Her current sculptures position delicate glass animals within human-made settings, emphasizing the ways in which animals interact with the new urban ecosystem.
Within the current and upcoming context of COVID-19, we are all faced with unexpected change and the need to respond and adapt in new ways. The cultural sector, including craft artists as self-employed entrepreneurs, is being particularly hard-hit. Contracts, sales, exhibitions, trade shows, workshops, and conferences have been cancelled, along with much-needed income. Collectively, we are finding ourselves in the position of having to renegotiate short-term plans, while also trying to strategize long-term recuperation.
Craft Ontario is here to help you – we are in this together!
Check out our news page for regular updates about Craft Ontario programming plans. We have temporarily closed our 1106 Queen West location; however, staff are continuing to work remotely, and we are available to talk – please get in touch by email.
The following are information and tools that we have researched and selected in order to address the specific needs of craft artists and businesses during this time. We encourage you to follow these recommendations:
Health is the number one priority. Make sure you are following government regulations to stay safe and well: https://covid-19.ontario.ca
The current situation also has a significant impact on emotional health, and there are ways to help you and your family, friends and co-workers to cope:
Understand your current situation and eligibility for support. You may not know exactly what’s going to happen in the upcoming months, but you do know how COVID-19 has affected you to-date.
Short and long-term financial impact is real, and there are several key ways in which you can start making sense of your situation, as well as ensure that your needs are being addressed:
1. Track your income.
The Craft Alliance, https://craftalliance.ca/covid-19/, has created two excellent excel templates to help you do this:
2. Manage your cash flow and current finances.
3. Apply for government financial support.
The Government of Canada has released Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan that offers financial support for individuals, businesses and industries:
Again, we want to help you – we may not have all of the answers, but we can help point you in the right direction. We are advocating for and following the changes in the CERB program carefully.
4. Fill out surveys that will help advocate your needs to government.
Thank you to everyone that has already filled out the survey we launched in March. We are continuing to collect responses and have been able to share your stories with the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Canadian Crafts Federation. This has led to messaging to government to make sure that the arts are a top priority for financial support, and that the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit is accessible to you as self-employed entrepreneurs: CCF Open Letter, Craft Artist Income Model.
Three current surveys that we recommend:
5. Organize and prepare for your taxes.
Here’s a handy video about ‘Tax Season for Self-Employed Entrepreneurs’, produced by the Centre for Social Innovation, https://socialinnovation.org/, and which takes into account COVID-19 as a context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzTpAB7h3rk&feature=youtu.be If you are operating a small business and will need financial support such as the wage subsidy or a loan, you will need to be prepared to provide an accurate picture of your 2019 financial position.
Do what you can now to work on future recovery.
As creative entrepreneurs you have tackled the unknown before in setting up your business in the first place! You may not have money, but you have time, and now is the time to review your business and marketing plans.
Do not stop being in touch with your audience. You may not be able to work with them face-to-face, and you may not be making sales, but you can remind them of the value of what you offer, and keep telling your story. Think through your digital marketing strategy – understand what works for you, and research and test new approaches:
Think through what your opportunities are for developing a new client base. For instance, consider the government as a client. Are you able to help produce much-needed medical supplies?
Touch base with and learn about business supports in your region: