Applying for Unison’s Financial Assistance

man holding an acoustic guitar
By Guest Author
Posted by: Roo Kailey

The Unison Fund’s mission is to help professional music-makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Unison provides a vital lifeline for members of the Canadian music community; and due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Unison’s counselling and emergency relief services has never been greater.

In 2020, the Unison office dispersed $2.5M through the Financial Assistance program alone. To further put this number into perspective, Unison doubled the amount of funds dispersed in 2020 than in all other years combined.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff at The Unison Fund, we would like to thank our valued industry partners that have contributed to our Financial Assistance pgram, ensuring we can continue to provide discreet relief to music industry professionals during this critical time. 

We would also like to thank all of the artists who have been helping Unison through fundraising livestreams and spreading the word about Unison to your communities. These efforts are helping Unison reach members of the Canadian music community to provide direct financial support, as well as counselling and emergency relief services.

To clarify some questions we have received, we would like to share some information regarding Unison’s financial assistance program, and how it relates to support offered by the federal government. 

If your work has been affected by COVID-19, the federal government may provide you with temporary income support. Find out if you are eligible for Employment Insurance or other Recovery benefits on the government’s website

Unison’s Financial Assistance provides short-term financial relief to help music industry professionals in times of crisis. 

You’re eligible if you:

  • Worked primarily in the music industry for at least two years.
  • Worked primarily in the music industry for 55% of your career.
  • Earned at least 55% of your income from the Canadian music industry, if you are over 65.

You are ineligible for Unison’s services if you do not meet the above requirements, or if you are not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. 

Please note that Unison’s financial assistance does not impact your eligibility for government support. Financial support received from Unison (a registered charity) is a charitable gift.  It is not reported as income when you apply for assistance. If you are deemed eligible and receive funds from EI, you may still apply for Unison’s Financial Assistance. 

For more information on Unison’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief, including how to apply, see our FAQ page here. Before you can apply, you must register on the Unison website. Registration is free; there are no membership fees or dues. Once you are registered you can then access all services. Find out more here.

For counselling inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of coronavirus, please contact 1-855-986-4766. This service is free, anonymous, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more about our counselling services, please click here