If you are an artist living or working in Canada, public funding for the arts is available to you through your provincial government depending on which province you reside in.
The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is an arm's-length agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. They fund individuals, non-profits and charities in Ontario.
They fund the following artistic disciplines:
- Media Arts
- Multi and Inter-Arts
- Visual Arts
Under these activities:
- Creating and Presenting
- Building Audiences and Markets
- Engaging Communities and Schools
- Developing Careers and Arts Services
Plus third-party recommender grants:
- Recommender Grants for Writers
- Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators (See below)
And a variety of awards
They currently have identified the following priority groups:
- Artists of Colour
- Deaf Artists and Artists with Disabilities
- Francophone Artists
- Indigenous Artists
- New Generation Artists (18-30 years old)
- Artists Living in Regions Outside Toronto
Applications are taken online through a portal called Nova.
Note: When applying for an OAC grant, you (if applying individually) or 50% of the collective (if applying as a collective) must reside in Ontario, with a physical Ontario address. For any uncertainties around your address, contact the OAC directly.
Find out more: arts.on.ca
Watch the OAC’s video series, including videos about grant writing tips on their Youtube Page.
The Ontario Arts Council offers a program called the Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators (RGTC), previously the Theatre Creators’ Reserve (TCR). This program funds creation activity for new theatre works. This means you can apply for financial support to pay for your subsistence while you are writing a new play, or to pay for research required for your play, or to hire a dramaturg, among other costs associated with getting a copy of your script to completion. This program can also fund pure research in the process of developing a show, and does not require a finished product to be produced. This is a great way to fund the early stages of development, thinking, research and experimentation. It's also a great way to let local theatre companies know about the projects you are working on.
Recommender grant deadlines usually fall between September and January each year. Each recommender company sets their own deadline.
You submit an application to a specific theatre company that is a recommender. Your application will be assessed by someone (or a group of people) at that theatre company. If your application is successful, they will recommend the OAC grants you funds to create your work. (This means that the OAC will fund your work).
The program is an opportunity for theatre companies to support new work without using up their own company budget. Each company is allotted an amount they can recommend. Also, a recommendation does not mean the company is committed to developing the work further or producing it in the future. It does mean that the work deserves resources, and they are interested in the work.
It is important to know what kind of work each company is looking to support. Tailor the application to each company. Each company has its own timeline. All applications are submitted through Nova, and use the same questions and format.
How Recommender Grants Work: arts.on.ca/grants/recommender
For a list of companies that offer Recommender Grants, visit here.
The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is focused on supporting artists over the long term. They are a registered charity with no governmental ties. The foundation effectively manages over 300 endowment funds, valuing at $72 million. The foundation gives awards, funds and scholarships in all different artistic disciplines to support individuals, collectives and organizations. These monetary awards are used towards research, study or development. The OAF works closely with their sister organization, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), and borrows their peer assessment model for selection of certain awards. The OAF is run by a 12-member volunteer board and small staff team.
The OAF has 3 sections of focus:
- Arts Organizations: the OAF helps arts organizations build their capital funding
- Personal Philanthropy: the OAF helps individuals by supporting their personal values and helping them build personal legacies within the arts
- Corporate Philanthropy: the OAF pairs corporations with arts organizations to help leverage partnerships within communities
Awards, funds and scholarships are awarded to artists in the following disciplines:
- Literature/Media Arts
- Visual Arts
- Arts Service Organizations
The OAF is interested in funding arts organizations and individuals who are based in Ontario.
Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) funds organizations based on what they've identified as the most important changes that should happen in Ontario over the next decade for communities to be more healthy and vibrant. They focus on programs geared towards active living, community building, environmental initiatives, arts & culture, children & youth, and economic well being.
They offer four types of funding:
- Seed Grants
- Grow Grants
- Capital Grants
- Youth Opportunities Fund
Are you living outside of Ontario and want to hear what grants apply to you? We would love to hear from you. It's important for us to know who our users are and to respond to the questions they have about producing in Canada. Email us at communications at generatorto.com!