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Grants to Ontario Nonprofits, Ad-Hoc Groups, and Publishers for Public Literary Events and Publications

Literary Organizations Projects


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/23/23 1:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $12,000 to Ontario nonprofit arts organizations, ad-hoc groups, and for-profit publishers for events and publications that promote Canadian literature throughout the province. Funding is intended to support professional development activities, performance series, fairs, and festivals, as well as literary book and magazine publishing that present oral and written literature to the public.

There are five categories:

  • Festivals and fairs: Events including an organized and multi-faceted program of literary activities that takes place within a defined and concentrated period of time of one or more days. Events may be focused on literary performance, the promotion and sale of Canadian books, or both.
  • Performance series: Event series that host regular events presenting literary performance to the public, including slams, storytelling series, and reading series.
  • Development initiatives: Activities and initiatives that benefit Ontario’s professional literary sector at large. This includes professional development for literary artists and arts workers, conferences and other activities with a community impact.
  • Literary book* publishing: The publication of eligible Canadian-authored books in print and/or digital formats, for distribution to the public through an identified and viable market channel.
  • Literary magazine** publishing: The publication of a literary magazine featuring predominantly Canadian writers and artists in print and/or digital formats.

* Eligible books are works of literary, artistic, or cultural importance in the genres of fiction; poetry; drama; literary and arts criticism; autobiography, biography, memoir and essays; comics and graphic novels; works for children and young adults; and creative and literary works of history, politics, social issues, science, travel, etc.

 **A literary magazine is a magazine that publishes original literary works, or works of criticism or journalism about an arts discipline funded by OAC, in a print or electronic format as its primary activity (representing at least 50% of the organization’s expenses). The contributors must be predominantly Canadian and contributions must be primarily published in English.

For further information on program-specific definitions, see the Full Grant Text RFP link.

This program funds:

  • Artists’ fees, production costs, marketing, promotion, audience development and administration costs of literary festivals and event series
  • Presenter, facilitator, and consultant fees, production costs, marketing, promotion, audience development and administration costs of sector development initiatives
  • Editorial, production, circulation, marketing and promotion costs of publishing eligible books or magazines in English, and sales, distribution, and administrative costs if directly related to an eligible publication
  • Purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
  • Child care and other dependant care fees (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

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 (


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Literary festival, performance series, and sector development categories are open to:
- Ontario-based ad hoc groups and collectives
- Ontario-based not-for-profit arts organizations

Literary book and magazine publishing categories are open to:
- Not-for-profit arts organizations, as well as eligible for-profit book and magazine publishers, with a permanent physical address in Ontario, that
a. Publish primarily in English;
b. Are free to make their own editorial decisions and sign contracts in their own name; and
c. Pay contributors’ fees or royalties and issue contributors’ contracts (note: all applicants must already be paying contributors)
- Publishers that are established on a for-profit basis, either as sole proprietorships or as incorporated organizations, must be Canadian-owned and -controlled (see Program-specific definitions below) with the head office (at least 50 per cent of employees and editorial, management and financial control) in Ontario.

If the applicant has previously received three or more grants from this program, it must have published no fewer than two eligible books or arts magazine issues in the 12 months prior to the program deadline, unless that publisher is an online magazine that has posted arts content regularly for the last 12 months.

New publishers no longer need to have established an ongoing publishing program in order to apply. This requirement is still in place for organizations that have received three or more grants from this program.

The definition of a professional publisher has been clarified to specify organizations for which publishing activities represent more than 50% of annual expenses.

Additional Geographic Information:

OAC Geographic Regions Maps:

For ineligible applicants, programs, expenses, and publications, see the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Pre-Application Information
Deadline date: March 23, 2023, 1 p.m. ET

Grant notification will be available approximately four and a half months after the 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 the Full Grant Text RFP link after the program opens in Nova, but before starting your application.

Note: OAC offers the following alternative services and application processes:
- Alternative services and processes for Deaf persons and persons with disabilities
- Offline submissions for persons with limited internet access
- Oral applications for Indigenous persons

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.

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

Application Questions:

Evaluation Rubric for Activity Projects:

Nova User Guide:

Estimated Size of Grant
Grant amount(s):
- Festivals and fairs: Maximum $12,000
- Performance series: Maximum $12,000
- Development initiatives: Maximum $12,000
- Literary book publishing: Maximum $12,000
- Literary magazine publishing: Maximum $12,000

- Accessibility Fund: Project Support: $5,000 per project

Term of Contract
Organizations applying as new applicants in the Literary Organizations: Operating program or Publishing Organizations: Operating program may apply only for projects taking place in their current fiscal year

In addition, the activities for which funding is being requested:
- Cannot start before the deadline
- Cannot finish before receipt of grant results
- Must be completed no more than two years after receipt of the grant

Contact Information
Online application portal:

Derek Mascarenhas, Officer
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058

Rohana Buzamlak, Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​1-800-387-0058

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

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