Music in Hamilton

Music in Hamilton

Resources to Help Support Musicians, Artists & Creative Industries Businesses during COVID-19

The federal, provincial and municipal governments are providing resources to help support musicians, artists and creative inudustry businesses responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Please monitor this website for updated resources.

  • Hamilton Arts Council - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hamilton Arts Council (HAC) presents the Hamilton Artist Relief Fund and Online Performance Series. The Hamilton Artist Relief Fund is focused on raising and distributing emergency relief funds for artists struggling during this difficult time and providing a curated online platform for local artists to present and perform to a virtual audience. 100% of the donations collected for the Relief Fund will be distributed directly to artists in need. 
    • Are you a practicing artist in need of support? Relief funding can be accessed through a simple application form. Please submit your CV and a declaration of artistic projects and earnings lost due to the pandemic. Relief fund amounts start at $100 to a maximum of $1,000 based on individual needs. Apply for relief.
  • AFC is accepting applications from people in the entertainment industry to receive financial assistance. Learn more about the criteria and to apply.
  • Behind the Scenes Basic Needs Grants provides financial assistance for seriously ill entertainment technology professionals in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund (CAMRF) program will see funds will go directly to the artists to counter any lost income incurred as a result of any cancelled jobs, gigs, and illnesses.
  • Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund is for Canadian writers and visual artists facing lost income due to the pandemic. There is on-going submission deadline.
  • CBC Creative Relief Fund to provide $2 million in development and production funding support to Canadian creators spanning over three different streams: innovation stream, playwright pilot stream, and short docs stream.
  • CBC and Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals is a new $1 million fund to help artists, groups and arts organizations pivot their work to online audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Creators can apply for a maximum of $5000 in funding per project, a selection of which will be curated and digitally showcased by CBC/Radio-Canada.
  • The Crew Nation Fund is here to help support live music crews who have been directly impacted as shows are put on pause due to COVID-19. Apply for financial assistance from the Crew Nation fund.
  • The David Seguin Memorial Award - Promotes accessibility in the arts by providing support to artists with disabilities. The DSMA Special Initiative in Response to COVID-19 will use 2020’s award to provide immediate support to artists with disabilities through $100 micro-grants to artists with disabilities in order to help them cover basic living expenses, such as rent and groceries.
  • Encore! A program launched by SOCAN that compensates music creators and publishers for their invaluable work and aims to pay musicians for live online concerts on Facebook and Instagram. In order to qualify for a payment, there are four key requirements artists must meet.
  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program for businesses disrupted by the pandemic. The company is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to keep people employed, help with rent and operational costs, and connect with more customers.
  • Glad Day Lit has supported 350 LGBTQ2S artists, performers, and tip-based workers and is planning to support 500.
  • Members of the Canadian Federation of Musicians union can also apply for relief from the Petrillo Memorial Fund, which offers assistant to those unable to work due to physical or mental disability (which includes sickness from COVID 19).
  • Ontario Creates has added additional deadline dates for their funding programs due to COVID – 19. Opportunities for funding is available in the following areas; Book Fund, (Export) Book Fund, Magazine Fund, IDMF – Global Market, Film Fund – Production and Export Fund (Film & Television). For more information contact Ontario Creates.
  • Ontario Live presents: Music Together - Applicants can apply for $1,000 in emergency relief funding to play a livestream show to engage your fans and earn new ones.
  • Ownr Grants by RBC Ventures is a newly-established $25,000 fund to help Canadian small business owners get started during these unprecedented times. Individual grants of up to $1,000 each will be awarded to existing businesses that serve or have pivoted to serve the needs of Canadians impacted by COVID-19, or to help new businesses get started.
  • Unison COVID-19 Relief Program: The Unison Benevolent Fund and The Slaight Family Foundation have launched the Unison COVID19 Relief Program for those whose work in the Canadian music industry has been impacted and require assistance, please REGISTER for Unison’s services.  Funding will be allocated towards housing costs, medical expenses, and groceries for those in the music industry across Canada. For more information please contact the Unison office

Public Health Organizations are the most trusted sources of information for COVID-19. Please follow their recommendations.


Hamilton is home to a vibrant music scene with a huge variety of talent, venues and events. The local music scene is growing, dynamic and diverse. It is an eclectic mix of performers, producers, products and performances. Hamilton’s music scene is founded on a long and established music history. In addition, established and emerging artists, businesses, professionals and festivals help make up what is often referred to as a 'music city'.

Hamilton City of Music logo

A city that celebrates and supports a 'music city' has many elements. Whether you are a musician, work in the music industry, or are a music fan you can find a collection of resources here.

Man sitting down writting

Loans, Grants & Support for Musicians

There are many loans and grants that are for artists and musicians.

NEW 2021 Independent Musician Development Program

View all loan, grant and support programs

HMAT members standing infront of City Hall with the Mayor

The Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT)

HMAT is a group of local music industry representatives who advise on the Music Strategy.

Learn about the HMAT Members

Panel of 4 speakers at Musicians Conference

Annual Musician Conference

View a list of music industry events like the annual Musician Entrepreneur Conference.

Artists performing in front of City Hall

Music Mondays

Attend a free live show on Mondays at noon outside of City Hall.

Learn more about Music Mondays

Live music venue

Hamilton’s Live Music Venues

Hamilton has a long list of places and spaces across the city where you can listen to live music.

Learn more about our music venues

Hamilton Music Strategy

Review the Hamilton Music Strategy to learn more about the strategy's goals the advisory team and progress made to date.

Music in Hamilton Blog Series

Checkout our blog series written by local writers about music from different perspectives

Explore, Support & Discover the Many Elements of Hamilton’s Music Scene

It takes a lot to be a music city. Using Music Canada’s Mastering of a Music City template, here are some elements that help tell Hamilton’s story:

Hamilton Musicians

Explore these lists of amazing and diverse Hamilton musicians and playlists:

Projects that Engage the Community & Grow Audiences

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Phone: 905-546-4233
Email: [email protected]

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