Frequently Asked Questions

Impact of COVID-19 on projects supported by the CALQ

These frequently asked questions are intended for artists, writers, curators and representatives of arts organizations whose projects are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and all prospective applicants.
Last update: November 4, 9:45 am

Application processing during COVID-19

  1. When will I receive my grant?

    Grant payments will be made according to the project start date. You will receive the payment for your grant on the 1st of the month if your project starts between the 1st and the 14th of the month. You will receive the payment for your grant on the 15th of the month if your project starts between the 15th and the last day of the month. In all cases, your social insurance number (S.I.N.) is required to receive a payment.

  2. My organization is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting or a virtual board meeting in the near future. Will holding this session remotely be considered valid?

    Yes. On April 27th, a new temporary measure to allow for remote meetings and sessions to be held where laws or regulations would normally prohibit it was announced by the Ministère de la Justice. This new measure will ensure that meetings held remotely through technological means are considered valid in the above-mentioned instances. This measure will remain in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  3. Who will evaluate the grant applications?

    Applications to the new grant program will be evaluated by a jury of peers. Applications submitted to Exploration and Digital Deployment will first be screened by CALQ program officers based on each section’s eligibility requirements and general objectives. Applications that are deemed eligible will then be reviewed by an internal committee on the basis of the objectives and evaluation criteria described in the program. The CALQ may, if necessary, call upon one or more resource persons or form an advisory committee to analyze the projects.

  4. About the return of the Exploration and Digital Deployment program

  5. The Exploration and Digital Deployment program was offered in 2020. What’s changed this year?

    In 2021, the Exploration and Digital Deployment measure is available at all times to artists and at fixed dates to organizations. Artists can therefore submit a project to the CALQ whenever they are ready and receive support to help them stay actively connected to their audiences. Organizations have until September 9 to develop their project and prepare their application, which will be evaluated by an advisory committee.

  6. What types of projects qualify for support under the program?

    Among other things, projects that increase the amount of online Québec content and its dissemination, such as adaptations of existing works for digital presentation, the production of podcasts or the taping of live performances, are eligible. Projects that increase the discoverability of content or help artists and arts organizations take ownership of the digital space also qualify. See some of the projects funded last year (in French).

  7. Do the applications submitted to this measure have to be for multi-year projects?

    It isn’t a condition of eligibility for applications but long-term projects will be given priority.

  8. Is redesigning an outdated website eligible?

    No, the purpose of this measure is not to finance a website update. However, if part of your website needs to be redesigned in connection with the project for which you are applying for a grant, that expense is eligible. You must demonstrate that the project will use technology for creation, production, promotion and presentation.

  9. Are webinars and online training in a discipline eligible?

    If the project involves only training in the discipline, then no. If the project aims to promote digital literacy, it may be eligible. Digital literacy is defined as “the ability to understand and use information and communication technologies in daily life, at home, at work and in the community to achieve personal goals and to expand one’s knowledge and skills.”

  10. Is the purchase of computer hardware, software or other office equipment eligible?

    Updating obsolete office equipment is not eligible. However, if the expense is justified for purposes of creation, production, promotion and presentation, it may be eligible. It is preferable to lease digital equipment for a project unless it can be demonstrated that buying is more advantageous. If the project involves the purchase of equipment, a quote should be attached to the application to allow for a full analysis of the file.

  11. My organization has purchased new digital equipment. Is training in the use of this equipment eligible?

    If your organization purchases new equipment needed for a project involving creation, production, promotion and presentation, and you need training to use it, those expenses are eligible. But if the equipment acquisition was funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des communications or another source and you want to fund only the training, your project is not eligible for this measure.

  12. Should grant applications to other public funding agencies be included in our budget?

    It is recommended that amounts requested from other public funding agencies be included in the budget forecast and you should indicate whether the funding has been confirmed. This will give the evaluation committee a full picture of your financing.

  13. We have received a grant from the Ministère de la Culture et des communications’ Digital Ambition program. Can we also receive funding under the Exploration and Digital Deployment measure?

    It isn’t possible to combine these two sources of funding for the same project. However, you can submit a project that has already received funding by, for example, developing a new component of the project.

  14. As there will be many applications and a good number of artists will submit applications in the near future, will there still be money in the fall to support projects under the Exploration and Digital Deployment measure?

    We cannot guarantee that funding will still be available in a few months.

  15. Could you clarify the question about “the anticipated benefits from realization of the project and the performance indicators you will use” on the application form for the Exploration and Digital Deployment section?

