COVID-19 Support Resources

Transitioning from CERB to the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who have stopped working and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB - Freelancers Eligible)

Stan Brown Benevolent Fund

The CMA Executive has approved grants of $200/member to cover necessities such as food and rent during this unprecedented time. These emergency grants are accessible by making a one paragraph application stating your need to Chairman Dick Worton at or 403-239-7807. Applications are strictly confidential.

AFM Musicians’ Relief Fund

The Musicians’ Relief Fund helps union musicians who work gig to gig and are confronting extraordinary financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that you must meet ALL of the following five requirements to apply for financial assistance:

  1. You must currently be a member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.
  2. You must be primarily engaged as a freelance musician.
  3. You must not be receiving post-COVID-19 lockdown payments of any sort from a musical employer, which payments flow from an agreement between an employer and AFM or one of its locals.
  4. You must reside and work in the United States or Canada.
  5. You have lost work due to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be received by November 15, 2020. Payment amount is subject to availability of funds. Initial payments will not exceed $300, but may be revised upward if additional funding permits.

Actors’ Fund of Canada

Over the years many of our members have turned to the Actors’ Fund of Canada, which has been in existence since 1958. Now over 60 years after those visionary actors put $5 into a pot, the Fund they created disburses over $500,000 annually to cover necessities for members of all the many and various trades and professions that make up the entertainment industry, including musicians.

Common requests include:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Grocery costs
  • Medical costs
  • Emergency dental costs
  • Utility bills
  • Dues (maximum of one year’s worth of dues; no initiation fees)
  • Childcare expenses

COVID-19 Guide

Unison Benevolent Fund

This Fund is an assistance program created and administered for the music community, by the music community. Unison is designed to provide discreet relief to music industry personnel in times of personal hardship and crisis.

If you are deemed eligible and receive funds from CERB or from EI, you may still apply for Unison’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. To learn more information regarding Unison’s financial assistance program and to register with Unison, click below

Petrillo Fund Financial Assistance

In response to the fast-moving events associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, we wish to remind local officers and AFM members of the availability of limited emergency financial aid through the AFM's Lester Petrillo Fund. The Fund was established to assist members-in-good standing who become ill or disabled and are unable to accept work. The following circumstances would qualify for assistance:

  1. A member is diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  2. A member tests positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is quarantined.

Members and Local Officers may download Petrillo Fund applications here. Completed applications together with supportive medical documentation should be submitted by members to their local unions, which will then submit them to the Federation.

Government Support

Please check for updates and operational dates.



Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB - Freelancers Eligible)

Public Health

Canada Council and CBC – Digital Originals

Calgary Arts Development

Save Live Arts Initiative

For information on this initiative as well as the petition visit

#CanadaPerforms Initiative

#CanadaPerforms is a $200,000 short-term relief fund that pays Canadian artists for their online performances.

AFM Canadian Office

Vice-President from Canada Letter to Governments

Other Info

Updates will be posted as they are received. Thank you and stay healthy!!!