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Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Dear colleagues,

We are planning to push out regular updates on the impact of COVID-19 for orchestras. To unsubscribe from these updates (we understand your inboxes are likely at least as overwhelmed as ours…) please update your preferences, unchecking COVID-19. Or simply reply “unsubscribe COVID-19” to this email. The situation is changing rapidly - be sure to monitor updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada and from your provincial health authority. 



  • In case you missed it, we're collecting data on the impact of COVID-19 emergency measures on your organization. If you haven't already done so, please complete one of these surveys: youth orchestras, or all other orchestras.

Self-care / Hope


  • OC’s 2020 National Conference has been cancelled. A reduced-schedule online-only learning event will run at some stage during the May 20-23 period.  More details on this will follow in the coming weeks as events are confirmed.
  • The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada will provide $100,000 in artists fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020 to help ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19.
  • The Department of Canadian Heritage has published information and a FAQ for its grant recipients related to COVID-19.
  • The Government of Canada announced yesterday more financial support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including:
    • An Emergency Care Benefit for those who don’t qualify for EI and who don’t have access to paid sick leave. The benefit will provide money to individuals every two weeks over a 14-week period. The amount will be comparable to the amount provided through EI and will specifically help those who are ill, in quarantine and/or those who are self-isolating. It will also apply to family members who are helping sick individuals.
    • A COVID-19 Emergency Support Benefit will be introduced to support self-employed individuals.
    • Employers will be provided with a temporary wage subsidy equal to 10% of their salaries for paid employees for a three-month period to encourage businesses to keep their employees on payroll during this crisis.
    • For those who have already filed their taxes, residents will now have until August 2020 to pay any taxes they owe to the government.
    • The government will be temporarily boosting the pre-existing Child Care Benefit to support parents taking care of young children.
    • To help lower income individuals, the government will supplement the GST Credit to offset the consumer tax that they are paying. Every adult will receive up to $300 through this credit and up to $150 for every child.
    • To assist students and young adults, the government will put in place a six-month interest free moratorium on all student loans.
Stay home if you can, stay safe,

The team at Orchestras Canada

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