Cultural Relaunch

Measures to help artists, writers and organizations weather the crisis

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) has introduced ad hoc measures to support artists, writers and cultural organizations.

1. Support to performing arts presentation organizations

The CALQ announces the return of the Physically Distanced Performances measure, which was a resounding success in 2020 and made it possible for Quebecers to enjoy a host of artistic performances while observing public health restrictions. The purpose of this measure is to enable organizations – and, this year, artists – to explore ways to present their works to live audiences during the pandemic. A $5 million budget has been allocated to this financial assistance, including $1.5 million announced by the government in the provincial budget.

The CALQ is providing temporary financial support for ad hoc initiatives to help make it possible to present shows to live audiences in environments that respect government restrictions on gatherings, excluding performance halls. Projects must also comply with the Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Performing Acts Sector, Performance Halls and Movie Theatres – COVID-19.

Important: please note that applications for this measure must:

  • be for projects that take place between May 12 and October 31, 2021
  • be for projects that have an established duration and timeline at the time the application is submitted
  • include all relevant confirmations if the project involves partners or requires access authorizations

For whom

Artists and arts organizations in all disciplines supported by the CALQ that want to bring the performing arts to live audiences.

Important reminder for organizations that work in visual arts, digital arts, film and video art, arts and crafts, or architectural research :

Note that eligible professional organizations that work in visual arts, digital arts, film and video art, arts and crafts, or architectural research can also apply to the Manifestation et présentation publique program.

It is a program that supports exhibitions, symposiums, colloquiums, performance programs and programming in digital arts and film and video art, as well as conferences, public experimentation workshops, themed meetings, “art and the community” projects, audience development projects or any other activity of a similar nature, which may or may not involve travel inside or outside Québec.

May 12, 2021

Examples of projects
  • Presentation of shows to limited audiences, in parks, facing balconies of residential buildings, co-properties or seniors’ homes, in alleys, in streets transformed into terraces, in a location that accommodates cars, or shopping centre parking lots.
  • Shows that make their way through the streets.



2. Call for projects: Recherche, creation et préproduction

To help maintain artistic productions of high quality when cultural activities return to normal, the CALQ is issuing a call for projects to creation and production organizations in the performing arts and multidisciplinary arts.

The ad hoc financial support will enable organizations to work intensively on their projects and carry out all the steps leading up to the presentation of a show, from research to rehearsals.

With this assistance, the CALQ aims to give organizations that are not receiving mission support the means to pursue their creative endeavours and advance their projects.

For whom
Creation and production organizations that create, produce and present performances on an ad hoc basis in circus arts, multidisciplinary arts, dance, music and theatre.

An application may be submitted at any point before the start of the project.

Examples of projects
  • Research and writing.
  • Creation of a mise en scène, choreography, etc.
  • Design and fabrication (set design, sound design, lighting design, costumes, set construction, etc.)
  • Workshopping and rehearsals.
  • Creation of a musical work.
  • Creation residencies.


3. Enhancement of the grant program and temporary expansion of eligibility criteria

Funding for artists, writers and independent curators has also been increased. These amounts will make it possible to support more grant recipients.

On February, the CALQ announced a review of its grant program for artists to better contribute to the development of careers in the arts, particularly those of artist-entrepreneurs. Relaxed eligibility conditions, expansion of the types of activities supported and adjustment of the maximum amounts were among the changes made. CALQ grants, structured into nine sections, can therefore fund professional development, post-production, composition and writing activities.


Temporary eligibility of final-year students in post-secondary institutions offering specialized art programs who can submit an application without having participated in a professional production outside of their training.

Emerging humorists are also eligible for certain components (pilot project) : Research and Exploration, Creation and Professional Development.

For whom
Professional artists, writers and independent curators (recognized in the fields of visual arts, arts and crafts, architectural research and digital arts as well as film and video art), final-year student in post-secondary institutions specializing in art and emerging humorists.

An application may be submitted at any point before the start of the project.

Examples of projects
  • Research and exploration prior to the realization of a new work.
  • Adaptation of works to a new medium.
  • Creation and recording of scenic music.
  • Writing a work of fiction, literary performances, essays or screenplays.


4. Soutien à la diffusion de spectacles québécois (SOON)

The CALQ will make the application form for financial assistance under this measure available as soon as possible. At this time, we can advise applicants that, to allow for developments in the public health situation and changes in government health restrictions, the following rules will apply:

• Performances that could not be rescheduled during the prescribed times and had to be cancelled are eligible;

• In cases where it is uncertain whether it will be possible to present a performance, a grace period to make up for any cancellations will be granted. The grace period will be four weeks before the planned date of the performance and four weeks after the announcement of changes to health restrictions by public health authorities.

As a reminder, on March 18, 2021, the ministre de la Culture et des Communications, Nathalie Roy, announced an additional amount of $ 18 million to continue to support the measure Soutien pour la diffusion de spectacles québécois. More than 4,700 performances of Quebec shows have so far benefited from financial assistance thanks to this measure.

Pour qui
Organismes professionnels qui présentent des spectacles québécois en arts de la scène (arts du cirque, chanson, danse, humour, musique, théâtre, variétés), en arts multidisciplinaires, en littérature et/ou en conte, notamment les diffuseurs pluridisciplinaires et spécialisés, les organismes de création et de production qui autodiffusent leurs œuvres et les événements nationaux et internationaux.

Date limite
To be determined soon

Exemples de soutien admissible
  • Compensation pour pertes de revenus (spectacle annulé)
    Une subvention sera accordée aux clientèles admissibles pour compenser les pertes de revenus de billetterie liées à des spectacles québécois qui devaient être présentés et qui doivent être annulés en raison des mesures prescrites par la Santé publique faisant passer une région en zone rouge.
  • Soutien à la diffusion de spectacles québécois (spectacle présenté)
    Une subvention sera accordée aux clientèles admissibles pour assurer la viabilité des spectacles québécois payants, favoriser une programmation diversifiée ainsi que stimuler les emplois dans toute la chaîne du spectacle.

5. Digital exploration and deployment (CLOSED)

We would like to help provide more support for digital initiatives by making the Digital Exploration and Deployment program available at any time. Projects selected could receive funding of up to $100,000.

Projects submitted may make it possible, in part, to increase the amount of Québec content online and its dissemination, optimize the discoverability of this content, and accelerate the appropriation of digital technology by artistic organizations and artists.

The purpose of this change to the program is to encourage artists, writers and arts and literary organizations to use digital technology to its full potential and to ensure they receive fair compensation for their artistic performances.

*Please note that the submission of projects for the Digital exploration and deployment measure is no longer available.

For whom
Artists, writers and organizations in all disciplines.

Submission of projects for artists will remain possible until 5 p.m. on September 14, 2020. Submission of projects for organizations ended last August 3.

Examples of projects
  • Adaptation of existing works for digital dissemination according to good practices.
  • Production of podcasts.
  • Innovative, lasting digital dissemination projects.



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