Resources for Canadian freelancers during COVID-19 shutdowns

There is no doubt that the current global pandemic has taken a toll on the media and arts industry. If you’re a freelance writer or artist affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns, here are some resources that can help you during this difficult time.


Woodcock Fund Grant

This grant provides emergency funding to professional Canadian writers mid-project. The Woodcock Fund Grant is meant to provide financial assistance to writers during a crisis. Grants given typically range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the individual’s circumstance. Visit their website for eligibility and application requirements.

The Photographer Fund

An online portfolio platform, Format, has started a $25,000 fund for self-employed photographers who have been impacted by COVID-19. They are offering a grant of up to $500 per person. Visit their website to apply.

TOArtist COVID Response Fund

The Toronto Arts Foundation and The Toronto Arts Council are offering financial support for self-employed professional artists who are not eligible for Employee Insurance (EI). Visit their website for eligibility and application requirements. Deadline for the application is 11:59 PM on April 30, 2020.

Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund

The Writers’ Trust of Canada, The Writer’s Union of Canada and Royal Bank of Canada are providing financial assistance to writers affected by the pandemic. Successful applicants will receive $1,500. Visit the website for eligibility criteria and deadlines.


Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder. They invest in artistic excellence through their grants and services aimed towards Canadian artists and arts organizations.

The Canadian Freelance Union

This community focuses on advancing the rights and working conditions for freelancers in the communications and media industries. Union members benefit from personalized contract mediation, comprehensive health insurance and more.

CMG Freelance

CMG Freelance is a branch of the Canadian Media Guild dedicated to workers in Canadian media. The Freelance Branch provides support for freelance members by providing health and insurance benefits, online training, media pass and more.


S’ATTAQ is a labour union for freelancers, run by freelancers. It is a local section of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a global cross-industry union fighting for economic democracy and end exploitation in the workplace. S’ATTAQ provides by allocating funds to members in financial need, advising on legal issues and more.

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