    We are asking applicants to define their objectives before the project starts in order to be able to determine whether the project was a success. The objectives may consist of performance indicators or targets that can be measured quantitatively, or more qualitative goals that the organization sets for itself within a formal framework.

  16. Where can I find the budget form?

    There is no budget template for this measure. You must provide a balanced budget showing revenues and expenses.

  17. What do you mean by performance indicators?

    A performance indicator is a quantitative or qualitative measure, or set of measures, that can be used to assess the results of an action or actions, the achievement of a project’s objectives, and its impacts. These indicators can be shown on a dashboard or any other type of tracking tool.
    Performance indicators will vary from one project to another.

  18. What do you mean by explaining my technological choices?

    Discuss the appropriateness of the technologies or digital tools you will use to achieve your project’s objectives and those of the measure.

  19. I’m a final-year art student. Am I eligible?

    Yes. Since the pandemic began, the CALQ has expanded the eligibility criteria for some programs to include graduating students of institutions of higher education enrolled in an art program.

  20. About the measure for the presentation of Québec shows

    If you can’t find an answer in the FAQ to a question about your specific situation, please contact us at and provide as much detail as possible.

  21. Does this new phase of the program work in the same way as the previous one?

    Basically, yes. This program continues supporting organizations that want to present Québec shows to live audiences in performance venues by compensating them for a portion of the box-office receipts lost as a result of Government of Québec measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. It will be maintained during 2021-2022 as long as conditions warrant. However, this call for applications is specifically for the period of September 1 to December 31, 2021.

    The method for calculating the amount of financial assistance remains the same (see question 39).

  22. Why is the CALQ asking organizations to provide their winter 2022 program?

    This call for applications is specifically for the period of September 1 to December 31, 2021. However, in case the health restrictions are extended into the first months of 2022, the CALQ also needs to receive your program for the period of January 1 to March 31, 2022. Organizations should therefore fill out the Automne 2021 and Hiver 2022 tabs on the form and submit it as a single application by November 15 , 2021.

  23. What are the main changes between the previous phases of the program and this one (September 1 to December 31, 2021)?

    – The presentation plan now has three tabs: Public scolaire, Public familial and Public adulte.
    – Applying organizations must now provide, with their application, documents confirming the average ticket price shown in their presentation plan (column Y) for five performances, or for their entire program if it consists of less than five performances. Important: The average ticket price must match the information in the supporting documents.
    – Organizations that use the reference year form must also attach documents confirming the average ticket price for the first five performances listed in the presentation report.
    – A series of performances of the same show must now be presented by maximum 7-day periods in the presentation plan.
    – The CALQ will automatically allow a four-week grace period after the announcement of new government directives that affect performances. For example, authorization to increase the number of people admitted into a venue will be applied four weeks after the announcement.
    – The grant utilization report for the period must be submitted to the CALQ within two months after the end of the period, rather than the usual three months.

  24. Performance halls must now maintain 1-metre distancing or one seat between people from different households, and may admit more than 500 people if they can seat the audience in separate sections with a maximum of 500 people each, and with separate entrances, exits and sanitary facilities. Will the CALQ take this into consideration when calculating the grant?

    Yes. In their application, organizations must give the capacity of their performance venue(s) based on the government requirements. They must also indicate the “COVID-19 capacity” of their venue in various situations so the CALQ will have all the information it needs to handle any changes in government rules.

  25. Why did the CALQ add the Public scolaire tab?

    As of the implementation date of phase 3 of the program, it is no longer necessary for students from the same school to physically distance. Hence it is possible to admit more people to performances for school audiences than for adult or family audiences. The CALQ is therefore asking organizations that perform before school audiences to fill out the Capacité – Public scolaire, Public scolaire – Automne 2021 and Public scolaire – Hiver 2022 tabs.

  26. The capacity of my venue could vary considerably depending on the show and the size of family bubbles. So what capacity do I use in my application to the CALQ?

    You should indicate the average capacity of your venue.

  27. Under what conditions can I cancel a performance without losing the financial compensation?

    You will still be eligible for compensation if you have to cancel a performance for one of the following reasons:
    – closing of venues by the Government of Québec;
    – inability to reschedule a performance because of time constraints (curfew);
    – performer diagnosed with COVID-19 or members of the show team or the venue’s technical crew placed in quarantine;
    – suspension of school outings by the Government of Québec;
    – closing of classes or schools due to the pandemic;
    – difficulties surrounding the introduction of the vaccine passport (until September 21, 2021).

  28. Will the CALQ still allow organizations a grace period to allow them to adjust to new government rules?

    Yes, the CALQ will automatically allow a four-week grace period after the announcement of new government directives that affect performances. For example, authorization to increase the number of people admitted into a venue will be applied four weeks after the announcement.

