It was only five days ago, on World Theatre Day, when the National Theatre School, located in Montreal, put a call-out to emerging artists across Canada to apply for a grant. “This initiative by the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) will provide $60,000 in support to emerging artists (as 80 grants of $750), who are facing increased financial precariousness due to the COVID-19 crisis,” the school shared in a press release. 

A follow-up notice today announced that—in this short time—575 artists from 10 Canadian provinces and 2 territories applied for the Art Apart project, which indicates just how extensive the need is for immediate funding.

The 80 selected works, created in social isolation, will be broadcast in April and May on, as well as the the National Theatre School’s and artists’ social networks. Canadians are encouraged to explore the selected works using the hashtag #ArtApart.

“Artists help keep the social fabric alive, even from a physical distance,” said Gideon Arthurs, CEO of NTS. “Their work is essential to bringing our communities together even in times of isolation. ” Never in my lifetime has this statement rang more true.

With theatres and galleries closed across the country indefinitely, the arts has been definitely been one the industries to be the hardest hit during this crisis. But in this exact same moment, it’s also become abundantly clear (even to the naysayers) just how important the arts are in keeping us going during this tough time. Whether it’s a show you love on Netflix or a novel, this chapter in time is proving just how vital the arts are—let’s make sure to remember that.