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 13, 3:00 pm

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.

About support for the presentation of Québec shows

*This Q&A section concerns the first period of soutien à la diffusion de spectacles québécois, from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Details regarding the renewal of this measure announced on March 18, 2021 will be published on our website in the near future. In the meantime, the text below is left for reference purposes only.

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.

    1. I represent an organization that is eligible for this support. However, the administrative region where I carry out my activities is not currently at alert level 4 (red zone). Am I eligible?

      If your organization is eligible for the measure, then it can apply for aid, regardless of the administrative region in which it is located. Organizations located in zones where performance venues are still open are subject to constraints reducing the number of people that they can accommodate. Such organizations can therefore receive this support as well. It is the calculation of the grant that will be adjusted according to whether or not the organization is located in a red zone.

    2. Can this measure be used to compensate for losses of box-office income that occurred before October 1, 2020?

      This measure is not retroactive. Many other initiatives have been taken since the start of the pandemic to provide aid to the entire arts community.

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

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

    4. Does this measure replace Specific Programming support?

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

    5. I manage a creation/production organization that has been in existence and presenting shows for a year internationally, but not in Québec. Am I eligible?

      No. The measure 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.

    6. At the time that the closing of performance venues was announced, my organization had not yet put the tickets on sale for its performances that had to be cancelled, but our programming was already planned. Are these performances eligible?

      To apply for compensation due to the closing of performance venues, an organization must demonstrate that it had already made preparations to present the show: contracts with a producer or artists, advertising, proof of cancellation date, etc.

    7. Must we have received support from the CALQ previously?

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

    8. My organization has already received an enhancement to its Mission support. Can I still submit an application for compensation for loss of box-office income?


    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. When I submit my application, should I supply copies of presentation contracts with the production companies that will produce shows in the course of the season?

      For a cancelled show, the CALQ requires proof that preparations had been made to present it. The types of documents to be enclosed with the application are specified on the form: contracts with a producer or artists, advertising, etc.

      Both for shows that are presented and for those that are cancelled, the CALQ will want to ensure the payment of the artists’ and crews’ fees once the grant has been awarded.

    12. If there is another confinement this winter and shows are cancelled, what will become of 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. The organization receiving support will also have to submit an update of its programming.

    13. Will this measure benefit performing artists and performing-arts workers?

      Artists and other performing-arts workers will benefit from this measure through the presenters and producers who employ them.

    14. My organization decided to postpone until January a show that it was originally supposed to present in October. Am I still eligible for compensation for October?

      Yes, all shows that were scheduled or announced or for which tickets were put on sale for October are eligible. Any application to the CALQ must show all of the planned programming, including any shows that were cancelled or postponed.

    15. My shows are purchased by Québec presenters. Should I submit an application?

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

    16. I have decided to cancel my shows until December 2020. Am I still entitled to the grant for cancellation?

      This measure applies only to shows that are cancelled because of the closing of venues by the government authorities.

    17. How will the amount of financial aid be calculated?

      The grant can be up to 75% of the box-office income that was not received because of public-health directives during the period covered. The amount will be calculated as follows:

      For each of the venues used

      (Average number of tickets sold per performance in a reference year

      The number of tickets allowed for distanced performances)
      The 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
      Spectacle présenté
      [(400 – 125) X $40] X 75 % = $8,250

      Maximum eligible amount: $75,000 per performance. The amount of financial aid cannot result in an operating surplus in the applicant’s budget. The programming submitted cannot include more than more than 50% of the number of performances in the reference year.

    18. How is the reference year determined?

      The reference season is determined by the organization submitting the application, between 2016 and 2019, corresponding to a fiscal year.

    19. In June, I cancelled a show that I was supposed to present in October. Is this show eligible?

      No, because at the time that the closing of the venues was announced, this show was no longer scheduled in your programming. This measure is not retroactive.

