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Orchestras Projects

Grants to Ontario Nonprofit Orchestras to
Present Music and Arts Programs to the Public

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council

Deadline Date:

03/15/16 Postmarked by Date or Hand-Delivered by 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $25,000 to Ontario nonprofit professional, semi-professional, and community orchestras to produce and present professional music programming to the public, provide arts services, and to sustain a healthy arts community. Funding will be provided as project grants to support the costs of engaging professional Canadian artists (conductors, core players / section leads, extra-musicians, guest soloists, etc.).

Project grants do not support core or operating expenses.

In general, community orchestras can request assistance with their self-presented concerts. Professional or semi-professional orchestras requesting support for artistic programming or one-of-a-kind activity should contact the Classical Music Officer to discuss the details of the proposed project. A higher priority is given to orchestras that demonstrate a consistent commitment to Canadian composers and performers.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158909

Estimated Size of Grant:

Most grants to orchestras located outside Northern Ontario average between $2,000 and $10,000, with the maximum grant size of $15,000.

Most grants to orchestras located in Northern Ontario average between $15,000 and $25,000, with the maximum grant size of $25,000.

(For the Orchestras Projects program, Northern Ontario is defined as North Bay and above.)

Term of Contract:

Funded projects cannot start before March 15, 2016, cannot be completed before July 15, 2016, and must be completed by July 15, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for OAC project funding, the organization 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, and
- Be able to provide documentation to verify this, if requested.

Specific Eligibility Criteria:

In order to apply to the Orchestras Projects program organizations must:

- Have a minimum permanent membership of 13 players in the case of string chamber orchestras (15 players in the case of orchestras or symphonic wind ensembles with mixed/other instrumentation)

- Engage professional artistic leadership (conductor, core players / section leads), guest artists and/or extra musicians; in the case of symphonic wind ensembles, have at least 5 paid professional core players / section leads in addition to the conductor, guest artists and/or extras

- Have completed at least one full season of programming by the date of the application (a season or equivalent might be 2–3 concerts during the 12 months prior to the deadline date)

- Present a season with a minimum of two self-presented concerts (self-presented means that the orchestra is taking responsibility for planning, production and ticket sales)

- Have a demonstrated record of regular, ongoing activities in your community

- Be actively involved in the support of Canadian music by hiring professional Canadian performers and by performing the music of professional Canadian composers

- Supply evidence of fiscal responsibility and good management.

Please note: Community orchestras may only request project funding through the Orchestras Projects program.


Ineligible Applicants:
- Colleges, universities, and municipalities, including orchestras that are attached to, or affiliated with, educational institutions (e.g., university music departments, conservatories or schools of music)
- Organizations funded by OAC operating grants
- Youth orchestras
- Orchestras that operate under the umbrella of a parent organization that is currently funded through another OAC program, (e.g., as part of an opera company or choral organization)
- Orchestras contracted for special events without continuity of membership, ongoing artistic activity or organizational and community development.

Additional Restrictions:
- You are not eligible to apply to any OAC program if you have an overdue or submitted but unapproved final report in any OAC grant program.
- You may only apply for one grant per deadline.
- You may receive more than one OAC project grant provided each grant is for a different activity.

Please Note the Following Restrictions:
- Individuals, ad hoc groups, collectives, and incorporated organizations that do not receive OAC operating funding are eligible to receive up to three project grants per calendar year.
- 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 given 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.
- Multiple grants in a third party recommender program received in a year count as one grant. Third party recommender programs are: Aboriginal Artists Materials and Supplies Assistance (AAMSA); Exhibition Assistance; Theatre Creators’ Reserve; Writers’ Reserve.
- Multiple grants received from the Aboriginal Artists in Schools and Artists in Education programs (Mentorship Initiative, Travel) in one year count as one grant.
- The Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Domestic Violence and Harassment in Ontario is an exception – grants given under this fund do not count as OAC grants.
- Operating grant recipients may receive a maximum of two project grants in a calendar year. Check operating program guidelines for more information.

Ineligible Requests:
- Events or activities that take place before the application deadline
- Events or activities that are started before the deadline date or completed before the results of this competition are announced
- Events or activities that take place outside of Ontario
- Fundraising activities
- Capital expenses
- Activities more suited to other OAC Music Office project programs (e.g., chamber music series)
- Commissions of new work
- Tours and exchange programs.
- Recording project

Pre-Application Information:

If this is your first grant application to OAC, or you want to check your eligibility, or you want to review the application process, please contact the OAC.

OAC will only accept applications postmarked by Canada Post or a courier company not later than the deadline date. OAC also accepts applications hand-delivered to the office until 5:00 PM on the deadline.

Applicants will be notified of the results by July 15, 2016.

Mailing Address to Submit Applications to:

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

Contact Information:

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

Jenny Knox, Program Administrator
Phone: 416-969-7430
Toll-Free: 1-800-387-0058, extension 7430

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario;

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