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Grants to Ontario Nonprofit Arts Service Organizations to Support General Operations

Arts Service Organizations: Operating

Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #153161

Grant Description

Grants to Ontario nonprofit arts service organizations for operational support and capacity-building efforts. First-time applicants must contact program staff prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended for the ongoing operations of professional arts service organizations with a regional, local, provincial, or national mandate.

Organizational categories:

  • National Arts Service Organizations
  • Provincial Arts Service Organizations
  • Regional Arts Service Organizations
  • Local Arts Service Organizations
  • Community Arts Councils

The program's priorities are to support organizations that demonstrate a consistent commitment to:

  • Providing high-quality services to professional artists, arts professionals, or arts organizations in Ontario
  • Providing services for members who are or who are mandated to support OAC priority groups: artists of color, Deaf Artists and artists with disabilities, Francophone artists, Indigenous artists, new generation artists (18-30 years old), and artists living in regions outside Toronto.

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

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are Ontario-based, not-for-profit corporations, or national not-for-profit corporations with the head office in Ontario.

Organizations must have:
- At least $75,000 in total revenues for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenues for the current and requested years (for applicants not currently receiving funding from this program)
- At least two years of sustained, regular, ongoing programming, as of the application date. If your organization does not meet this requirement, consider applying for project funding
- A range of revenue sources
- An active board of directors/governing body

Arts Service Organizations must:
- Have a primary mandate to provide services to artists and/or arts organizations
- Serve professional artists, arts professionals, and/or arts organizations. The arts professionals and arts organizations you serve must be eligible to apply to another OAC program.
- Have at least one (full- or half-time) paid staff member. If your organization does not currently have any paid staff, a written plan proposing how the organization will move toward having paid staff within the next year or two is required.

To apply for operating support your organization must:
- Be led by professional personnel
- Have completed at least two years of sustained, regular, ongoing programming in its community as of the application date. (An organization that does not meet this requirement may instead apply for project funding.)
- Have a range of revenue sources such as private and government
- Be governed by a board of directors or an advisory body solely responsible for the organization
- Have community support and involvement demonstrated through one or more of the following: membership, fundraising, and volunteer involvement
- Have proof of sound financial management
- Be registered through the Canadian Arts Database/Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC)

Ineligible Applicants:
- Non-arts organizations
- Municipalities, colleges, and/or universities

Operating Program Restrictions:
-The OAC will not accept applications to an operating program from organizations whose reports for previously awarded OAC grants are overdue or incomplete; municipalities, universities or colleges, school boards, First Nations or schools administered by a First Nation or an Indigenous administered school
- Arts organizations are eligible to receive only one OAC operating grant. An organization cannot apply to another OAC operating grant program unless they have been notified that their application was not successful.
- Operating grant recipients are not eligible to apply to a project grant program if their final report for a previous grant is overdue. 

Pre-Application Information:

New applicants must consult with the program officer to ensure they are eligible, and be invited to apply.

The deadline to apply is March 16, 2022, at 1:00 PM ET. Applications are available in Nova about two months before the deadline.

Grant notification will be available about five months after the deadline.

OAC recognizes that 2022 will continue to be a challenging time for many arts organizations. Organizations applying for multi-year funding in year 1 will be required to submit some information about their plans and budget for year 2, but not year 3.

Guide to OAC Operating Programs:

Guide to OAC Assessment:

Application questions:

Nova Online Application User Guide:

Guide to OAC Support Materials:

Support for Deaf Artists and Artists with Disabilities:

Term of Contract:

After being paused last year, multi-year cycles have resumed for all operating programs. The timing of cycles for some programs has been adjusted. A program that was in year 1 in 2020 may now be in year 1 again, for example.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

Maura Broadhurst, Officer
Phone: 416-646-7467
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​1-800-387-0058

Elizabeth Braoudakis
Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​1-800-387-0058

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