said.

More information on the funding, and how to apply, will be updated through the Calgary Arts Development website this week.

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