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Indigenous Arts Projects Grants

Grants to Ontario Indigenous Nonprofits, Groups,
and Artists for Artistic Projects and Activities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

09/19/18 1:00 PM ET


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Grants of up to $30,000 to Ontario nonprofit organizations, artistic groups, and collectives, and grants of up to $15,000 to individual Indigenous artists to support artistic projects. This program supports First Nations, Inuit, and Metis artists in researching, developing, and creating new work and community engagement. This program also supports Indigenous organizations and communities to strengthen their relationships with the arts.

There are two categories:
-Ad hoc groups/collectives, organizations

Grants help cover the costs of:

-Research and development that will lead to the creation of new work. Artistic research, exploration and experimentation including workshops/residencies are also eligible. All emerging, mid-career and established artists (including curators) working with all art forms are welcome to apply

-Creation and production of new work in any art form (e.g. film/video, visual arts, new media, cultural arts, dance, theatre, music, pottery, fiction, spoken word and storytelling, etc.). All emerging, mid-career and established artists working in all art forms are welcome to apply

-Presentations, exhibitions, publications and festivals in which the primary purpose of the project is the presentation, promotion and distribution of art made by Indigenous artists. Examples include exhibitions, individual and series presentations, publications, tours, festivals and innovative audience development projects

-Connections and partnerships that bring artists together through conferences, workshops, gatherings, delegations, exchanges or other activities that will foster artistic relationships, connections and partnerships that strengthen the Indigenous arts community

This program funds:
-Research and development activities
-Creation and production of new work
-Presentation and distribution of art by Indigenous artists
-Individual and series presentations
-Festivals and innovative audience-development projects

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153148

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Individuals: maximum $15,000
-Ad hoc groups/collectives, organizations: maximum $30,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
-Professional artists 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 per cent identify as Indigenous
-Not-for-profit Indigenous organizations, centers and councils
-Applicants must have a permanent physical address in Ontario

Eligible applicants include Ontario-based:
-Individual professional artists and/or arts professionals
-Ad hoc groups/collectives

All applicants must have a permanent physical address in Ontario.

In some project programs, municipalities, colleges/universities, school boards, First Nation and schools administered by a First Nations or Indigenous Education Authority are eligible. For a list of the types of organizations eligible to apply to a particular project grant program, refer to the program’s web page.

An Individual must:
-Be a professional artist/arts professional. The OAC defines a professional artist/arts professional as someone who has developed skills through training or practice, is recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for her or his work and actively practices his or her art. Short breaks in artistic work history are acceptable.
-Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, or have an application pending for permanent resident status and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.
-Be a resident of Ontario who has lived in Ontario for 12 consecutive months prior to making a grant application, and
-Live in Ontario no less than eight months a year.

Temporary absences from the province:
-You must have lived in Ontario no less than 8 months in the 12 months immediately preceding the deadline for the grant program to which you are applying. Or, if you were temporarily absent from Ontario prior to this application deadline, you absence must have been for no more than one year and must not be recurring.
-Prior to this absence, you must have been a resident of Ontario who lived in the province for at least 12 consecutive months.
-During this absence, you must have maintained you residency status and a permanent physical address in Ontario, and must not have applied to public funding agencies/ministries in the jurisdiction of your temporary residence.

Establishing permanent residency:
-If you are new to Ontario or returning to the province after an absence of more than 12 months, you must establish or re-establish Ontario residency for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to the deadline for the grant program to which you are applying.

If requested by OAC, you must provide documentation to verify your residency information.

Ad hoc groups/collectives must:
-Have 50 per cent of their members residing in Ontario
-Be comprised of at least two members who are Ontario-based professional artists, artistic leaders or arts professionals, who will be responsible for the administration of the grant on behalf of the ad hoc group/collective
-Not be a corporation
-Be able to deposit a grant cheque in the name of the ad hoc group/collective

Note: Ad hoc groups/collectives may be formed for a one-time project (ad hoc group) or have ongoing activity (collective).
Incorporated not-for-profit organizations must:
-Be incorporated in Ontario or federally
-Have a head office in Ontario
-Be governed by a volunteer board of directors or an advisory board

For-profit organizations (book or magazine publishers only) must: 
-Be incorporated in Ontario or federally
-Be an Ontario-based, Canadian-owned book or periodical publisher eligible for funding in OAC’s publishing programs
-Have a head office in Ontario

A college/university must:
-Be Ontario-based
-Present/produce professional Ontario artists, arts professionals and/or arts groups/ collectives and/or arts organizations
-Be registered through the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
-Have a staff member responsible for arts programming

A municipality, school board, First Nation or school administered by a First Nation or an Indigenous administered authority must:
-Be Ontario-based
-Engage professional Ontario artists or present/produce/publish the work of professional Ontario artists, arts groups/ collectives or arts organizations
-Have a staff member responsible for arts programming

Important: The OAC may request documentation to confirm an applicant's eligibility at any time. If they are unable to provide documentation, their application will be withdrawn or any funds granted must be repaid.
-You are not eligible to apply to any OAC project program if you have an overdue or unapproved final report in any OAC grant program. Note: Only final reports associated with grants received through Nova applications are displayed in your Nova profile. If you are unsure of the due date or status of any other final report(s), please contact OAC. 
-If you have an overdue report for a previous grant at an application deadline, your application is ineligible and will be withdrawn.
-You may only apply for one grant in any program per deadline.
-You cannot receive more than one OAC project grant for the same activity.
-You are not eligible to submit more than one project grant application at a time for the same activity. You may re-apply to OAC for the same activity if you have received notification that your first application was not successful. 
-Third-party recommender programs are an exception – the same activity may be supported by multiple recommender grants. See recommender program web pages for specific eligibility criteria.

Three-grant limit:
-Individuals, and organizations that do not receive OAC operating funding, are eligible to receive up to three project grants in a calendar year, provided each grant is for a different activity. This three-grant limit per year is based on the date of the application deadline, not on the date the grant payment is received. If you submit three project program applications during the year, you cannot submit a fourth until you have received notification that one of your applications has not been successful. If you have already received one project grant in a year, you may apply for only two other project grants at a time; if you have already received two project grants in a given year, you may apply for only one other project grant at a time. Grants received in third-party recommender programs are exceptions and do not count toward the three-grant limit. The recommender programs are: Exhibition Assistance, Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators, Recommender Grants for Writers, and Indigenous Visual Artists Materials.
-Operating grant recipients may receive a maximum of two project grants in a year. Refer to each project program page for information on eligible applicants.
-Grants in these programs are exceptions, and do not count as OAC grants: Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment in Ontario; Indigenous Culture Fund

Ineligible Applicants:
-Municipalities, colleges and/or universities

This program does not fund:
-Fundraising activities
-Capital expenses

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline Dates: March 22 and September 19, 2018, 1 p.m. ET.

Applications are available in Nova approximately two months before the deadline. Grant notification will be available approximately four months after each deadline.

Consult the program officer if you wish to discuss the request amount for your project.

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. You will be able to do this approximately two months before the deadline.

Guide to OAC Project Programs:

Guide to OAC Assessment:

Application Questions:–-activity-projects

Preparing Effective Support Material for Theatre, Dance and Performance-Based Multi and Inter-Arts:

Preparing Effective Support Material for Visual Arts and Craft grants:

Evaluation Rubric:–-activity-projects/evaluation-rubric-–-activity-projects

Nova User Guide:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online through Nova:

Renee Lottridge, Program Administrator

Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7440

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario