Bean Bag Chat

BeanBagChat offers free, safe, and engaging support with:

  • online peer support and/or counselling from partner organizations
  • online mental health support tools
  • a path to face-to-face peer support and counselling at partner organizations

519’s Friendly Check-in Program

The 519 is committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ2S communities.

The 519 is expanding its Friendly Check-In Program during our building closure. The Friendly Check-In Program is:

  • A weekly phone call or email by a 519 staff member who will chat with you and check in on how you are doing
  • An opportunity to let us know what services and programs you need
  • An opportunity for The 519 staff to provide support, information and referrals to you, as needed

The Friendly Check-In Program is not:

  • A crisis phone line
  • Counselling over the phone

We want to stay in touch with you as best we can during the building closure, and want to make sure we can help you get the support you need.

If you are interested in participating in the Friendly Phone Program, please fill out this form.

For more information, please email palsconnect@the519.org or call front desk at 416-392-6874

Toronto Foundation’s Better Toronto Coalition Hub – Weekly Webinar Thursdays at 8AM

No one is untouched by the current circumstances, but the impacts of COVID-19 will not be shared equally. Some of our neighbours have seen their jobs disappear. Part-time and temporary workers may be facing the impossible question of whether to pay for food or rent. They may have to visit a food bank for the first time ever. Those with mental health challenges will no doubt be triggered. Frontline workers supporting our most vulnerable will face increased demands and stresses.

That’s why we’ve created the Better Toronto Coalition to connect concerned residents directly with learnings from nonprofit leaders and help direct your support to where it’s needed most.

Weekly Gatherings

On Thursdays at 8:00am EST we’re connecting interested Torontonians to the front lines – virtually – so we can learn together. Register now for the next webinar on Thursday April 9 when we’ll discuss the pressing issue of women and safety during isolation. We’ll hear from Pamela Hart, Executive Director of Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, Deepa Mattoo, Executive Director of Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and Heather McGregor, CEO of YWCA Toronto. Please check your inbox or junk mail for your confirmation email.

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s COVID-19 GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

One-stop-shop government resources in response to COVID-19, and where and how to access them

Ontario Nonprofit Network’s Flash Survey Response

COVID-19 Flash Survey Findings

Ontario’s nonprofits and charities are facing a triple threat as a result of COVID-19: an abrupt loss of revenue from the cancellation of fundraising events and a steep drop-off in donations; the closure of offices and cancellation of programs and services due to pandemic restrictions; and unprecedented human resource challenges in terms of both paid staff and volunteers. The Ontario Nonprofit Network conducted a flash survey to examine how organizations across Ontario are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nonprofit leaders are concerned about the safety of their employees, many of whom are front-line staff with insufficient access to personal protective equipment (community workers, personal support workers, child care workers, and shelter staff). Leaders are also deeply worried about the capacity of their organizations to carry out their missions amid the crisis.

Arts organizations are having to cancel shows, recreation centres have been shut due to the state of emergency, and front-line social services and residential homes are struggling to provide services safely without access to adequate testing and personal protection equipment (PPE). Catering, courier, and retail social enterprises that employ people with disabilities have had to close up shop. Food banks are running low on provisions and volunteers. The situation is dire. 

But even in the face of what are challenging times, nonprofits remain resilient, working on the frontlines to support their communities they serve in an unparalleled time of need.  

The survey was open to Ontario nonprofits, charities, and nonprofit co-operatives with a mission to serve a public benefit, aimed specifically at executive directors and other senior leaders. It was conducted between March 23 and April 2, 2020 and garnered 483 responses via an online tool. 

CARFAC Ontario’s The Voice For Professional Artists

A letter from grassroots arts initiatives struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic Attention:

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Canadian Heritage
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0A6
Steven.Guilbeault@parl.gc.ca

The Honorable Lisa MacLeod
Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
438 University Avenue
6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5G 2K8
Lisa.macleodco@pc.ola.org

Ministers,

We, the undersigned, represent a diverse spectrum of small, grassroots, and community-based arts initiatives, and we are writing to draw your attention to the vital role of our work, especially at this time, as many of us are focused specifically on working with marginalized communities, and with some of our most vulnerable citizens. We are community organizers on the front lines, and often the most accessible point of personal support for artists and communities, and we fill an important gap by engaging groups that have been historically excluded within conventional cultural institutions. For example, research from Canadian Art (2015) found that only 11% of solo exhibitions at major Canadian public art galleries centered on non-white artists. They also found that gallery management in Canada is disproportionately dominated by white arts professionals. Meanwhile, our initiatives are often led-by, and specifically geared to engaging non-white artists, and, in addition, many of us focus on engaging those identifying as LGBTQ, disabled, and those experiencing systemic barriers to participating in the arts.

We fully support all responsive funding programs intended to stabilize the arts and cultural sector, as well as charities and nonprofit organizations, and of course we support all programs providing emergency relief to individuals facing sudden income losses. However, as unincorporated, or smaller arts initiatives often working with small project grants, fuelled by small donations, and volunteer hours, yet playing a vital role in the arts ecosystem often without any sustainable funding, we encourage policy-makers and public funding agencies to ensure that our work is not overlooked in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we come together as a sector to weather the storm, we fear that, without immediate and accessible support during, and after this COVID-19 pandemic, many of our groups will be all but wiped out, which would result in major gaps in the cultural ecosystem, leave many communities in disarray, and ultimately push many vulnerable citizens further into isolation.

We are creative, resilient, and we have proven track records creating big impacts with small investment. So we ask you, at this pivotal time, to acknowledge our work, and–in addition to the support for established arts organizations, cultural institutions, nonprofits and charities, as well as all the help going to businesses–make sure that we, too, are able to access the basic resources to continue operating in our unique and intimate roles in communities, and for the artists who need us now more than ever.

Thank you,
Please sign at the link below

TOartist COVID19 Response Fund

For more information on making a pledge or donation, please contact Leslie Francombe, Philanthropy and Sponsorship Manager, at leslie[at]torontoarts[dot]org.

All donations made to the fund will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt.

Fund Launch date: March 26, 2020
Funds raised to date (April 7, 2020): $723,051
Artists this will support: approximately 723
Artists who have reached out in need: over 1,600
Donate today to give relief to even more artists ​

CARFAC Ontario Survey

What do you need to create and share art during the COVID-19 pandemic? CARFAC Ontario is collecting information from artists about their most urgent needs, and any identified new resources that will allow them to continue producing and presenting work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This information will be consolidated, and shared with arts councils to advocate for and inform any necessary modifications to their guidelines and granting programs, and to assess the need to create new funding streams.

For example, are you suddenly in need of a new computer, or new software? Do you require specific technology to collaborate with others remotely? How do you imagine publicly presenting your work if physical spaces are closed? Are there new materials or resources you suddenly find yourself needing (i.e. home studio equipment)? And are there any ways that arts councils can alter their funding criteria, guidelines, and programming to better respond to your needs?

Please note, we are looking for information exclusively about creating and sharing art; this is not intended to inform the creation of an emergency relief fund.

We will not share your personal information.

If you have any questions, please email:

Jason Samilski
Managing Director, CARFAC Ontario
jason@carfacontario.ca

Canadian Governments Self Assessment App for Corona Virus

The app will let you receive the latest updates, trusted resources, and self-assess your symptoms.

Ontario’s support for families

Learn about funding that families can apply for if they have children who are not in school or child care because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.