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The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for us all. Each of us shares a collective responsibility to ‘flatten the curve’, protect public health and to support those more negatively affected than ourselves.

As of Monday March 16, the SFU Public Square team has been working from home. And we will not be hosting any in-person events until it is safe to do.

Which leads us to a few core questions: How can we affect community engagement at a time of physical distancing and isolation? And how can we best serve our communities in this time of need?

Let us know what you think and how we can help.

For now, we thought the most useful thing would be to collect and share links to some of the amazing online communities and resources we have found to offer support and inspire connection. This list is a living document and will grow with time.

Please send us anything you think we should add, and let us know how we can be helpful to you and your community. Email us at or send us a direct message on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

And while our Overcoming Inequality Community Summit is postponed, we remain committed to sharing resources that spark conversations around the topics of inequality and equity, which are extremely relevant to understanding more about who is most affected by this pandemic and how we as individuals and as a society must respond.



How to Stay Connected During Self Isolation - Samm Bradd, Drawing for Change
A beautifully illustrated guide on how to stay connected while physically distancing.

How to Host an Online Event or Webinar That Live Event Attendees Will Love - Eventbrite
Some call it a livestream, others call it a webinar or virtual event. All that matters is your attendee's experience.

How to talk to family and friends who ignore social distancing appeals - CBC
Suggestions from a clinical psychologist on how to persuade people to take social distancing seriously.

Coronavirus and sex: Dos and don'ts during social distancing
Everything you wanted to know about sex and the coronavirus but were afraid to ask.

Hi Neighbour Initiative - United Way
United Way Hi Neighbour postcards are being distributed in various neighbourhoods so seniors, those with mobility challenges and others in need can then call or text their neighbour for help. Or simply to hear a friendly voice in these uncertain times.

Neighbourhood Helper
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association has launched a nationwide campaign called "Neighbourhood Helper" to provide assistance to Canadians with picking up groceries, filling prescriptions and providing overall moral support.

Help your community during the COVID-19 pandemic - Purposely
A platform for community support that allows you to connect with neighbours, get help with things like running errands, child care, pet care and also provide help to others.

Staying socially connected during the global pandemic - Plan
5 ideas to get you started on staying in touch with people you care about. 

Grassroots responses
Solidarity and Resource Exchange on the Coast Salish Lands. Find support. Offer support.

COVID-19 Coming Together
A Facebook Group created by community members for all of us in the Greater Vancouver area to come together, connect, and support each other in this critical time. Now includes a website and app!

Help COVID-19 Coming Together - Vancouver
A call for your financial support from the Vancouver COVID-19 Coming Together Facebook group to help folks with immediate relief funding.

Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association Resources
A list of updates and resources for the downtown community.

Call-in line - Atira Women's Resource Society
Need help or someone to talk to? Atira has set up a call-in line for women who need support during this difficult time - 604-800-8881

COVID-19 Organizing Efforts - Hua Foundation
A living document with status updates on the COVID-19 related projects that hua foundation and their affiliated networks are working on.

Bc211 - United Way
Simply dial 211 for information and referrals regarding community, government and social services in BC.

Organizations working with vulnerable populations

Downtown Eastside Response Fund
To deal with the COVID-19 outbreak and address the needs of Vancouver’s most vulnerable, the Downtown Eastside Response Group has started a collective fund to help the 15,000 people who live in the area. 

Megaphone Magazine - Electronic Issue
Consider buying an electronic version of Megaphone Magazine ($2) to support your local vendor at a time when their business is hurt by social distancing.

Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Greater Vancouver Food Bank has issued an urgent call for donations, volunteers due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Map of emergency resources operating in the Downtown Eastside
This google map of emergency resources operating in the Downtown Eastide includes handwashing stations, food, supervised consumption sites. A living document that will evolve.

#COVIDdisability: Disability-Related Resources for Families - CACL 
Disability-related resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic committed to ensuring people with intellectual disabilities and their families have access to important information that is accessible.

Community Response Fund
Vancity, the Vancouver Foundation, the United Way of the Lower Mainland and the City of Vancouver have launched a fund to deploy relief to organizations that provide frontline services to people and organizations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House
The Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House is looking for volunteers and donations to support low-income communities.

Meals on Wheels - Vancouver and Richmond
Volunteer or donate to help Meals on Wheels deliver food and friendly visits to seniors, caregivers, individuals with medical condition and those recovering from surgery, illness and injury.

