COVID-19 Update and Resources

COVID-19 Update and Resources

The FilmOntario office is now operating remotely. Cynthia Lynch, Managing Director and Counsel, can be reached as always by email at or by phone at 416-906-5408.

FilmOntario is working with our industry and government partners to provide solutions and support to the industry through this period of shutdown and lack of work. The provincial government has committed to maintaining support for our industry and the film and television tax credits. Check your email for member updates to get the latest information on this work.

Please find below a list of resources available to individuals and businesses from all levels of government. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.


City of Toronto

Mayor Tory has created an Economic Support & Recovery Task force to help protect the City’s economy during the global pandemic. FilmOntario participated in a Film and TV industry roundtable on March 16th to provide input into industry challenges and potential solutions.

The City has created a central resource for the actions it is taking. The page also includes links to supports from other levels of government.

On March 20th the Mayor announced a 60-day grace period for City of Toronto property tax, water and solid waste utility bill payments for all residents and businesses.

Toronto City Hall is closed, but Film Office staff are working remotely; contact them with any permit-related or other location questions.


Province of Ontario

Ontario Creates staff are working remotely and can be reached by email and phone, although email is the preferred method of communication. For updates on industry programs and other activities, refer to the Ontario Creates website.

On March 19th, the Province passed legislation protecting the jobs of employees who need to miss work due to COVID-19 quarantines for them or their families.

Many productions have already collected Personal Protective Equipment to donate to hospitals who are running short on these supplies. The government of Ontario has created a central website where companies can submit ideas on how to draw on the province’s resources to find other innovative ways to meet the current demands. Visit Ontario Together to see what is needed and how you can help.

An Economic Update is planned for Thursday, March 26th, which is expected to include information on financial support.




Government of Canada

The Department of Canadian Heritage has created an information page for those who receive grants and other funding.

Telefilm is maintaining a dedicated information page with COVID-19 updates and has provided this update about project financing. You can also access Canada Media Fund news releases here.

CAVCO has asked that, when submitting videos for Part B applications, that videos be sent through the web portal rather than the mail.

On March 18th, the federal government announced a series of financial supports for individuals and businesses.

For individuals:

  • For those who are eligible for EI benefits, the 1-week waiting period and the need to provide a medical certificate to qualify for sickness benefits have been waived.
  • A new benefit, the Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly, will be available to those who do not qualify for EI sickness benefits (including independent contractors and the self-employed) and who are sick or quarantined due to COVID-19, or have lost employment income due to having to provide childcare because of school shutdowns. Applications will be available in April through personal CRA and Service Canada accounts, and by phone (number to be announced)
  • The government also announced an Emergency Support Benefit, which will provide up to $5 billion for workers who are not eligible for EI. Details are not yet available for this program.

For businesses:

  • Corporations eligible for the small business deduction, non-profits and charities are eligible for a wage subsidy. The government will provide eligible employers with a subsidy equal to 10% of remuneration paid over a three-month period, to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. These businesses will also be able to reduce their remittances of income tax withheld on their employee’s remuneration.
  • The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.

Individual and business tax returns will not need to be filed until June 1, 2020, and payments on taxes owing have been deferred until after August 31, 2020.

Details on some of these programs are still to be released; we will update this site as the information becomes available.

Note: many of these individual and business programs may be administered through CRA. It may be a good time to make sure your tax status is up to date. You can set up or check a CRA Account now.