Grants of up to $25,000 to British Columbia nonprofit community arts organizations and Indigenous community organizations and governments to provide arts programming and activities. Applicants must complete required registrations prior to applying. Funding is intended to support the development of community-based arts through the creation or presentation of public programming initiatives that provide engagement between artists, participants, and communities, and reduce or eliminate barriers to public participation in the arts.
Activities may include performances, exhibitions, documentation and dissemination projects, creation of new works, artists’ residencies, exploration and presentation of traditional, new or diverse art forms, and artistic or organizational development projects.
Examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:
Developing and presenting a group art exhibition, artist’s talks, and community art workshops, focused on a theme, and coordinated and curated by a team of local artists.
A collaborative exploration of the culture of a specified community through dance, music, visual art and craft, or storytelling, led by members of that community.
Research, co-creation, and performances of a community-led theatre project that includes aspects of mentorship and skills training from professionals.
Indigenous artists, youth and Elders promoting Indigenous learning, mentorship and apprenticeship through the creation and presentation of new art works.
An artist development series for emerging artists to support skills development and foster peer connection with mentorship from established artists.
A series of multi-disciplinary arts gatherings including artist talks, readings from writers, live music, slam poetry, non-commercial film screenings and digital art, within a defined time period.
Designated Priority Groups:
The BC Arts Council has committed to targeted investment in underserved and equity-deserving organizations and the development of equity support initiatives, including a policy to support designated priority groups. These identified groups will be the focus of BC Arts Council strategic measures, through dedicated programs, funding prioritization processes, partnerships, and outreach. The BC Arts Council's designated priority groups include applicants and arts and cultural practitioners who are:
Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit) Peoples;
Deaf or experience disability;
Black or people of color; or
Located in areas outside greater Vancouver or the capital region.
To be eligible, organizations must either be:
- A Community Arts Organization, registered and in good standing as a non-profit society or community service co-op in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application
- Community arts councils;
- Community driven, generally non-professional, volunteer-managed arts and culture organizations; or
- Community-based arts and cultural centers, whose primary purpose is community-centered engagement and access to the arts.
- An Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) community organization registered and in good standing as a non-profit society or community service co-op in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application with:
o The majority of key staff (paid or volunteer) and board members based in B.C.; and
o A commitment to offering regular arts and culture activities.
- An Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) government in B.C. that offers regular arts and culture activities.
An eligible organization must also:
- Provide public arts and culture programming and engagement (or service to the arts and culture sector) in B.C. as a primary activity, and have done so for a minimum of one year prior to the application submission deadline;
- Engage community-based board leadership and, if applicable, skilled artistic or administrative leadership (paid or volunteer);
- Fairly compensate artists, arts and cultural practitioners, technicians, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers. Compensation must align with project and community contexts and industry standards within the field of practice;
- Follow international intellectual property rights standards and cultural ownership protocols.
- Follow the Criminal Records Review Act which requires that people who work with or may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults must undergo a criminal record check by the Criminal Records Review Program;
- Not currently receive Operating Assistance from the BC Arts Council;
- Have completed and submitted any overdue final reports on previous BC Arts Council grants by the application submission deadline for this program; and
- Provide programs that benefit the community at-large and not solely the interests of its nonprofit society members.
Examples of activities that are not eligible for support in this program:
- A professional arts organization offering a community-engaged arts project.
- A community art club holding an art sale, where there is no engagement with professionals, and there is no set payment of fair compensation to artists.
- A community performing arts organization offering a performance where there is no engagement with professionals, and there is no set payment of fair compensation to artists.
- Ongoing multi-day festivals and projects embedded within ongoing multi-day festivals, and other activities eligible within the Project Assistance: Community Arts Festivals or Professional Arts Festivals programs.
- Support for an organization’s entire season of performances or artistic programming.
- Literacy programs or projects focused on curriculum delivery.
- Projects or activities that do not involve or benefit artists, arts and cultural practitioners, Elders, or Knowledge Keepers.
- Projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts and culture focus.
Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm on Tuesday October 17, 2023.
Decisions will be announced in February 2024.
New applicants must register and create a profile in the online grant management system. It may take up to five business days to process your registration request. You will receive an email when your registration request is approved. Once approved, you will be able to access the online application.
Organizations may submit only one application to this grant program per intake.
Applicants may request:
- A grant amount for up to 50% of the total eligible project budget; or
- A grant amount for up to 65% of the total eligible project budget from applicants that are considered part of the BC Arts Council’s designated priority groups as described above
Grants typically range from $5,000 to $20,000, with a maximum grant amount of $25,000.