Dear Students and Alumni,

We are making every effort to keep our community at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre safe. All activities in-person are suspended at 80 Winchester so that we can continue with social distancing and self-isolation to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Many of us are concerned with lost wages and contracts, so the School has compiled a list of resources to share with you. There are many financial and other supports available. Below you will find a summary of all of the resources that we’ve identified to date.

1. FINANCIAL SUPPORT – What you can apply for and how
2. OTHER SUPPORT – Rent, utilities, mental health, taxes, and who is hiring?
3. FOR GRADUATES – Student loans, working artists

The uncertainty is felt by all, and the road map is unclear, but we hope that this information will be helpful.

Be safe, healthy, and well!

The School of Toronto Dance Theatre

FINANCIAL SUPPORT – What you can apply for and how

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • $500/week benefit for those who have stopped working because of COVID-19
  • Workers residing in Canada are eligible. This includes international students
  • You must have had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to applying
  • You must not have done paid work for at least 14 consecutive days. This refers to when the work was done, not when you were paid
  • The benefit is available for prescribed 4-week periods. You can’t choose your own 4-week periods. The first 4-week period is March 15 – April 11 and the last period ends on October 3.
  • You can apply for one 4-week period at a time. If you are still without work after those 4 weeks, you can apply again. You can apply up to 4 times.
  • You will apply using MyAccount through the CRA. If you are unable to create an account, you will be able to call 1-800-959-2019 to apply
  • You still qualify if you aren’t up to date in filing your taxes. If you missed filing taxes from 2018 or earlier, you will need to use the phone number
  • How to Prepare: although you can’t apply yet, you can get ready now.
    o The application opens on April 6, but the day of the week when you can apply is based on your birth month. Check the How to Prepare site for details

National Theatre School of Canada (NTS)

  • $60,000 in support of emerging artists through 80 grants of $750
  • For theatre artists in training, or artists who have completed a theatre training program within the past five years, to present a piece of art online.
  • To submit a project, fill out the application form by March 31, 2020
  • Projects will be evaluated based on the originality of the concept, coherence of the application, relevance, and feasibility

#CANADAPERFORMS – National Arts Centre (NAC)

  • The Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will provide $100,000 in artists fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020
  • For artists who would like to post a 45 to 60 minute online performance.  Selected artists will receive a financial grant, and their performances will be shared on the NAC’s Facebook page
  • Performing artists or ensemble (less than 10 people) need to write to [email protected] with their name, a description of the performance, when they wish to share and on what platform.

Glad Day

  • Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers
  • This is a fund to swiftly help LGBTQ2S people who cannot pay for food, medicine, rent and necessities because most of their income doesn’t come from an employer
  • Offer both grants and loans to people from $200-$1200, based on need

COVID-19- GTA Black Community Emergency Support Fund

  • Black Lives Matter- Toronto has launched a fund for Black folks in the GTA who need extra support during these times.
  • One-time stipends of $125 or $250 depending on need

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

  • Low-income customers who are behind on their bill may be eligible for financial assistance in paying their electricity and natural gas bills

Ontario Energy Support Program (OESP)

  • A program that lowers electricity bills for lower-income households. The OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size
  • The program is available to all lower-income customers who have accounts with electricity distributors or unit sub-meter providers



For Renters

  • Although the city has no power to tell landlords what to do with regard to rent, the Mayor has strongly urged all property owners to find ways to help tenants. He made it clear that he expects landlords to proactively communicate with their tenants. If yours hasn’t, reach out to them if you need help.
  • No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice. Even if a landlord has already given written notice, the tenant does not have to leave.

Toronto Hydro

  • Their Customer Care team is available to help with billing concerns and payment options. Financial assistance programs are available
  • Electricity disconnection for unpaid bills has been suspended
  • Time-of-use hydro pricing is being eliminated and customers will pay at the off-peak rate for at least 45 days. This pricing will be applied automatically as of March 24. If you receive a bill before the new pricing is applied, a credit will be applied to your next bill.

Other Utilities (Water/Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management)

  • The City is extending the due date for all bills issued by an additional 60 days
  • Any pending automated withdrawals that have been scheduled within the next 60-day period will be suspended. Customers that wish to remit payments as originally scheduled may submit payments at any time through their bank

Mental health resources and support

Harm Reduction Coalition – Guidance for people who use drugs and harm reduction programs

Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) – for those who already receive a GSTC quarterly

  • There will be a one-time special payment in May, 2020
  • On average, it will be approximately $400 for individuals and $600 for couples

Tax Return Filing

  • Deadline to file taxes has been extended to June 1, 2020
  • Deadline to remit any payment owed extended to September 1, 2020

Who is Hiring

  • Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart: temporary workers for its stores and distribution centres.
  • Sobeys
  • Walmart Canada: plans to hire 10,000 more employees to work in its stores and distribution centres.
  • Dollarama: anticipates hiring thousands of across the country over the coming weeks and months.
  • Domino’s Pizza: hiring fill- and part-time team members, including pizza makers, delivery experts and customer service representatives.
  • Goodfood: hiring over 500 employees in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver



Canada Student Loans

  • Effective March 30, repayment of loans is automatically paused until September 30 with no accrual of interest
    This includes pre-authorized debit payments


  • Provide support to entertainment professionals
  • To be eligible, you must have earned the majority of your income from entertainment industry work in 2019

TOArtist COVID Response Fund

  • The Fund will allocate up to $1000 to self-employed, individual artists resident in Toronto whose creative work and income have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • For vulnerable artists in the Toronto arts and culture sector, specifically, artists who are self-employed and are NOT eligible for Employee Insurance (EI).

Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad

  • If are outside Canada and are directly impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help you return to Canada and to cover your short-term needs while you work toward returning
  • You are eligible if you are a Canadian citizen impacted by COVID-19 who plans to return to Canada and who has no other source of funds. We will consider that you plan to return to Canada if you had a return flight booked and your flight was cancelled/delayed or if you attempted to book a flight, but cannot due to the travel restrictions or exorbitant pricing