COVID-19 Harm Reduction Resources - CDPC
As two public health crises collide, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition is gathering guidance on best practices for people who use drugs and healthcare providers.

Chinatown Care Packages - Hua Foundation
Chinatown Cares gets groceries out to senior citizens and at-risk community members in the Chinatown and Strathcona community in the face of COVID-19.

Sex Worker Relief Fund - Pace
Help support PACE Society’s Sex Worker Relief Fund which will distribute critical financial relief to sex workers in Metro Vancouver based on need and social marginalization.

Human rights

Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response
This document provides an overview of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments and other actors can respect human rights in their response. 

Policy Statement - B.C.'s Office of the Human Rights Commissioners
Guidance for employers, landlords, service providers and each of us as individuals about how to ensure that human rights are protected and balanced during this time.

Government response


Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan - CRA
Go here for the latest information about the support the federal government is offering to individuals and businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers - CRA
A detailed breakdown of who is eligible for the temporary wage subsidy and how it will be implemented.

How do I access benefits from the federal government? Dr. Jennifer Robson
Dr. Jennifer Robson of Carleton University has compiled a google document to help people navigate the new and existing benefits offered by the federal government in response to COVID-19.

How to apply for EI and COVID-19 emergency benefits CBC
Information about who qualifies for EI, how to apply for EI and the emergency benefits that will be made available to those who don't quality for EI.


Provincial Support and Information
Information on B.C.’s COVID Action Plan, including updates on child care, education, employment, business, housing & tenancy, transportation, travel & tourism, mental health and the MSP.

BC COVID-19 Support App and Self-Assessment Tool
The B.C. Government has launched a COVID-19 support app to provide the latest information. It also features a COVID-19 self assessment tool. Available online and through the Apple Store and Google Play.

BC Housing COVID-19
Information on how BC Housing is responding to the crisis, including information on the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program and ban on evictions.

Supporting renters, landlords during COVID-19 - Municipal Affairs and Housing
To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.

Here's some of the financial help available in B.C. during the COVID-19 crisis - CBC
Emergency resources and funding available in BC during the COVID-19 crisis. The list will be updated as more funds and programs become available.

Public Health & Government News - Bowinn Ma
A summary of current public health orders and official government announcements, boiled down into one list to help navigate the sea of new information out there.

Province boosts emergency funding supports for students
$3.5 million emergency financial assistance funds available for students in post-secondary institutes in BC.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) need to know - City of Vancouver
Information for Vancouverites including recent updates and available resources.

CityWatch Canada
An interactive platform that tracks emergency response measures put in place by local governments across Canada, updated daily.

Give a Hand - City of Vancouver
The City of Vancouver has launched a new initiative to accept offers of products and services from businesses to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and support those affected.

Support for arts and culture

COVID-19 Impact Support - Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance
The GVPTA is measuring financial and other impacts on artists and arts organizations. Inclusive of all sectors.

The World is Sick. Culture Can Heal Us - The Tyee
Ideas on ways to support artists and take in culture during this time of isolation.

Keep calm and carry on supporting Vancouver's arts - The Georgia Straight
We turn to the arts and culture for support in troubling times. Let's make sure to support them in turn.

Here's where Canadian artists and freelancers can find help during COVID-19 shutdowns - CBC
A list of resources for artists that will help them financially, mentally or just to improve their own skills.

The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada provide $100,000 to support Canadian performers impacted by COVID-19
Support for online performances between now and March 31, 2020 to help ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19.

Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund
Emergency funding for Canadian writers facing lost income because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Crisis Resources for Creatives: A Giant List of Helpful Links for Artists - Booooooom
A list of helpful links for all you creative people working from home and/or looking for work, grants, resources.

COVID-19 FAQs for Arts and Culture Grant Recipients & Applicants - BC Arts Council
BC Arts Council have made significant updates to their policies and programs to support B.C.’s arts and culture sector including artists, creative workers, staff, volunteers, patrons, as well as audience members and participants.

Resources for Canadian artists, writers and media workers during COVID-19 shutdowns
Resources for emergency funding, grants, advocacy, mental health, temporary/remote job opportunities and more.

