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Grants to Ontario Nonprofit Orchestras, Opera Companies, and Other Music Presenters for General Operating Support

Music Organizations: Operating


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
Canada: Ontario;

Important Dates
Deadline: 10/18/22 1:00 PM ET - For Festivals Save

Grant Description
Grants to Ontario nonprofit orchestras, opera companies, choral organizations, and other music presenter and producer organizations to support general operations. New applicants are required to contact program staff and register for an account prior to submitting an application.

Priority will be given to: 

  • Activities that engage Ontario and Canadian professional musicians and support the work of Ontario and Canadian composers and songwriters, unless restricted by genre (e.g. early music ensemble).
  • Activities that support public access to a broad range of music forms and the development of audiences.
  • Activities that, in addition to the above, may contribute to arts education, public participation and community involvement in the arts in Ontario.
  • Activities that advance the development of music in Ontario.

This program supports the general operations of: 

  • Opera companies
  • Orchestras (also includes semi-professional, nationally designated youth training)
  • Choral organizations (also includes semi-professional, community choirs, training organizations)
  • Music-mandated producers and presenters (e.g. series, festivals, contemporary music organizations)


  • 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 a head office in Ontario.

Organizations must have at least $75,000 in total revenue for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenue for the current and requested years (for applicants not currently receiving funding from this program), with the following exception:

- Opera companies must have at least $100,000 in total revenue for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenues for the current and requested years

- Orchestras must have at least $200,000 in total revenues for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenue for the current and requested years

Additionally, organizations must have:
- 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.

Music organizations must:
- Actively support Canadian music by hiring professional Ontarian and Canadian performers, and by performing the music of professional Canadian composers/songwriters (unless restricted by mandate: e.g., Baroque orchestra)
- Produce and/or present curated music programming that reflects a defined artistic mandate.

Orchestras must:
- Be professional, semi-professional or a nationally designated orchestral training organization.
- Have completed at least two full seasons by the application date, with a minimum of two self-presented concerts with a different repertoire in each season.
- Provide evidence of professional artistic leadership (conductors, core players, etc.) in the case of semi-professional orchestras.

Choral organizations must:
- Provide evidence of professional artistic leadership (conductors, rehearsal pianists section leads, etc.) in the case of choral organizations that include some amateur singers.
- Have an audition/selection process in place to determine qualified choir members.

Opera companies must:
- Have production of professional opera as the core mandate
- Produce a minimum of two operas per season in the case of.companies that produce standard repertoire
- Undertake workshops each season of operas being developed for future productions in the case companies dedicated to the development and production of new work

Music festivals must:
- Have core programming that occurs within a concentrated time period.

Read the Guide to OAC Operating Programs, in Pre-Application Information, below, for more eligibility information.

Ineligible applicants:
-Non-arts organizations
-Municipalities, colleges and/or universities
-Presenting facilities
-Organizations or programming that are attached to, or operate directly as part of, religious institutions
-Organizations that do not have music programming as their primary mandate
-Entertainment/variety presenters, trade shows, and conferences
-Music competitions
-Youth orchestras
-Organizations that operate under the umbrella of a parent organization that is currently funded through another OAC operating program.

Additional Geographic Information:

OAC Geographic Regions maps:

Pre-Application Information
Application Deadline: March 9 (all organizations, except festivals) and October 18 (festivals only), 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Until this program opens in Nova, the Ontario Arts Council’s online granting system, program information may change. This includes deadline dates and specific information on eligibility. Be sure to visit the URL for Full Text (RFP) after the program opens in Nova, but before starting your application.

- In 2022 this program is in year 1 of a three-year cycle and is accepting new applicants.
- Applications are available in Nova about two months before the deadline.
- Financial and statistical reports must be submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC) before the deadline.
- Grant notification will be available about five months after each deadline.

- Important: After this year, 2025 will be the next deadline open to new applicants to this program.
- New applicants must contact the program officer to discuss eligibility.

Before applying, applicants must:
- Read the Guide to OAC Operating Programs:
- Read the Guide to OAC Assessment:
- Contact the program officer to discuss eligibility (new applicants only)
- Create or update your profile in Nova, see link, below
- Register for an account with CADAC (new applicants only):

Application Questions:

Nova user guide:

Guide to OAC support material:

Grant deadlines and important dates:

Evaluation Rubric - Operating Programs:

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.
- 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.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

David Parsons, Officer
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7452

Dwayne Dixon, Officer
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​1-800-387-0058

Jenny Knox, Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7430

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