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Indigenous Artists in Communities and Schools Projects

Grants to Ontario Aboriginal Artists and
Nonprofits to Create and Experience Original Art

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

09/15/20 1:00 PM ET


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Grants to Ontario nonprofit organizations, First Nation schools, and Aboriginal artists. Funding is intended to bring artists to work with individuals or groups of people from a community to create, experience, or present artistic work.

The program supports projects that bring together Ontario-based Indigenous artists or Elders to:
- Work with individuals or groups of people from a community on collaborative activities that create a meaningful arts experience and transmit artistic skills and knowledge
- Teach arts workshops in schools during the upcoming school year, engaging children and youth in creative, active, hands-on and in-depth arts experiences

There are five categories:

- Community arts projects: to help cover the costs of participatory activities that promote learning, collaboration and/or engagement in the arts.

- Indigenous languages through the arts: to help cover the costs of artistic and community-engaged projects in which the primary purpose is the transmission of Indigenous languages through the arts.

- Training for community artists and animators: to help cover the costs of Indigenous artists and animators working in community and non-arts settings to seek training and mentorship opportunities that will strengthen their community arts, arts training or arts education practice.

- Indigenous artists in schools projects: to help cover the costs of activities that promote learning, collaboration and/or engagement in the arts.

- Indigenous artists in northern fly-in communities: supports (a) applicants from fly-in communities working anywhere in Ontario, and (b) applicants from anywhere in Ontario working in fly-in communities

This program funds:
- Community-engaged collective creation, production, exhibitions and presentations.
- Workshop series, art camps, summer programs, experiential arts learning activities, after school art programs.
- Community based arts activities in any community setting including schools, community centers, health centers, home studios, galleries, site specific and on the land.
- Training for artists who wish to improve their skills to work in community settings.
- Hands-on workshops in schools that engage students in a creative process.
- Fees and expenses for Elders and language/knowledge keepers who are engaged in an artistic practice, and helpers.
- Mentorship of emerging Indigenous artist educators, aged between 18 and 30.
- Preparation time, insurance, vulnerable-sector checks, administrative activities of artists.
- Transportation, accommodations and meals, materials and supplies, and equipment rental (if applicable).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153147

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Community arts projects: maximum $15,000
- Indigenous languages through the arts: maximum $15,000
- Training for community artists and animators: maximum $15,000
- Indigenous artists in schools projects: maximum $15,000
- Indigenous artists in northern Ontario fly-in communities: maximum $17,000

Term of Contract:

The activities for which you are requesting funding:
- Cannot start before the deadline
- Cannot finish before you receive your grant results
- Must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Professional artists and Elders who self-identify as First Nations, M├ętis or Inuit, and are Ontario residents.
- Ad hoc group/collectives comprised of individuals, of whom at least 50 per cent identify as Indigenous.
- Not-for-profit Indigenous organizations, centers and councils.
- Elders and language/knowledge keepers who are engaged in an artistic practice. Helpers may be co-applicants or named in the project and included in the budget.
- Ontario schools run by First Nations or Indigenous Education Authorities, applying to bring in Indigenous artists
part-time teachers. Note: they may only apply for a project happening at the school where they are employed if a letter from the school is provided stating that they are doing the project outside employment hours.

Applicants must have a permanent physical address in Ontario.

Ineligible applicants:
- Students
- Municipalities, colleges and/or universities
- Teachers employed full-time by a school board, private school, or a school run by a First Nation or First Nation education authority during the period of time the project will take place

This program does not fund:
- Events or activities that take place outside of Ontario
- Fundraising activities
- Capital expenses
- Talent shows
- School board costs beyond artists fees and travel
- Non-arts partner staff or administrative activities
- Faculty or student projects associated with their research, course work or studies

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline dates: March 4 and September 15, 2020, 1:00 PM ET.

Grant notification approximately four months after the deadline.

If you are Deaf or a person with a disability and require accommodation please be aware that OAC may need advance notice to provide certain alternative formats and additional support in order for applicants to submit their application at the program deadline date. Please contact the program office as soon as possible to discuss options.

Guide to OAC project programs:

Guide to OAC assessment:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Individuals have the option to apply orally to this program. For more information or to apply, call 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7401.

Erika Iserhoff, Indigenous Arts Officer

Ontario Arts Council
121 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto ON M4W 3M5

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario;

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