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. Soutien à la diffusion de spectacles québécois

With the extension of the Mesure particulière à la diffusion de spectacles, the CALQ continues supporting organizations that want to present Québec shows 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.

The Mesure particulière à la diffusion de spectacles will be maintained during 2021-2022 as long as conditions warrant. However, this call for applications is specifically for the period of April 1 to August 31, 2021.

The main changes between the first iteration of the measure (October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021) and the current one (April 1 to August 31, 2021) are:

  • Multiple performances resulting from the rescheduling of a show that was sold to the public before the pandemic broke out are eligible.
  • There will be no update of the programming during the designated period.

Important notice

Following the announcement of the Reopening Plan, the CALQ has made a few changes to the forms Données de diffusion (avec bilan) and Données de diffusion (sans bilan) to reflect the relaxed rules planned for live shows across Québec.

Please read the recent changes before applying for financial aid.

Important advice for completing your application

Is your organization preparing to apply for financial aid as part of the Mesure particulière à la diffusion de spectacles, for the period of April 1 to August 31, 2021? If so, please take note of the following points.

Eligibility of cancelled performances (new rules)

  • Cancelled performances are eligible only if they were cancelled for one of the following reasons:

– closing of venues by the Government of Québec;

– inability to reschedule a performance because of time constraints (the 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.

  • 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.

If your organization is preparing to submit an application for financial assistance under the Mesure particulière à la diffusion de spectacles for the period of April 1 to August 31, 2021, please note the following details.

The list of organizations supported in 2020-2021 is now available.

For whom

Professional organizations that present Québec shows in the performing arts (circus arts, song, dance, comedy, music, theatre, variety), multidisciplinary arts or literature and storytelling, multidisciplinary and specialized presenters, creation and production organizations that present their own works and national and international events.

June 7, 2021, 10 a.m

Exemples of projects
  • Compensation for lost revenue (cancelled show)
    Eligible applicants can receive a grant to compensate them for the loss of box-office receipts for a Québec show that was to be presented and had to be cancelled
  • Support for the presentation of Québec shows (presented show)
    Eligible applicants can receive a grant to ensure the viability of paid-admission shows, promote diverse programming and stimulate employment at every link in the performance chain


2. Exploration and Digital Deployment

The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec wants to help Québec artists, writers and arts organizations stay connected to their audiences by exploiting the full potential of digital tools. To provide more support for digital projects, the CALQ is making the Exploration and Digital Deployment program available again.

Selected projects could receive up to $100,000 in funding. The CALQ also wants the financial assistance to support fair remuneration for artists and cultural workers.

Projects that increase the amount of Québec content online and its dissemination, improve its discoverability or help artistic organizations and writers take ownership of digital technology, among others, are eligible. The CALQ also invites applicants to consult the Guide des bonnes pratiques : découvrabilité et données en culture (PDF format in French) produced by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications.

The purpose of the program is to encourage artists, writers and arts organizations to use digital technology to its full potential and to ensure they receive fair remuneration for their work.

Adaptations of existing works for digital dissemination, in accordance with best practices, and innovative, lasting digital dissemination projects are among the types of projects that will be given preference.

For whom
Artists, writers and organizations in all disciplines.

Artists: Any time before the beginning of the project (until funds are exhausted).
Organizations: September 9, 2021.

Examples of projects
  • Adaptation of existing works for digital dissemination
  • Projects that promote the acquisition and sharing of skills and digital literacy
  • Innovative, lasting digital dissemination projects
  • Projects that improve the discoverability of Québec content



3. Support to performing arts presentation organizations (CLOSED)

*Please note that the projects submission deadline for this program was on May, 12th 2021. Therefor, it is no longer possible to submit any new project. The information below is left simply as a reference.

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, final-year students at post-secondary institutions offering specialized art programs, and arts organizations in all disciplines supported by the CALQ who wish 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.



4. 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.


5. 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.




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