TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund

Toronto will overcome COVID-19 - let’s make sure our artists share in the recovery

All donations made to the fund will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt

For more information on making a pledge or donation, please contact Leslie Francombe, Philanthropy and Sponsorship Manager, at leslie[at]torontoarts[dot]org.

Fund Launch date: March 26, 2020
Funds raised to date (April 8, 2020): $723,701
Artists this will support: approximately 723
Artists who have reached out in need: over 1,600
Donate today to give relief to even more artists ​

These are unprecedented times.

As you decide how you can best help Toronto overcome this challenge, we urge you to consider Toronto’s artists - our actors, dancers, musicians and visual artists.

These artists who bring so much vibrancy and wealth to our city in good times are now facing an economic crisis:

▶  a minimum of ten thousand artists have lost contracts as thousands of Toronto arts performances and events have been cancelled for March and April alone

▶  artists do not qualify for EI because they are self-employed

▶  plan B for many artists is to work as a server in a bar or restaurant (now closed)

▶  the median artist income in Toronto is $30,000 annually, which is so far below Toronto’s cost of living; most cannot rely on prior savings

To help the city’s artists who have lost performance income as a result of COVID-19, Toronto Arts Foundation is partnering with Toronto Arts Council to create the TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund.

OUR GOAL IS TO HELP AS MANY ARTISTS AS POSSIBLE. To date, we have raised over $715,000 from donors and partner contributions. That's enough to provide grants for more than 700 artists; well short of the current demand. 


✷✷ 100% of all funds donated will go directly to artists ✷✷

Qualifying artists will receive up to $1000 (about half a month’s rent).

TORONTO'S ARTISTS NEED YOUR HELP. Please consider making a contribution to the fund.

✔ If you are an arts supporter - at this time any increase to your annual contributions would be incredibly helpful.

✔ If you work in the arts sector and are among the fortunate who have not lost your income - please consider sharing this good fortune with the artists whose work sustains you.

✔ If you are an audience member - please consider contributing what you might have spent at the theatre or concert hall in these weeks

After Toronto emerges from the crisis we will all be depending on our artists to help the city recover.

Help us make sure they will be here.

We have just had to cancel a massive 3-country opera project that was going to take place between Toronto and California (Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha). As a result - about 50 arts workers are suddenly without work for 2 months. We are providing everyone with termination pay - but that is frankly a drop in the bucket for artists whose work for the foreseeable future has just vanished, as theatres shutter, and rehearsals are cancelled across the country. As you know - self-employed artists are not eligible for EI, and the normal jobs that we in the arts resort to (waiting tables, catering, babysitting etc.) have ALSO vanished overnight. The arts are among hardest hit sectors during this pandemic. Even at the best of times, arts workers lives are precarious and paycheque-to-paycheque. Now - with NO paycheques - the hardship could devastate lives.❞- Ross Manson, Artistic Director, Volcano 


Donations may also be made by phone at 416 392 6802 x214 or by Mail (Please print this FORM and mention TOArtist COVID Response Fund).

All donations made to the fund will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt. 

For a complete list of our generous donors to date, click here.

Show your support for Toronto’s arts community by using the hashtag #TOArtsTogether

For more information on making a pledge or donation, please contact Leslie Francombe, Philanthropy and Sponsorship Manager, at leslie[at]torontoarts[dot]org.