  29. My organization received a grant during the first phases of the program. Do I have to re-submit the data for my reference year?

    Presenters, festivals and events that have previously received support under this program do not have to re-submit the data for their reference year if they are using the same venues. However, they will have to re-submit this data if they are using different venues. In this case, the reference fiscal year must be the same as that used for the other venues.

    Production organizations that have previously received support under this program must re-submit their reference data.

  30. How will I inform the CALQ of any changes in my programming during the reference period?

    The CALQ has set November 15, 2021 as the deadline for submitting applications in order to give organizations time to complete their programming. If changes must be made subsequently, they should be included in your grant utilization report. The CALQ will use this information to adjust the final amount of financial assistance given to your organization.

  31. The program description states that “presenters and producers must agree to pay all artists, copyright owners and performing-arts workers even if the show is cancelled.” Why?

    The purpose of this program is to keep all the links in the production chain active, and to provide work and fair remuneration for all artists and performing-arts workers. This is why the CALQ requires that the artists, designers, stage crew, technicians and other workers directly involved in the show’s production and presentation be paid, and that all fees related to the use of copyrighted works be paid, whether or not the performance takes place. If you regularly work with, for example, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) or the Society of Authors and Composers of Dramatic Works (SACD), you must continue to pay your royalties even if the show is not presented.

  32. Can this program be used to compensate for losses of box-office receipts that occurred before September 1, 2021?

    No, this program is not retroactive.

  33. How are you going to select the organizations eligible for this support if the available budget is limited?

    Financial aid will be granted to all eligible applicants within the limits of the allotted budget.

  34. Does this program replace Specific Programming support?

    No. The objectives are completely different. Organizations that already receive Specific Programming support may also take advantage of this program if they meet the eligibility criteria.

  35. I manage a creation and production organization that had been in existence and presenting shows internationally for a year as of March 1, 2020, but not in Québec. Am I eligible?

    No. This program is intended for creation and production organizations that present their own works in Québec and that, as of March 1, 2020, had been in existence for at least one year and had at least one year of achievements related to the presentation of shows in Québec.

  36. My organization had not yet started selling tickets to the performances that had to be cancelled, but our programming was already planned. Are those performances eligible?

    Yes, if you can provide the contracts that were signed with the producers or artists for those performances.

  37. Must we have received support from the CALQ in the past in order to apply for this support?

    No, you do not have to have received support from the CALQ before to be eligible for this program.

  38. Will the applications be evaluated by a peer-review committee?

    No. If the applying organization and the show are eligible, the CALQ will simply determine the amount to which the organization is entitled.

  39. Are expenses associated with hosting a foreign show that is part of a multidisciplinary presenter’s or a festival’s programming eligible?

    No, only Québec productions are eligible.

  40. When I submit my application, do I have to supply copies of presentation contracts with the production companies?

    You must include the documents listed below with your application.

    Presenters, events and festivals that have previously received support under this program:
    – signed contracts between the presenter and the producer;
    – documents confirming the ticket price shown in the presentation plan for five performances, or for the entire program if it consists of less than five performances (contract specifying the ticket price, advertising brochure, box-office report, screenshot of online ticket site, etc.);
    – signed Producer Commitment forms stipulating that if a performance is cancelled the artists and performing-arts workers will be renumerated and that all fees for the use of copyrighted works will be paid.

    Producers (self-produced shows) and new applicants:
    – signed contracts between the creation/production organization and the artists, copyright holders and other performing-arts workers;
    – documents confirming the ticket price shown in the presentation plan for five performances, or for the entire program if it consists of less than five performances (contract specifying the ticket price, advertising brochure, box-office report, screenshot of online ticket site, etc.);
    – documents confirming the average ticket price for the first five performances in the reference year.

  41. If there is another lockdown and shows are cancelled, what will happen with the grant? Will it be necessary to submit another application?

    No. The CALQ will be monitoring the situation closely and will adjust the amount of financial aid according to the prevailing situation at the scheduled time of the presentation.

  42. Will this program benefit performing artists and performing-arts workers?

    Artists and other performing-arts workers will benefit from this program through the presenters and producers who employ them. The CALQ requires that all organizations receiving support commit to making sure the grant benefits everyone in the performance chain: artists, copyright holders and show workers.

  43. My shows are bought by Québec presenters. Should I submit an application?

    No. This program is intended only for show presenters and creation/production organizations that present their own works. In your case, the presenters who buy your shows are the ones who must submit the application.

