The Facebook Canada-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists receives major support with contributions of $200,000 from RBC Foundation and $200,000 from SiriusXM Canada

OTTAWA (Canada) –  The National Arts Centre is pleased to announce that #CanadaPerforms, a relief fund in support of Canadian artists performing online during the global health crisis posed by COVID-19 pandemic, has now reached $600,000 and will extend its programming for a longer period. Developed in collaboration with Facebook Canada, this program was launched on Thursday, March 19 with an initial amount of $100,000. On Saturday March 21, a subsequent gift of $100,000 from Slaight Music was announced. #CanadaPerforms is now welcoming two new supporters of the initiative: RBC Foundation with $200,000 and SiriusXM Canada with $200,000. 

With $600,000 now available in artists fees, the Facebook-Canada National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will continue to provide much needed direct support through artists fees going directly to those selected to take part in #CanadaPerforms. The period of livestreamed performances will now be extended until May and showcase more artists and more genres.

“The National Arts Centre is deeply grateful for these generous contributions from RBC Foundation and SiriusXM Canada in support of #CanadaPerforms,” said Christopher Deacon, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre. “This collaboration to create the relief fund with Facebook Canada, bolstered with the additional support of Slaight Music, has allowed us to bring even more Canadian artists online, and to share their extraordinary gifts with Canadians and with the world at a time when we need the arts more than ever.”  

“During these uncertain times, RBC continues to be guided by our purpose of helping our clients thrive and our communities prosper,” said Valerie Chort, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC. “We are inspired by the National Arts Centre’s ingenuity, finding new ways to support and recognize the contributions of Canadian artists helping to lift our spirits during this difficult time. We are proud to work with them and our many community partners to better understand our country’s greatest needs and continue delivering the right support where it’s needed most.”  

“SiriusXM has always been proud to support Canadian musicians and comedians, and partnering with the National Arts Centre on this remarkable initiative helps us to keep Canadian artists in the spotlight,” said Paul Cunningham, SVP, Sales, Marketing & CCD, SiriusXM Canada. “Artists are facing real challenges during this time and being able to provide them with not only an opportunity to earn performance royalties through the satellite broadcast and streaming of our Canadian channels, but also funding and a performance platform through #CanadaPerforms, is important to us.” 


Just in the last ten days, #CanadaPerforms has featured more than 40 performances that have received more than 1.3 million views. Over 3,500 applications were sent from Canadian artists to propose performances across many disciplines, including music, theatre, dance, comedy, play readings, blues, jazz, classical music and more. 

“When we first launched  #CanadaPerforms in collaboration with the National Arts Centre just over one week ago, we never could have anticipated such a powerful response from the Canadian arts community or how deeply this movement has resonated Canadians,” said Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy for Facebook Canada. “We’re proud that #CanadaPerforms is making a real difference for artists and to people’s lives in this very difficult time and welcome support from additional partners including the RBC Foundation, SiriusXM Canada and Slaight Music.”

“#CanadaPerforms is bringing Canadians together to enjoy their favourite Canadian artists and discover new ones”  said Heather Gibson, the NAC’s Executive Producer of Popular Music, and lead programmer for #CanadaPerforms.  “While responding to an immediate financial need of Canadian professional performing artists through this program, we also hope the  performances we’re putting online will lift people’s spirits, and discover the breadth of talent we have in this country. We are so happy to be working with Facebook Canada on this initiative, and so grateful to generous partners like RBC, SiriusXM Canada and Slaight Music for helping us extend #CanadaPerforms even further.”


Upcoming performances include Les Deux Luxes (March 28), Justin Rutledge (March 29), the Simon Daniel Trio (March 29), Ivan Coyote and Sarah McDougall (March 29), Étienne Fletcher (March 30), Jane Bunnett, Dánae Olano & Joanna Majoko (March 30), a live reading of the play The Gingerbread Girl by Sharon Bajer (March 31), and many, many more. Performances of confirmed artists will be announced on the NAC’s Facebook page and on the NAC website


Canadians who stay at home can experience more digital content and recommendations  from the NAC’s Artistic Leadership and NAC Orchestra musicians. The NAC Orchestra now offers Lunch Break on weekdays, featuring individual performances by musicians of the Orchestra. They might offer their thoughts on a piece of music, share one of their hobbies or perform for you. And every Wednesday night, Alexander Shelley, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, send a NACO Home Delivery by email, sharing an audio recording of a concert from the NAC Orchestra archives to listen to. If you would like to receive this email or other emails from the NAC Orchestra you can sign up to receive newsletter on the NAC homepage. Follow #CanadaPerforms and our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to find out what we have in store for everyone who is social distancing and in self-isolation.


The National Arts Centre raised its curtains for the first time in 1969. A bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre and NAC Presents. The Centre’s national role is reflected in its motto: “Canada is our Stage.” The NAC collaborates with artists and arts organizations across the country, acts as a catalyst for performance; invests in ambitious new works by artists and arts organizations nation-wide; and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. Situated on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe nation, the NAC is accessible and welcoming to all, and offers a variety of free programming and events.

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Annabelle Cloutier
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
National Arts Centre

Nadia Kharyati
Communications Officer
National Arts Centre

Erin Taylor
Facebook Canada

Josh Humeniuk
Corporate Communications, RBC

Kayla J. Schwartz
SiriusXM Canada

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