COVID-19 Update and Resources

COVID-19 Update and Resources

COVID-19 Resources

The FilmOntario office continues to operate 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.



Film and Television production has resumed in the City of Toronto. As always, contact the Film Office with questions about permits and filming.

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 of Toronto has established the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild. Film Commissioner Marguerite Pigott has a leadership role in this Office and will be instrumental in the City’s recovery. FilmOntario has also participated in consultations with the City on how best to support the industry through the recovery period. 

The BusinessTO Support Centre also provides one-on-one virtual support to help businesses, not-for-profits and creative/culture organizations complete applications for Government of Canada COVID-19 funding programs.

The City of Toronto  released a video detailing how the film and TV community came together to provide support for those who need it. Please continue to share these stories with us. 



Film and television production has resumed across the province of Ontario. Ontario Creates has launched Ready to Roll on their website as a resource with all the information you need on getting back to work in the province.

Ontario Creates staff continue to work 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. Tax credit applications continue to be processed, with e-transfers being preferred for application fee payments. Please see your April 20 member update for a full update on tax credits.

The province announced the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program on April 24 to provide rent relief to small businesses. Funded jointly with the federal government, the program covers 50% of a commercial tenant’s rent, with the landlord and tenant agreeing to split the remaining 50%. The deadline for new applications is August 31, 2020; if you already applied and now wish to apply for the extended period which covers July, the deadline for an extension is September 14, 2020.

The March 26th Ontario Economic and Fiscal Update and Action Plan in response to COVID-19 included a series of business supports, including:

  • a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, including the EHT;
  • the ability to defer employer WSIB payments for up to six months; and
  • a temporary increase to the EHT exemption to $1 million for companies.

There was also an update to the OPSTC legislation. Check your member update for more information.



The Canada Media Fund is maintaining a COVID-19 Information Hub for Canada’s Screen-based Industries. Telefilm is also maintaining a dedicated information page with COVID-19 updates and is providing regular updates about project financing.

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

CAVCO is continuing to process applications even where payment has not been received; payment must be received before a certificate can be issued. They have also asked that, when submitting videos for Part B applications, that videos be sent through the web portal rather than the mail.

CRA has confirmed that its Toronto Film Service Unit is operational and they are taking steps to process returns promptly. See your April 20 member update for more details. CRA encourages tax credit applicants to register under the My Business Account and to use the direct deposit feature to facilitate the efficient processing and payment of funds.

Phase 2 of the Federal Government’s industry-specific COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund is now being rolled out. Refer to the CMF and Telefilm websites for information on how the support is being allocated.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been extended into December and now covers a wider range of employers.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit has been extended from 16 to 24 weeks for those who have lost work due to COVID-19 and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Individual and business tax amounts owing have been deferred until September 30, 2020.

Details on these programs continue to be revised and modified; we will update this site as new information becomes available. A complete list of federal government support programs for businesses and individuals can be found here.

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.