Canada’s National Arts Centre and Facebook will pay musicians for livestreams

Since COVID-19 has cancelled all concerts for the foreseeable future and closed music venues across the country, many artists have launched livestreams to help fill the void. But though it might be a good artistic and creative outlet – a way of connecting people through music at a time when we’re all distancing – livestreaming isn’t exactly a financial windfall for musicians who’ve lost all of their touring revenue

The National Arts Centre has teamed up with Facebook to offer artists a paid alternative to the livestreaming they’re already doing. The Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will provide $100,000 in artists fees to support online performances.

The first in the #CanadaPerforms series, which will run on NAC’s Facebook page, will take place today (Thursday, March 19) at 2 pm EST. Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy and his Jim Cuddy Band will be joined by Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley and Colin Cripps. The artists will perform in a studio and stand 1.5 metres apart from each other.

Other early performances include Serena Ryder, William Prince, Irish Mythen, Erin Costelo and Whitehorse.

UPDATE (3/23): After a donation from Slaight Music, the National Arts Centre has doubled the grant to $200,000

The fund pays $1,000 to each act for their livestream performances. Performing artists or ensembles (less than 10 people) can apply by emailing and providing a description of their 45-60 minute performance, when they wish to share and on what platform. 


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