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Indigenous Artists in Communities and Schools Projects

Grants to Ontario Nonprofits, Educational Institutions, and Individuals to
Promote Collaboration between Indigenous Artists and Local Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

09/15/21 1:00 PM ET


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Grants of up to $15,000 and grants of up to $17,000 to Ontario nonprofits, educational institutions, and individuals for projects that feature Indigenous arts and culture. The purpose of the program is to encourage the artistic collaboration of Indigenous artists or Elders with community members, transmit artistic skills and knowledge, and provide 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 co-creation, production, exhibitions and presentations, in all arts disciplines
  • Workshop series, art camps, summer programs, experiential arts learning activities and after-school art programs
  • Community-based arts activities held in schools, community centres, health centres, home studios, galleries, site specific and on the land
  • Training for artists who wish to improve their skills and 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)
  • Purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
  • Child care and other dependant care fees (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)
  • Expenses related to making the project accessible to audiences and project participants (other than the applicant) who are Deaf or have a disability

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153147

Estimated Size of Grant:

Indigenous artists in northern Ontario fly-in communities: maximum $17,000
All other categories: maximum $15,000

Term of Contract:

The activities for which the grantee is requesting funding must be completed no more than two years after they receive the grant.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Professional artists and Elders who self-identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit, and are Ontario residents
- Ad hoc group/collectives comprised of individuals, of whom at least 50 percent 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

Note: Applicants to this program who identify as Deaf or as having a disability may apply for supplementary funds for their own accessibility expenses through Accessibility Fund: Project Support.

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
- Major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
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, 2021, 1 p.m. ET

Before applying, the applicant must:
- Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs at the following link:
- Read the Guide to OAC Assessment at the following link:

Applications will be available approximately two months before the deadline. Grant notification will be available approximately four and a half months after each deadline.

See application questions:

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
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058

Candice Jacko
Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​1-800-387-0058

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario;

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