News Centre

A selection of news, press releases and events posted regularly:

  • As the theatre world scrambles to 'do better,' it's time these Black trailblazers get their due


    The last month has felt like a gruelling journey, as George Floyd's murder at the hands of police sent a ripple across the world that turned into a tidal wave. Outside of the Black community, I have never in my lifetime seen this kind of response to the unjust killing of a Black person or to anti-Black racism. Every industry began to scramble to make statements and respond to the protests and outpouring of awareness. The Canadian art world also joined in, posting statements and Black squares — some less successfully than others.

    I will admit, as I watched Canadian theatres display their contrition attached with pictures of Black actors from past productions, I was incredulous. Then I got angry and wanted people to know the truth.

    As the artistic producer at Obsidian Theatre from 2010 to 2016 (and a longtime employee before then), I have seen firsthand how much work Black theatre artists have done — and how little credit they have gotten for it. During my time there, I watched co-founder and outgoing artistic director Philip Akin take phone call after phone call from Black artists looking for help navigating the racism they faced inside these companies. Akin, who will be stepping down as artistic director after nearly 15 years on June 30th, did not mince words when it came time for him to pen Obsidian's statement. Read More

    Kaleb Alexander and Mazin Elsadig in Obsidian Theatre's 2019 production of Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu, directed by Philip Akin. (Cesar Ghisilieri).

  • Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts

    26-Jun-2020 Situation of artists and arts organizations
    In this issue: Insights into the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts and culture, based on four Canadian and American surveys.

    Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian Artists and Independent Cultural Workers
    Interim Report based on I Lost My Gig Canada Survey Data as of May 27
    I Lost My Gig Canada, June 2020

    The results of this survey show that a total of 28,500 gigs are expected to be lost or are at risk (average of 36 per respondent for the 796 people responding to questions about lost gigs through the end of 2020). The total income estimated to be lost or at risk through the end of the year is just over $20 million (average of $25,200 per respondent). Expected losses represent 83% of respondents’ average arts-related income in 2019 ($30,500).


    Early COVID-19 Impacts on OAC-Funded Arts Organizations
    Survey Findings
    Ontario Arts Council, April 2020

    In early April, the Ontario Arts Council conducted an online survey of organizations that had received either a project or an operating grant over the previous two years, with the objective of gathering “some high-level indicators of the early impacts of COVID-19 on OAC-funded arts organizations”. Based on 441 survey responses, this report concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic “will have devastating and multi-layered impacts” on responding organizations over both the short and long terms.

    Impacts on Montreal’s cultural sector: Coronavirus (COVID-19) questionnaire
    (Évaluation des impacts sur le milieu culturel montréalais : Coronavirus (COVID-19) questionnaire)
    Culture Montréal, March and April 2020

    Two fact sheets summarize the early results of separate surveys on the impacts of COVID-19 on Montreal artists and cultural organizations.

    The Economic Impact of Coronavirus on the Arts and Culture Sector
    Americans for the Arts, May 2020

    This regularly updated dashboard summarizes findings from American surveys related to the financial impacts of the novel coronavirus on the arts and culture sector.

  • CERB payments to be extended for 2 more months


    The Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) is being extended by two more months, even as the government encourages people to look for jobs and to go back to work when it's possible to do so.

    CERB has provided taxable payments of $2,000 for up to four months to Canadians who lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the financial supports will be extended for eight weeks for those who still can't work as provinces and territories gradually reopen their economies.

    "The reality is that there are three million people out of work who are looking for work, and even as our economy is reopening, there are many, many more people out of work, willing to work, than there are jobs available," he said. Read More

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a two-month extension to the Canada emergency response benefit today. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

  • Toronto Foundation Accepting Applications for Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund


    Vulnerable residents in Toronto continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched on May 19, 2020, the Government of Canada’s new Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) aims to provide additional assistance to organizations serving vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada is flowing funds through national networks, including Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

    As one of Canada’s 191 community foundations, Toronto Foundation is proud to be working with CFC and the Government of Canada to deliver funding in Toronto to better support the city’s most vulnerable. Through the ECSF, we will be investing an additional $5.1 million to support the critical services local charities provide. This fund will provide individual grants of up to $75,000 for emergency support.

    Click HERE for more information. 

  • We commit to make meaningful change / Nous nous engageons d’effectuer des changements significatifs


    At CDA we have stood by our colleagues, friends, community members, and neighbours in the cry for a more just world. We continue to take a stand against any form of racism, harassment, or abuse of power. We condemn the brutal and unjust treatment of Blacks worldwide, that has once again, been brought to the forefront revealing the deep extent of decades of oppression on people of African Descent.

    Now more than ever we need to come together to make a difference so that generations to come will understand the foundation of racist behavior and eradicate systems that support it, so we will start to build a future that is truly fair and equitable for all.

    CDA recognizes that systemic barriers have affected access to opportunities, which has led to inequities for many artists. We commit to supporting the work of Canadian artists and organizations and to elevate those who have been historically underserved.

    We commit to action and continue to make meaningful change:

    • Pursue regular, ongoing competency training for staff, National Council, and our community at large
    • Advocate for policies that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion; challenge systems and policies that create in-equity, oppression, and disparity
    • Enact healthy and equitable policies and procedures
    • Examine internal systems to improve de-centralization, decolonization, and equitable workplaces and programming, or other areas that have been brought to our attention

    There is a seismic shift challenging the status quo and we are all in this together knowing serious work must be done to bring about real change. There has never been more urgency to come together and raise our voices. Black Lives Matter.


    L’ACD a appuyé ses collègues, amis, partenaires et voisins en faveur d’un monde plus juste. Nous nous élevons de nouveau contre toute forme de racisme, de harcèlement ou d’abus de pouvoir. Nous condamnons le traitement brutal et injuste des Noirs partout dans le monde, traitement qui revient sur la scène et qui révèle l’oppression que subissent les personnes d’ascendance africaine depuis des décennies.

    Plus que jamais, nous devons nous serrer les coudes pour faire une différence en ce monde, et ce de manière à ce que les générations futures comprennent les fondements du comportement raciste et éradiquent les systèmes qui le soutiennent. C’est ainsi seulement que nous pourrons bâtir un avenir juste et équitable pour tous.

    L’ACD reconnaît l’existence d’obstacles systémiques qui se traduisent par des inéquités dont souffrent de nombreux artistes. Nous sommes résolu.e.s à soutenir le travail des artistes et organismes canadiens et à mettre en valeur ceux qui ont été mal desservis par le passé.

    Nous nous engageons à agir et à continuer d’effectuer des changements significatifs, ainsi :

    • poursuivre des formations régulières en matière de compétences à l’intention du personnel, du Conseil national et de l’ensemble du secteur,
    • mettre de l’avant des politiques de promotion de l’équité, de la diversité et de l’inclusion, et revoir les systèmes et politiques porteurs d’inéquité, d’oppression et de disparité,
    • adopter des politiques et des procédures saines et équitables,
    • examiner les systèmes internes pour favoriser la décentralisation, la décolonisation et l’équité des milieux de travail et des programmes qui nous auront été signalés.

    C’est un virage radical qu’il nous faut prendre par rapport au statu quo et, ensemble, nous devons travailler à réaliser des changements véritables. Plus que jamais auparavant, nous devons serrer les rangs et nous faire entendre. Black Lives Matter.


Canadian Dance Assembly
55 Mill Street, Suite 312
Case Goods Building #74
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
Tel: 1.416.515.8444
Fax: 1.416.515.9444