A message from Screen Nova Scotia: Screen Nova Scotia understands that COVID-19 is top of mind for our members, and your businesses are our top priority. As the organization responsible for supporting the film and television industry in Nova Scotia, and promoting Nova Scotia as a filming destination, we are carefully monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 and its impact on the Nova Scotia screen industry. This page is updated regularly.
On this page you will find:
- Links to trusted sources of information;
- Updates on SNS events and trade missions;
- Information on financial aid programs for individuals and businesses;
- A guidance plan for your business and workplace;
- Current guidance on COVID-19
The World Health Organization has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, and Canada’s federal government will continue to assess the public health risk based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves. As of March 22nd, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The state of emergency has been renewed and the order is valid until April 19th, 2020. Nova Scotians should not leave the province and only leave home for essential items and services. For information on what the state of emergency entails, please click HERE.
As this is a rapidly evolving situation, Screen Nova Scotia is urging individuals to stay abreast of the latest developments and advisories by finding up-to-date and trusted information on the following pages:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) website HERE.
- Federal Government: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website HERE / Learn more about the PHAC COVID-19 Preparedness Guide.
- Provincial: The Government of Nova Scotia’s website HERE.
Office Updates: For the health and safety of our staff, the Screen Nova Scotia team will be working remotely and the office will be closed until further notice. You can still reach us by either phone or email — all contact information can be found on the Contact Us page on our website.
SNS Events & Trade Missions:
- The Screen Nova Scotia Awards Gala (scheduled for May 14th) has been postponed.
- The Annual General Meeting (scheduled for April 16th) has been postponed.
- The Bowling Tournament (scheduled for April 3rd) has been cancelled.
- Producer mission to Hot Docs (April 2020) has been postponed.
- Producer mission to Annecy (June 2020) has been cancelled.
We are working to gather information from our public health officials and government to share with members, industry partners, stakeholders and potential clients. We will continue to provide timely updates as well as news on Screen Nova Scotia’s upcoming events and industry services regarding possible postponements and/or cancellations on our website.
We are also planning to gather information from our members and clients to prepare and deliver a COVID-19 impact statement to our provincial government at an appropriate date.
For individuals, this includes:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (applications are open April 6th, 2020 — click the link to apply)
- Employment Insurance
- Extra time to file income tax returns
- Mortgage support
- A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans
For businesses, this includes:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (75% wage subsidy for up to 3 months)
- Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program
- Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
- More time to pay income taxes
Provincial Support for Individuals/Businesses: Help is available for Nova Scotians facing economic hardship because of COVID-19. For a full list, please click HERE.
For individuals, this includes:
- Worker Emergency Bridge Fund: $20 million to help the self-employed and laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
- Suspending student loan payments.
- Additional income assistance.
For businesses, this includes:
- Small Business Impact Grant: $20 million for eligible small businesses and social enterprises, who will receive a grant of 15% of their gross revenues — either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. This flexible, one-time, upfront grant can be used for any purpose necessary.
- Commercial rent deferral
- Government will defer payments until June 30, 2020 for all government loans and small business renewal fees.
- Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.
- Fast tracked payments: small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.
AFC – The lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry: The AFC supports entertainment industry professionals in TV, film, music, theatre, and dance. A new emergency financial aid fund, in partnership with Netflix, is now available to entertainment industry workers to provide short-term emergency financial assistance for essential household bills and costs that cannot otherwise be paid. For eligibility criteria and application form, click HERE.
Guidance for your business and workplace: As producers prepare for the impact of COVID-19 and examine ways to best protect both the health and safety of workplace parties and their businesses, please refer to this THIS guidance document that contains a series of considerations that producers may choose to apply when putting their plans in place.
We’re also recommending you download THIS fact sheet and post around your workplaces, which outlines the symptoms of COVID-19, how it is spread, how to limit infection, what to do if an individual is infected, and scenarios in which workers should contact the workplace prior to coming to work.
Industry Resources: To better understand and measure the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, representatives of Canada’s audiovisual industry, including Screen Nova Scotia, have formed a Production Industry Taskforce. Please see statements and information from our industry partners below, as they become available.
- Canada Media Fund
- Canadian Heritage
- Canadian Media Producers Association
- Nova Scotia Business Inc.
- Telefilm Canada
Unions and Guilds are also spearheading a number of activities to collect information and enhance support for their members.
- ACTRA National
- Directors Guild of Canada – Atlantic Regional Council
- IATSE 667
- IATSE 849
- IATSE Canada
- Writers Guild of Canada
Survey: IATSE is currently lobbying the federal government on behalf of entertainment workers who are losing work due to COVID-19 (this includes crew who are not represented by IATSE). In order to show the government the devastating effect this is having on the screen industry, they are compiling data to show the losses to entertainment workers. You can take the survey online HERE.
Opportunity to help: During the COVID-19 crisis, film and television crews have been at a standstill across the country. At the same time, our Canadian screen industry is pulling together like never before to help those in need by dropping off much-needed supplies or making masks and other protective gear. The government of Nova Scotia is currently looking for help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19. If this is of interest to any of our highly-skilled members, the online form is HERE, along with a list of products and services required.
Current guidance on COVID-19: The following provides the most current guidance on COVID-19, its symptoms, and ways by which to limit its spread.
Symptoms: Symptoms of COVID-19 have included fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and tiredness. Other symptoms sometimes include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. It may take up to 14 days after exposure to a person infected with COVID-19 for symptoms to appear. Symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
How COVID-19 is spread: People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can pass from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth that are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person and infect other people who touch those objects or surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also become infected by breathing in droplets from an individual with COVID-19 when that person coughs, sneezes or exhales droplets.
How to limit the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home and self-isolate if you are sick, and contact your provincial public health authority or your healthcare provider to arrange for medical attention.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue and dispose of tissues immediately.
- Stay at least 1 meter (or 3 feet) away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
- Review active travel health notices issued by the Government of Canada before travelling. A current list can be found HERE.