Free resources for activities, arts and culture

The VPL’s Digital Library
While Vancouver Public Library Branches may be closed, you can download ebooks and e-audiobooks and stream TV shows and movies through their digital library.
Don't have a library card? Vancouverites can register for a library card online at: Or you can call the VPL at 604-331-3670.

Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video) - Andrea Romano, Travel+Leisure
Experience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home.

Gutenberg Project
Download free books, e.g. Shakespear, Edgar Allen Poe, Frankenstein, etc. 

The Social Distancing Festival
An online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing.

Canadian children's writers & illustrators are sharing readings of their books online - CBC Books
Writers across the country are filming readings of their books for viewers.

Looking for a good film? Try out Criterion on Demand - via SFU Library
SFU students, faculty and staff access to more than 3000 classic films of educational relevance.

VIFF introduces curated streaming!
VIFF is teaming up with independent distributors to offer curated online streaming opportunities.

Stream films and videos for free on NFB website
While we can't go to the movies at the moment, the National Film Board of Canada brings Canadian-made content and films to our small screens for free!

Vancouver arts and entertainment live streams and online content you can watch at home - Vancouver Sun
A regularly updated list of events by local artists who are dedicated to providing live and interactive content at a time when many are confined to their homes.

Free Lynda Tutorials
All Lynda tutorials are free to access with a Vancouver Public Library Card via VPL website.

Working remotely

How to lead a great remote team - Toggl
Tips on how to communicate, trust and work together when working apart.

The ultimate guide to remote meetings in 2020 - Slack
Conference calls can be better.

The Ultimate Guide to Webinars - Search Engine Journal
37 tips on webinar strategy, planning, marketing, hosting, and presenting.

Tamarack Webinars
Tamarack will be hosting a series of free webinars on topics of community engagement, poverty reduction and the changing role of poverty.

Table of Engagement Activities and Suppliers - MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement
20+ engagement activities that traditionally happen in-person, but which can be done effectively online.

Best Practices for Hosting a Digital Event Zoom
Best practices and tips for creating an impactful, world-class virtual event

Tips for Remote Working from Virtual Office Pros MoveOn
MoveOn shares tips to make the unplanned and temporary shift to virtual work flow easier.

New to Working from Home? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Meet Like a Pro - Zoom
Tips to help you get set up, limit distractions, maintain confidentiality, and meet like a pro as you work from home.

Remote Study and Remote Work Resources - SFU IT Services
SFU Students can access and download tools to work and study remotely like free access to Abobe Creative Suite until May 31.

5 expert tips for working from home in a crowded house during the coronavirus pandemic
Five ways to organize the home-work environment for a more successful transition into working remotely.

Navigating a Virtual/Remote Workplace During COVID-19 - CanWaCH
Resources for Self-Care.

Ten Tools for Digital Engagement - MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement
Drawn from the engagement toolkit MODUS has built over the years.

Zoom Training Resources
Zoom is quickly becoming the go-to platform for working remotely, education and virtual events. This site helps you navigate everything it can do.

Collaborate effectively in channels - Slack
A guide on how to shares files, respond efficiently and format messages for clarity to make working from home as a team easy.

How to Turn an In-Person Event Into a Compelling Virtual Experience
Salesforce share their knowledge and experience to help transform large-scale events from in-person to online.

How to transition your live event to an engaging virtual experience - SFU
Shauna Sylvester talks about 5 things that make a great online meeting.

The Importance of Informal Conversation when Working from Home - Medium
How to keep casual interactions that are at the heart of strong workplace cultures alive as we continue to work from home.

The Employer’s Guide to Your Team’s Mental Health During COVID-19 - FamilySparks
A list of ways to nurture your team’s mental health during this time.

Support for parents

How to talk to your kids about COVID-19
Child psychologists offer some practical advice for parents on how to talk to their kids about COVID-19.

How can I cope with my feelings about the future? - Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone shares tips on how young people can cope with their feelings about the future, including things like climate change and COVID-19.

Parenting in the time of COVID-19 - WHO
6 tips to help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement including planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.

Coronavirus: 5 tips for navigating children’s screen time during social distancing
Child psychologists and screen time researchers provide research evidence and recommendations for best practice screen use for young children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tips to help families cope during self-isolation due to COVID-19 - Canadian Red Cross
Tips on what items to stock up on and how to keep children's need for entertainment, physical activity and overall comfort met during this time.

