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Music Creation Projects

Grants to Ontario Composers and Musical
Groups to Create Original Music

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

09/15/21 1:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $4,000 and grants of up to $20,000 to Ontario professional artists and groups for the creation of original music. Funding is intended for pieces initiated by the artist as well as for commissioned pieces. Eligible applicants include music professionals at any level, creating original music in any style or genre.

There are two project categories:

Self-directed creation: Projects where the applicant is an individual creator who is requesting support for composing/writing a new piece of music or body of work (for example, a song set). The applicant is taking their own initiative and making their own decisions about the music to be created.

Commissioning: Projects where the applicant is an individual composer/songwriter working with a commissioner. The commissioner can be an individual artist, music group or non-profit arts organization, choreographer or dance company, who makes a commitment to give the proposed commissioned work a première.

Program priorities include:

  • support for projects that display exceptional creativity in composition and song-writing
  • projects that enhance the range of music available to performers and the public
  • projects that, in addition to the above, may contribute to arts education, public participation and community involvement in the arts in Ontario (e.g. composition for children’s choir)

This program funds

Composition/creation of new original work. This may also include:

  • Creation of a companion piece or additional movements, intended to accompany an earlier composition
  • Completion of a larger-scale work under development (e.g. an opera)
  • Music incorporating other media or art forms

For a complete list of eligible activities and expenses, please see the URL for Full Text (RFP) link below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153165

Estimated Size of Grant:

Self-directed creation: maximum $4,000
Commissioning: maximum $20,000

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 results

Note: For self-directed creation, your project may have started before the program deadline date. However, expenses incurred before the deadline date are ineligible and will not be covered by this grant. For commissioning, composer and librettists/lyricists fees may include activity that occurred before the deadline. The world première/performance, public releases of recordings and/or publishing of new songs/compositions cannot be earlier than four and a half months after the deadline.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Individuals: professional composers, songwriters and music creators, who are Ontario residents
- Others may be involved in the creative process. This could include commissioners where applicable, musicians, band members, lyricists, etc.)
- Individual applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply.

For applicants applying for music commissions only:
- Composers are the applicant and commissioners of the new music are required participants
- Commissioners can be professional individual artists (music performers, choreographers) music groups, not-for-profit arts organization or dance company. Commissioners not entirely comprised of professional musicians, such as community orchestras or choirs, are also possible
- Commissioners where music performance is not a primary activity, (e.g. an art gallery), are eligible. However, commissioners must describe their music programming curation and the context in which the new work will be presented to the public
- Projects with commissioners located outside Ontario are eligible. The world première may occur elsewhere, but any plans for the first Ontario performance must be provided
- Commissions suitable for young performers are eligible if the impact on learners or its potential for future use by the music education community can be demonstrated

Note: This program is not for recording activity.

Ineligible applicants
- Ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations. Note: an individual may apply to create with others
- Professional composers or songwriters who are currently enrolled in composition or songwriting courses or a music composition degree program at a university, college or conservatory (composition/songwriting workshops are permitted), are not eligible to apply in the Self-directed creation category. However, they may apply in the Commissioning category, provided they can demonstrate that the professional contract to create a new composition for the commissioner is independent of their studies.

For a list of ineligible activities and expenses, see URL for Full Text (RFP) link below.

Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.

Pre-Application Information:

Application deadlines: April 14 and September 15, 2021, 1 p.m. EST
Applications are available in Nova approximately two months before the deadline.
Grant notification will be available approximately four and a half months after each deadline.

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 this page after the program opens in Nova, but before starting your application.

Before applying, you must:
- Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs:
- Read the Guide to OAC Assessment:
- Create or update your profile in Nova

For help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide:

Evaluation Rubric:

Music Definitions Page:

Application questions:

Guide to OAC Support Material:

Contact Information:

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

Nova, the Ontario Arts Council's online application system:

Music Program Administrator
Jenny Knox

Ontario Arts Council
1212 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3M5
1-800-387-0058 (toll-free in Ontario)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario;

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