COVID-19 : Updates, Information and Advocacy


Help Drive a Green Recovery with #ShovelReadyHeritage

Since the inaugural ‘gatherings of the heritage sector’ on April 2, hundreds have participated in these productive bi-weekly Zoom calls to share the issues they and their heritage organizations and sites and are facing. Those discussions spawned a letter signed by the National Trust and 22 partner organizations recommending $200 million in federal stimulus funds earmarked for projects at heritage places.

Now, we are working to crowdsource the list of #ShovelReadyHeritage projects to send a signal to government that historic places can be powerful part of Canada’s COVID-19 recovery plans. Why? Because we know that heritage projects create more ‘green’ jobs than new construction, spur private investment, and contribute to community resilience over the long term.

Find how you can take action with our #ShovelReadyHeritage Toolkit


COVID-19 and Heritage: First and Third Tuesday Gatherings of the Heritage Sector

While the health of Canadians and efforts to flatten the curve remain a priority, it’s also essential to ensure that the people who care for historic places and work in this sector are not forgotten, and that plans for recovery investments are informed by knowledge of the powerful role heritage and historic places can play. Almost 500 people representing heritage organizations, historic sites, heritage industry leaders and government agencies participated in the first two ‘gatherings of the heritage sector’ hosted by the National Trust early April.

Check out our summary of concerns and ideas shared about weathering and recovering from this unprecedented global shutdown, or listen to the recordings:

April 2 – Impacts for heritage charities, sites and nonprofits
April 7 – A conversation with industry leaders, co-hosted with the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals
April 21 – Recommendations for recovery
May 5 – Recommendations for recovery 2 
May 19 – COVID-19 and the Heritage sector
June 2 – Live Advocacy Action Session
June 30 – A conversation about Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism
July 14 – Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism – part 2
July 28 – Reopening Heritage Sites and Historic Places

Don’t miss the next ‘gatherings of the heritage sector’ on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 12:15 pm ET.

Register here

Resources for charities, nonprofits and businesses

Connect to experienced business advisors from across Canada and discover which government relief programs will be most appropriate for your charity, nonprofit or business with the Business Resilience Service (BRS)

The National Trust’s Regeneration Works platform now has additional resources to help us all plan for better days – when Canada’s historic places will once again be open to the public!  Previously recorded webinars are now available on demand, covering relevant topics such as fundraising and marketing, and special resources for regenerating places of faith. Visit

Heritage BC has shared an excellent set of articles on crisis management, business continuity and more that every organization’s leader will find helpful, as well as many other resources for the heritage sector about COVID-19.

The Canadian Museums Association offers resources and advocacy updates for museums and museum workers in response to COVID-19. Visit

Imagine Canada has assembled a wealth of resources for charities and non-profits, including advice on fundraising and managing through difficult times.

For a limited time, small charities can also access Grant Connect’s work-from-home Community Edition, a funding database that is typically only accessed via library, university, and resource centre computers.

Canada Helps is directing Canadians to charities that are helping communities deal with Covid-19. You can visit to make a donation or to add your charity to the list.

Online stories

Five ways historic sites can embrace fundraising during challenging times
Read the latest blog post by Alison Faulknor, Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at the National Trust for Canada for some advice on the right approach to navigating fundraising during such uncertain times.

5 virtual tours you don’t want to miss

Experience historic places at home

Get out your virtual passport and celebrate World Heritage Day

Toronto Epidemics: The beginning

From Pandemic to Preservation: How SARS Kick-Started the Revitalization of Toronto’s Distillery District

Young Canada Works 2020/2021 season is expected to proceed

We have heard from our partners at the Department of Canadian Heritage that the 2020-2021 Young Canada Works program is proceeding as planned. The Summer Student funding decisions will be made available by mid-April and the Internship results will be made available by early-May. Should anything change, we will keep you updated.

As a delivery organization, the National Trust understands that your organization might have disruptions or changes to work sites, job details, work hours, etc. Please be assured, we are advocating on your behalf for greater flexibility in the rules and requirements for the 2020-2021 Young Canada Works program.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Parker at – 613-237-1066 ext. 234.

Relief Measures and Government Resources

The historic places sector is incredibly diverse, including museums in heritage buildings, place of faith, traditional downtowns and neighbourhoods, and rural heritage; and a range of heritage workers, property owners and volunteers in the private, public and non-profit spheres. A range of special funding and relief measures have been announced for individuals, businesses and non-profits and cope with the impacts of COVID-19. This month, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced $500 million for arts, culture, heritage and sport, and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for small, seasonal, rural and other SMEs who have not been able to access existing government support measures.

Are these relief measures working for heritage places and the people and organizations who care for them?  Tell us about gaps and issues, and how we can help.


The federal and provincial governments have implemented various measures to assist individuals and entrepreneurs in response to COVID-19.

Federal Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

British Columbia – Provincial Support and Info

Alberta – COVID-19 info for Albertans

Ontario – How Ontario is responding

Québec – Response to COVID-19

Newfoundland and Labrador – COVID-19 Information and updates



Stay in touch. Get our newsletter.