Audible launches free audiobook service for children - CBC
Audible has launched a free service called Audible Stories, a database of free audiobooks for children and teenagers.

Tai Asks Why - CBC Radio
Podcast series for children that follows Tai Poole on his quest to find answers to life's biggest questions.

Stories Podcast
A bedtime show for kids of all ages with that is providing read-along e-books and ad-free episodes amidst COVID-19.

Circle Round
A podcast that adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound and music rich radio plays exploring important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity.

Wow in the World - NPR
Science for kids.

Story Pirates
Funny kids' stories, performed by seasoned improv actors.

Ear Snacks
A musical podcast for kids about the world.

Earth Rangers 
A podcast for everyone who loves to explore the mysteries of nature.

What If World
A storytelling podcast for kids. What if a tiny dragon lived in my closet? What if there were a never-ending bowl of ice cream? What if cats ruled the world? 

Molly of Denali - NPR
The daily adventures of 10-year-old Alaska native Molly Mabray, her family, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini.

Short & Curly
A fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents, with questions and ideas to really get you thinking.

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Flyod
A short family friendly audio and video series in the style of old-time radio, distributed via podcasting.

Smash Boom Best
A debate show for kids and families.

But Why?
A podcast for curious kids.

Saturday Morning Theatre
An audio drama anthology series that is fun for the whole family!

Planet Storytime
A storytelling, audio podcast that helps children go inside their minds and into their imagination.

Touch Counts
A tangible arithmetics app by SFU professor Nathalie Sinclair that allows children to use their fingers, eyes and ears to learn to count, add and subtract.

Touch Times
A tangible arithmetics app by SFU professor Nathalie Sinclair that allows children to use their fingers to multiply.


There's new funding to support coronvirus coverage in Canada for freelancers and local newsrooms - Lindsay Sample, The Discourse
The Independent News Challenge is partnering with the Facebook Journalism Project to provide funds and support to freelancers and local news organizations in the Canada covering the coronavirus. 

There's new funding to support coronvirus coverage in Canada for freelancers and local newsrooms - Lindsay Sample, The Discourse
A resource for journalists and people on best practices of combating disinformation, exposing deliberate manipulation of public opinion on social media, digital and news literacy skills and more.

Support for small businesses and non-profits

Gift cards to support small businesses
One concrete way you can support small businesses is by purchasing gift certificates now to use later.

Resources for not-for-profits during COVID-19 - Vantage Point
List of resources for not-for-profits and how to manage health emergencies in a working environment.

The Small Nonprofit Podcast Charity Village
Down-to-earth, practical advice on how to get things done in your small organization.

Learning Centre Charity Village
Thousands of free articles on everything to do with operating a non-profit.

Survive & Thrive: Financial Strategies & Scenario Planning for NonProfit - Scale Collaborative
This workshop will provide you with resources and financial planning tools you need to navigate through these uncertain times, survive in the short term and thrive in the long term.

Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19
Resources about rent supplements, mental health support and emergency benefits to help prepare small businesses to get through this challenging time.

Resources for Canadian Fundraisers - Imagine Canada
A list of updates, resources and guides for Canadian Fundraiser.

What is the difference between a local business surviving this pandemic and now? You.
How does it work? Businesses register themselves and a way they can still accept patronage (gift cards, home delivery, etc.) and we help them stay in business by taking advantage of these options!

A Grand Uproar - Save the Small
A resource for people looking for local small businesses to support, as well as helping small businesses compete and survive against online giants like Amazon, now and in the future.

Experts and research

SFU experts' research and advice on COVID-19
These Simon Fraser University experts are available to speak on different aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada.

Coronavirus Readings - The Syllabus
Serious reading on the social, economic and political aspects of this global pandemic.

Explainer- Government COVID-19 Benefits - Adrienne Smith Law
An article that explains what benefits are available to you depending on your health status, and whether you are a worker.

Law in the Time of COVID-19
This podcast explores how governments, organizations, and individuals are managing the impact of COVID-19, and offers insights to help navigate the challenges ahead.

Immediate free access to research: The scholarly response to COVID-19 - SFU Library
Several academic publishers have made research that would ordinarily be paywalled free to access

Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public - UT
JSTOR has ebooks and journals available without the need for a login.

Higher education

COVID-19: updates for Canada’s universities - UA
Regular updates on the situation facing Canada’s universities including information for international students, emergency student funding and more.