    20. I postponed a show to February 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 at the time that the shows included in the presentation plan are presented, they will comply with the Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Performing Acts Sector, Performance Halls and Movie Theatres – COVID-19 (in French). At the time of the update required by the CALQ, the show shall be maintained in the program if it can comply with the rule.

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

      Yes, the show will remain eligible for the measure and will be regarded as a show that had to be cancelled. If you realize any online-presentation income, it will not be counted as box-office income and can be allocated to your expenses for presentation on the web.

    22. I had decided not to present this fall. Can I reverse this decision?

      Yes, you have until November 20 to define your programming and submit an application.

    23. I direct an orchestra. Can I plan and submit an application for large-ensemble concerts even if the sanitary measures in place do not permit it at the time that I am submitting my application?

      When submitting the application, the applicant must make a commitment that at the time that the shows included in the presentation plan are presented, they will comply with the Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Performing Acts Sector, Performance Halls and Movie Theatres – COVID-19 (in French). At the time of the update required by the CALQ, the show shall be maintained in the program if it can comply with the rule.

    24. The limit for my venue lets me sell 200 tickets under COVID-19 restrictions. If I do not manage to sell all of them, will the calculation of the grant take that into account? Will my organization be compensated for the tickets that it was unable to sell?

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

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

      Yes, no problem. You will have time to finalize these agreements during the weeks after you submit the application.

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

      Doing your own calculation could give you a good idea of the grant that will be awarded so that you can plan your programming. However, the exact amount of the grant is subject to certain variables that are hard both for you and for us to predict. That is why the CALQ will announce a preliminary amount that may be revised subsequently on the basis of your update and your report.

    27. What budget does the CALQ have? What proportion of the $50 million announced by the Québec government does the CALQ get?

      The CALQ’s share is $37.5 million.

    28. Are you going to reserve sectoral envelopes?


    29. Could a presenter receive aid for a show that he or she decided to cancel because of low ticket sales?

      No, only performances that are cancelled because the government authorities close the venue are eligible for aid.

    30. Will shows presented to young audiences be included in calculating the average number of tickets sold and the average price per ticket?

      Shows for young audiences will be considered separately. There will therefore be one calculation for the programming for general audiences and another for the programming for young audiences.

    31. 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 considered in calculating the averages for the reference season?

      These shows will be considered in calculating the presenter’s average.

    32. My creation and production organization had planned to co-present a show in January 2021 together with the presenter who hosts us. Is this show eligible for the grant?

      Yes, it is the presenter who must include it in his or her application.

    33. If a show is cancelled, do the artists get paid?

      The contracts have to be respected no matter what. Management of fees must reflect the fact that the Québec government now supports the programs and wants everyone to benefit from this support. In accepting the grant, presenters and producers must provide a commitment from the producer to pay the artists and performing-arts workers, even if a show is cancelled or postponed.

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

      Only performances initially scheduled in October can be cancelled and postponed before March 31, 2021 and benefit from this measure at the time of the cancellation and postponement.

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

      In the case of a show performance that was sold to the public before the pandemic broke out and that is rescheduled into multiple performances, the third and subsequent rescheduled performances are not eligible. You could therefore receive compensation for two of the five rescheduled performances.

    36. 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 three months after the project ends. This report will enable the CALQ to confirm that the presenters and producers have met their commitments regarding payment of the artists, rights holders and performing-arts workers. 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 the present measure.

    37. My organization has performances at several venues. Is the number of eligible performances counted per venue?

      No. The grant applies to 50% of the total number of performances in Québec at all venues during the reference year. For example, if you had 100 performances at venue X and 50 performances at venue Y, for a total of 150, you can apply for financial assistance for 75 performances (50% of 150) regardless of the venue where you will perform.

    38. In the report and in the presentation plan, does the ticket price include the service fees?

      Yes, service fees are included in box office receipts.

