FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new Special Projects program has been established to fund online artistic and cultural performances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, launched today by the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, aims to address some of the challenges social isolation has caused for professional artists and for people who enjoy art and culture.

Artists who have had their exhibition, project, showcase or performance cancelled due to the pandemic can receive up to $2,000 for an artistic presentation on social media. Cultural businesses or entrepreneurs who use digital means to promote themselves or their products in a new way are also eligible to apply.

“Like most small businesses and people who are self-employed, professional artists in New Brunswick have been hit hard by the pandemic crisis and isolation,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Bruce Fitch. “Most tours, shows and exhibitions have been cancelled. These activities are essential for the cultural sector of our province and represent an important source of income for artists from all sectors.”

Arts organizations and similar associations may also apply. All proposals must respect any physical distancing and self-isolation directives issued by the provincial government.

“These performances will represent unique opportunities to promote professional artists and cultural sector workers,” said Fitch. “These artists will not only be able to entertain members of the public through social media, but they will also have the opportunity to promote their own products.”

Last month, the department partnered with Music NB to provide similar assistance to professional musicians. Musical artists may submit their proposals to Music NB, which will then help selected artists promote their performances.

Information on the Special Projects program is available online.