National Arts Centre and Facebook partner to support online performances

By Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada have partnered to support online performances by Canadian artists, including Jim Cuddy and Serena Ryder, during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will provide a total of $100,000 toward online performance between now and March 31.

The fund will contribute $1,000 to each performance, which will be available on the NAC’s Facebook page.

Other participating artists include William Prince, Irish Mythen, Erin Costelo, and Whitehorse.

The NAC will receive and administer applications from artists for the series, which is using the hashtag #CanadaPerforms and will stream performances running 45 to 60 minutes long.

The NAC and Facebook say the idea is to “ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19.”

Cuddy of Blue Rodeo was scheduled to kick off the online series Thursday, performing with Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley and Colin Cripps in a studio and staying 1.5 metres apart.

The NAC said if multiple artists are a part of a performance, they split the $1,000.

“As Canadians make profound and rapid shifts in how we live our lives, we recognize the challenges that come with distancing and isolation. Music, dance and theatre have an enduring power to comfort, to inspire, to lift our spirits,” Christopher Deacon, president and CEO of the National Arts Centre, said in a statement.

“Equally, performers thrive on their relationship with audiences. In this challenging time, artist and audience, indeed all of us, need each other more than ever. The National Arts Centre, in partnership with Facebook, hopes this initiative helps.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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