  44. The grant can be up to 75% of the box-office receipts that were not received because of public health orders during the period. The amount will be calculated as follows:

    For each of the venues used

    Average number of tickets sold per performance in a reference year

    Number of tickets allowed for physically distanced performances
    Average price per ticket in the reference year
    (or in the current year, if lower)
    75 %

    Example: 500-seat venue that normally sells an average of 400 tickets per performance, at an average price of $40 per ticket. Maximum 125 seats under COVID-19 restrictions:

    Cancelled performance
    [(400 – 0) × $40] X 75 % = $12,000
    Distanced performance
    [(400 – 125) X $40] X 75 % = $8,250
    Maximum eligible amount: $75,000 per performance

  45. How is the reference year determined?

    The reference season is chosen by the organization submitting the application. It should be a fiscal year between 2016 and 2020.

  46. I postponed a major show until fall 2021, thinking that by then the situation would be back to normal. Is this show eligible?

    When submitting the application, the applicant must make a commitment that the shows in the presentation plan will comply with the Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Performing Acts Sector, Performance Halls and Movie Theatres – COVID-19 at the time they are presented.

  47. If my venue is closed, will I still receive the grant if I replace a live presentation with a virtual presentation?

    Yes, if the show was originally planned and announced for a live audience (provide contract).

  48. Under COVID-19 restrictions, I’m allowed to admit 200 people to my venue. If I don’t manage to sell that many tickets, will the calculation of the grant take that into account? Will my organization be compensated for the tickets it was unable to sell?

    No, the grant is intended to cover the shortfall between your normal ticket sales and the tickets you are allowed to sell under COVID-19 restrictions. The calculation of the grant starts after this threshold.

  49. As a presenter, can I submit my application even if I have only preliminary presentation agreements with some producers?

    Yes, but the grant will be paid out only after the signed agreements have been received by the CALQ.

  50. 30. Can I assume that the grant paid to my organization will be exactly the same as the amount I calculated myself when preparing my application, on the basis of the calculation method that you have provided?

    Doing your own calculation can give you a good idea of the grant that will be awarded and so allow you to plan your programming. However, the exact amount that you receive may be different; it depends on the CALQ’s analysis.

  51. Are you going to set aside sectoral envelopes?


  52. Could a presenter receive aid for a show they decided to cancel because of low ticket sales?

    No. Only shows that are cancelled for the reasons listed in the program rules are eligible for this assistance.

  53. Will performances for young audiences be included in calculating the average number of tickets sold and the average price per ticket?

    Performances for school audiences and family audiences will be considered separately. There will therefore be different calculations for the performances intended for adult audiences, school audiences and family audiences. You should fill out the appropriate tabs on the form.

  54. I work with a small creation and production organization, and I usually co-present my shows with the venues where they are performed. Will co-presented shows be counted in calculating the averages for the reference season?

    Yes, they will be counted in calculating the presenter’s average.

  55. My creation and production organization had planned to co-present a show together with the presenter that is hosting us. Is this show eligible for the grant?

    Yes. It is the presenter who must include it in their application.

  56. If a show is cancelled, will the artists be paid?

    In accepting the grant, presenters and producers must provide a commitment from the producer to pay the artists, copyright holders and performing-arts workers, even if a show is cancelled or postponed. The artists’ fees should reflect the fact that the Québec government is supporting the programming and wants everyone to benefit from this support. The CALQ requires proof of payment for all cancelled performances.

  57. How many times can I postpone a show for it still to be eligible for this measure?

    Only once.

  58. I want to reschedule a performance for which I had sold tickets before the pandemic. In light of the audience-size restrictions for my venue, I will have to turn it into three performances, which will increase my costs. Will these performances be eligible for this support?


  59. How will the CALQ ensure that all of the participants in the production chain for a show have in fact been paid?

    Any organization that receives support under this measure will have to provide a grant-utilization report within two months after the project ends. This report will show the total amounts paid to artists, copyright holders and other performing-arts workers for the supported show(s), including proof of such payments in the event of a show’s cancellation. This will enable the CALQ to determine whether the presenters and producers have honoured their commitment to pay everyone involved in the performance. The CALQ reserves the right to demand, at any time, any other information or document that it deems relevant and reasonable to require for purposes of applying and verifying this provision.

  60. On the balance sheet and in the presentation plan, does the ticket price include the service fees?

    Yes, service fees are included in box office receipts.

  61. My organization usually uses several halls but in the current situation we’ve decided to use only the largest. What do I put on the application form?

    You should provide the presentation report for just the venue you are using.

  62. If you can’t find an answer in the FAQ to a question about your specific situation, please contact us at and provide as much detail as possible.