    39. When do I have to notify the CALQ that my organization is in a zone that is red or has just turned red?

      When you submit your application, you must provide the information on line 9 of the presentation plan in the application form.
      After November 20, the deadline for submitting your application, you will need to fill out the specific form for this purpose and send it to the CALQ at

    40. 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 could provide the presentation report for just the venue you are going to use or for all the venues you used during the reference year. You could fill out the report and the presentation plan for the venue you’re using on one form, and provide a combined report for all the unused venues on another form.

      The choice you make will affect the number of performances for which you will be able to claim compensation, which will of course be higher if it is based on your entire reference programming.

      However, the average ticket price, on which the grant calculation is based, must be the one for the venue used in your presentation plan. So, in your situation, it would be the average ticket price for the large hall used during your reference season. It’s up to you to determine what best matches your programming plans.

    41. Is it possible to continue programming and selling shows in red zones?

      Yes, if the performance is taking place after the end date of the application of government public health guidelines in effect at the time the contract is signed with the show presenter.

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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. I have more questions about the grant program.

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

    10. 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.

Impact of postponements and cancellations on funded projects

    1. Can a project that has received a grant and has been delayed by COVID-19 be put on hold while another project is submitted?

      All currently funded projects are experiencing disruptions. If you have to postpone a project, you must fill out the form on our website and email it to your program officer. You must explain how the pandemic has disrupted your timeline. If the change in your schedule is approved, you will not have to file your grant report immediately and you will be able to submit other applications.

    2. If an organization was awarded a grant for a project which had to be postponed because of COVID-19, can the grant be extended?

      Yes, it is possible to defer a grant if the project end date is extended. You should contact your program officer so they can update your file.

    3. I received funding or a grant that involves travel, but I haven’t booked anything yet. Can I use the grant to pay for travel insurance?

      Yes, travel insurance costs are eligible. The CALQ recommends you look into the health conditions in the country in question and take account of its rules. Health Canada issues recommendations to this effect.

    4. I received funding (Circulation of Works Outside Québec) or a grant (Travel, Circulation of Works). My trip was cancelled, but I will not be reimbursed for all of my expenses. Should I reimburse the grant?

      The CALQ is aware that the emergence of COVID-19 is an extraordinary situation and that its impact is being felt on the projects the CALQ supports. Given the context, you should explain the circumstances and present your justification in your final report. You do not need to reimburse for expenses you have already incurred.

      However, if you have been reimbursed for some of the expenses incurred or you have not used the entire amount of your grant or funding, you need to reimburse amounts not spent, in keeping with our terms of allocation of funding or a grant.

    5. I received funding (Circulation of Works Outside Québec) or a grant (Travel, Circulation of Works) to take part in an event that was cancelled. I will not be reimbursed for all of my expenses. Should I reimburse the grant?

      See the answer to previous question.

    6. I received funding (Circulation of Works Outside Québec) or a grant (Travel, Circulation of Works). I must postpone or change my project. Can I do that?

      You do not need to report minor changes to dates or projects. However, you can report substantial changes to your project by email to the person responsible for your file.

    7. I received funding (Circulation of Works Outside Québec) or a grant (Travel, Circulation of Works), and I have incurred additional expenses because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19 (for example, a change in expenses or the postponement of tour dates). Can I submit a new application to have these additional expenses covered?

      You do not need to submit a new application. The CALQ encourages you to present these items in your final grant use report so that additional aid can be awarded if necessary.

    8. I submitted an application for financial support that involves travel abroad. How will this affect the evaluation of my application?

      In accordance with the directives issued by the Government of Canada, it is recommended that you do not travel abroad. As such, no grants will be awarded for international travel until further notice.

International travel and tours

    1. Can I submit an application for travel or a tour?

      You can submit an application for international travel and tours. The CALQ recommends you look into the health conditions in the country in question and take account of its rules for the period of your stay. Your application must demonstrate the feasibility of your project and show responsible planning for the risks incurred (taking into account health guidelines, taking out health insurance, cancellation insurance, etc.).

Any other question?

  • I have a question. Who should I contact?

    You can contact the person responsible for your file.

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