The Writers Trust and Canada Council for the Arts have partnered to create an artist emergency fund for writers. RBC is in there too, but given how much I’ve paid them in banking fees over time, it’s not so much a “thank you” they deserve as a “finally”. If you’re writer adjacent and flush with cash during this time because you are rich or your employer continues to pay you, please consider donating to the fund. Link at the strangely designed website above (you have to scroll down for the content.)
The current public health emergency has triggered an economic crisis for self-employed workers across Canada. Professional literary creators have been especially hard hit.
Within a matter of days, book tours, lectures, performances, and school visits were cancelled. Other sources of income in the form of contracts for publishing-related or non-related projects have disappeared or been indefinitely postponed. Many professional writers and visual artists are left struggling to buy groceries or medications or pay rent.
Each year the Writers’ Trust distributes money to writers in need through its emergency grant program, the Woodcock Fund. These grants are invaluable, but demand during the present crisis exceeds what that program can match. The Writers’ Trust and Writers’ Union have approached partners to develop a coordinated response to this urgent need. They have collectively raised $150,000 so far for this project, and continue to talk to other participants and funding bodies about the possibility of increasing the pool of funds available.