Canadian PSE raises funds for student emergency support
Information about funds available for student emergency support.

Support for students; COVID-19 resources - SFU
Information and resources for SFU students including about withdrawal deadlines, P & F grades, study permits, immigration issues, co-op and more.

All in this together - COVID-19 Response, supporting students and sharing resources - SFU
A list of resources, advice and response and informations about SFU Urgent Response Fund that helps students to quickly access funds for day-to-day living expenses, flights to reunite with their families, access to technology to complete their work, and more.

Health and wellness

How to Stay Healthy During Self Isolation
Faculty of Health Sciences professor Scott Lear provides tips on how to stay healthy during self isolation, including staying socially connected, exercising and eating healthy. 

Resources and Self Care for Graduate and Postdocs - SFU
A collection of resources to support SFU graduate students, postdocs and staff. 

Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine - Eileen Feliciano
Psychologist Eileen Feliciano offers 25 practical tips to help manage your mental health while socially distanced. 

COVID-19 advice for the public: Myth busters - WHO
The WHO has created a number of "myth busters," easy-to-share graphics that you can use to bust myths about coronavirus when talking with family and friends.

Ten Ways to Stay Well During the COVID-19 Pandemic - MindWell
Wellness tips as well as free mindfulness resources and training to help decrease stress, become more mindful in your daily life, build resilience and feel more able to face these uncertain times.

How to stay positive and resilient while working from home - SFU
SFU Psychology professor Lara Aknin shares some advice and recommendations on how to maintain resilience and remain happy during these challenging times.

COVID-19 and mental health and well-being - CMHA
CMHA has put together some resources and suggestions to help support your mental health at this time of uncertainty.

Keeping elders safe while combating loneliness during COVID-19
Gerontology professor Andrew Wister, director of SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre, has suggestions for how we can protect and support elders and what to do if they aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously.

Mental Health Resources for Undergraduate and Graduate Students - SFU
The Faculty of Health Sciences Graduate Caucus has created a list of mental health resources and supports available to undergraduate and graduate students during this challenging time.

Your One-Stop Wellness Hub - FamilySparks
This is the place to find timely, clinically-based mental health articles for you and your family.

Special Programming during the current Health Situation - Crisis Centre
Crisis Centre is expanding their mindfulness-based programs online for youth and adults.  These courses are available, free of charge, to provide resources and strategies to help people get through these challenging and changing times.

Coronavirus Bonus - The Happiness Lab
A podcast with resources and tips to help you get through these tough times including how to beat isolation and loneliness, how to remain calm, how to help others and more. 


Water Engagement Resources and COVID-19
SFU's Faculty of Environment's Pacific Water Research Centre (PWRC) has collected useful engagement resources related to water.

Food, movement and living

Moving in a Liveable Region during COVID-19
Information you need to know when using mobility options during COVID-19.

Vancouver’s Take-Out Options, Mapped
Here's a map and an A-Z on where Vancouverites can order take-out, delivery and get nourishing provisions right now.

Take Home VancouverVancouver Is Awesome
A helpful guide for delivery and takeout during the COVID-19 crisis.

Support your local, independent restaurants - Breaking Bread
A list of restaurants across British Columbia and beyond that are offering delivery, take-out, curb-side pick-up, meal prep, grocery and more, as well as other ways of showing support.

Support Vancouver's Local Delivery Businesses - YVR Local Delivery
A list of delivery option including bakeries, cosmetics, books, entertainment, pharmacies, liquor, groceries and many more.


Digital Accessibility 101 - Enginess
It shouldn't take a criss to make our digital spaces accessible to everyone.

Carleton prof creates plain-language guide for getting government aid
A Carleton University professor has created a plain language guide to help those trying to access government programs in the time of coronavirus.

Other resource collections

WeGotChu - SFU Morris. J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
A one-stop resource centre and FAQ designed to help people under 30 navigate their health and social needs during the pandemic.

The CommUNITY Centre Vancity
Vanity has put together a list of information and resources about everyday finances, health and other questions you may have right now.

Broadbent Institute Resources and Responses to COVID–19
A list of resource and a sharing centre for those wanting to advocate for better worker and community protections and support in this time of crisis.

Continuing Everyday
A website dedicated to keep our community connected in times of uncertainty—continuing everyday life, while staying inside.

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