United Nations COVID-19 Response – Unsplash

Canadian Authors Association (CAA) is acutely aware that many writers have been financially, physically, emotionally, and/or psychologically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please know that our hearts and thoughts are with all members of the writing and publishing community now more than ever as we face the challenges before us.

This page has been set up to provide information and resources for all writers across Canada on a variety of topics. We want to help, so if we’ve missed anything, please let us know at admin(at)canadianauthors.org.


General Information about CAA

About Office Hours

The CAA office building in Toronto is currently closed indefinitely. The executive director, Anita Purcell, is working remotely, and she is coordinating or participating in a large number of online meetings and events over and above day-to-day operations on a daily basis, so please be patient if phone calls and emails are not immediately answered or returned.

When you call, please leave a voicemail message, or email admin(at)canadianauthors.org to make a phone appointment. We always welcome on-on-one phone conversations but cannot be as accommodating as we would like.

Please refrain from mailing information or payments: since the office building is closed, we are unable to receive mail until the situation changes.


A Note on Joining CAA or Renewing Your Membership

For the reasons outlined above, the association is unable to accept cheque payments at this time (some exceptions apply; please call if online payments are a challenge). When possible, we encourage you to pay online using a credit card our secure online payment system.

However, during this period we are able to accept membership payments by installment and will be happy to set up a plan that works for you. If you have any questions about this or about your membership, please send an email message to Anita at apurcell(at)canadianauthors.org or phone her at 705-955-0716.


National and Branch Public Events

With the health and safety of our community as a top priority, we support the advice from health officials to take social distancing seriously. We have suspended all public and in-person programs and events throughout Canada until further notice. This includes branch meetings and writing circles.


Virtual / Online Events

At the national level, we continue to offer webinars online using the GoToWebinar platform. A new partnership with SF Canada came just in time, as we have a full slate of offerings for our current CAA/SF Sprint / Summer Wednesday Webinar series. In light of COVID-19, we have jointly decided to offer this series at no cost — whether or not you are a member of either organization. The full listing of webinars can be found here. We also hope to offer some online panels with experts from the writing and publishing sector in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned.

Many of our branches are also offering virtual events using the Zoom platform. Some are offering virtual meetings with guest speakers and are making them available to writers across Canada. Others are using the platform for their writing circles and other special events that are necessarily exclusive to their members. You can find out more about national and branch events by visiting our online event calendar.

Many writers and publishers have had to cancel or postpone their book launches because of the pandemic. This has been challenging, but we are pleased to advise that we are posting the book launches and events of CAA members and supporting publishers on our event calendar.

You will also find a variety of variety of other virtual arts-related events on the CAA event calendar — please let us know if we’ve missed any. (We will soon have an event submission form on the calendar page, but in the meantime submit your online event listings to info(at)canadianauthors.org; include the date, time, description, event and/or registration link.)


General Information Related to COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (World Health Organization)

Ontario Arts Council COVID-19 FAQs and resources

Toronto Arts Council COVID-19 updates


COVID-19 related scam or any other scam

If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of a COVID -19 related scam, or any other scam, contact your local police service. You can file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.


Federal Government Information, Support or Financial Relief

Government of Canada COVID-19 (for health, financial and security resources)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): The Government of Canada will provide a taxable benefit (meaning it will be included in your taxable income for the year) of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Canada Council for the Arts COVID-19 FAQs and Resources

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada COVID-19


Provincial and Territorial Governments Information, Support or Financial Relief

Some provinces have introduced programs that may offer additional help to freelancers. Policies are being created and updated quickly, so check these websites to find out what is happening in your province or territory:

British Columbia






New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador


Northwest Territories



Artist Relief Funds and Efforts

Many authors and freelance writers have seen their income or business decline or dry up completely due to the effects of COVID-19. There is some financial help available for self-employed people who are struggling to get through this period. Things are changing quickly, but this is a snapshot of federal and non-government programs that are currently available to freelancers.

TOArtist COVID Response Fund: Toronto Arts Council fund is open for applications from Toronto artists

Woodcock Fund: Writers Trust of Canada emergency funding to professional Canadian writers in mid-project

Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers: An emergency fund operated by Glad Day Bookshop

#Above4 Fund (TILA Studios): a $1,000 monthly recurring fund supporting black women artists until August 2020

Orphan We Video Story Grant: a $300 grant for 10-minute video stories from applicants with an interesting life story to tell

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resource: an aggregated list of free resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines

I Lost My Gig Facebook Group: a space for arts and other vulnerable freelance and gig workers in Canada and beyond to share stories and resources addressing the impacts of COVID-19 and growing income precarity more broadly


Something missing? Please let us know at admin(at)canadianauthors.org or 705-955-0716.