    About the enhancement of the grants program

  63. What are the types of post-secondary institutions offering specialized art programs whose final-year students are eligible for CALQ grants on an exceptional basis during the COVID crisis?

    Institutions that offer full degree programs for future professional artists, such as public and private institutions recognized by the Ministère de l’éducation et de l’enseignement supérieur.

  64. I’m looking for the grant application form for final-year art students.

    There isn’t a special form for final-year art students. You should use the form for the grant you’re applying for.

  65. Does the fact that final-year art students and emerging comedians can apply for the new grants program mean that fewer artists and writers will be supported?

    No, on the contrary. Additional funding has been allocated to the grants program in order to be able to support a larger number of projects.

  66. Are final-year students eligible for all CALQ programs? How will you evaluate them on the excellence of past work criterion?

    To enable post-secondary art students in their final year to enter the profession under these challenging circumstances, they will be eligible, on an exceptional basis, for all sections of the grants program as well as the Vivacité and Recognition programs, even if they don’t meet all the regular requirements. School works may be taken into account in the evaluation.

  67. Are comedians eligible for all CALQ programs?

    No. The CALQ is sensitive to the problems of final-year students and emerging artists in the field of humour. We have therefore set up a pilot project to support the creation of quality texts and help young artists enter the profession. For this purpose, emerging comedians will be able to submit applications to three sections of the grants program: Research and Exploration, Creation and Professional Development. Submissions from emerging artists in the field of humour will be evaluated by their peers in humour.

  68. Are artist-entrepreneurs eligible for CALQ support?

    They are eligible for the CALQ’s grants program, which was enhanced in the winter of 2020 in recognition of needs relating to artist-entrepreneurs’ multiple skills and to improve their financial situation. The program provides support at every stage of the creation – production – presentation process, throughout the artist’s career.

  69. Will the Vivacité section receive more money?

    The additional funding for the CALQ will allow us to respond to increased demand in the various programs and sections, including Vivacité, which is intended to provide an entry point into our programs for culturally diverse artists. Culturally diverse artists always sit on our juries and these applications are given careful attention.

  70. Will the Recognition program receive some of this additional funding?

    Like Vivacité, Recognition will have a larger envelope and we will be able to support more Indigenous artists. The additional amounts available will be injected equitably for all artists.

  71. I have more questions about the grant program.

    See the FAQ on the various sections of the grant program.

  72. Why can’t I get the jury’s comments about an unsuccessful grant application?

    In the exceptional situation we currently face, we are devoting all our energies to reducing the time it takes to process your applications. Our priority is to give you prompt access to any financial support you are granted. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, we cannot respond to requests for information within the usual timeframe or provide you with the evaluation scores. We realize this situation is not ideal but we are doing all we can to offer you the best possible service.

  73. International travel and tours

  74. I want to apply for funding or a grant that involves international travel. Can I include insurance costs in my project budget?

    You must include insurance costs. Otherwise, your application will be deemed ineligible by the CALQ. Travellers outside Québec must have travel insurance covering emergency medical care, including risks associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), for the entire duration of the trip.

    In this regard:
    All applications for funding or a grant must include insurance costs in the budget. Otherwise, the application will be deemed ineligible.

  75. I want to submit an application for financial support that involves international travel. When will I be able to do so?

    For organizations, the Diffusion d’œuvres à l’extérieur du Québec, Développement des organismes à l’extérieur du Québec and Prospection programs are open again.

    Artists can also submit applications for projects involvement travel outside Québec and for the Circulation of Works Outside Québec and Travel section, which are available again.

    Refer to the program’s “Presentation of the application” section for COVID-related instructions.

  76. Is it possible to submit an application for travel or a tour?

    Yes, it is possible to submit an application for international travel or a tour again.

    Note however that travellers outside Québec must have travel insurance covering emergency medical care, including risks associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), for the entire duration of the trip. All applications for funding or a grant must include insurance costs in the budget. Otherwise, the application will be deemed ineligible.

    By submitting an application for financial aid, you accept the following responsibilities:
    1. Travellers to another Canadian province or another country:
    – have consulted the COVID-19 information website of the destination province our country and are able to comply with the travel rules in force at the time of their trip;

    – are aware that they must conduct their professional activities in accordance with the workplace rules, standards and protocols in force at the time of the activities;

    – understand that they will have to cover any unexpected expenses in the event of sudden changes arising during the trip (expenses related to quarantine, emergency return, closing of borders, etc.);

    2. Travellers returning to Canada understand that they must follow the rules established under the emergency orders, particularly those described on the official Government of Canada site;

    3. Any costs arising from a quarantine are not eligible expenses.

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