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

Indigenous Artists in Communities and Schools Projects

Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #153147

Grant Description

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.

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

The program has 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
  • Childcare and other dependant care fees enabling individuals to take part in the project (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

Need help writing this grant?


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

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 and collectives comprised of individuals, of whom at least 50 per cent identify as Indigenous
not-for-profit Indigenous organizations, centres 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 of employment hours.
- Applicants must be Ontario residents.

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 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: April 13 and October 19, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

The application form will be available in Nova about two months before the deadline. You will find out whether you got a grant about four and a half months after each deadline.

Note: Applicants may apply to only one category.

Guide to OAC Project Programs:

Guide to OAC Assessment:

Application questions:

Evaluation rubric - Activity Projects:

Nova User Guide:

Additional Funding Information:

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

Contact Information:

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, Officer

Candice Jacko, Program Administrator

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

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