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Grants to Ontario Visual Arts Nonprofits, Arts Galleries, Collectives, and Curators for Arts Presentations and Research Projects

Visual Arts Projects


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/23/23 1:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $10,000 and grants of up to $15,000 to Ontario nonprofit arts organizations, art galleries, ad hoc groups, artist-run centers, collectives, and curators to present the work of local visual artists, promote professional development, and support curatorial research projects. Funding is intended to benefit the visual arts community through projects, such as exhibits, festivals, catalogs, research, and residencies. The program is open to projects presented or undertaken in person or in digital/virtual formats.

The program has four categories:

  • Galleries, artist-run centers, and other not-for-profit arts organizations
  • Ad hoc groups and collectives
  • Independent curators – presentation projects
  • Independent curators – research projects

The following are priorities in this program:

  • To support significant opportunities for Ontario artists to exhibit and engage with Ontario audiences
  • To support artist-driven and emergent programming or activities
  • To support the development of artist-run centers/organizations
  • To support public art galleries to extend their capacities to work with contemporary Ontario artists
  • To support the development of independent curatorial practices.

Eligible activities:

  • Visual arts presentations, including exhibitions, festivals, mural projects, and related outreach/education/audience engagement activities, including exhibitions presented on digital/virtual platforms
  • Catalogs and publications, printed and/or online
  • Artist residency programs offered by an organization or collective; residencies must include a public engagement or presentation component
  • Curatorial research projects
    • Curatorial research, including artist/studio visits and interviews, curatorial writing, development of exhibition projects
    • Funded projects in this category may ultimately be presented in any location
  • Professional or sector development initiatives: activities and initiatives that benefit Ontario visual artists or the visual arts sector. This includes professional development workshop series, training initiatives, conferences, and other activities with a community impact.

For information about eligible expenses see the Full Grant Text RFP link. 

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
The program supports not-for-profit arts organizations, ad hoc groups, collectives, and independent curators.

Ontario artists must be included in your project. Non-Ontario artists may also be included, but projects that do not include any Ontario artists are not eligible. Projects that take place outside Ontario are eligible as long as they also include a component presented within the province, for the benefit of Ontario audiences.

Eligible applicants:
- Incorporated not-for-profit Ontario-based visual arts organizations, including artist-run centres and public art galleries
- Ad hoc groups and collectives made up of visual artists or arts professionals, with 50% of its members residing in Ontario
- Independent Ontario-based curators; curators must not be employed in a full-time curatorial position in a public gallery or artist-run centre
- Other not-for-profit arts organizations presenting visual arts projects

- Galleries within a multi-purpose institution (such as a library, university, museum or municipality) must have their own board of directors or an advisory body responsible solely for the gallery.
- Non-visual arts organizations must show they have appropriate visual arts professionals involved in the project

Additional Geographic Information:

OAC Geographic Regions Maps:

Individual artists are not eligible to apply for creation or presentation projects. Projects and programming activities that take place in galleries or artist-run centers that receive operating grants through OAC’s visual arts section are not eligible.

Ineligible applicants:
- Individual visual artists applying to create or exhibit their art
- Independent curators who are enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate studies (including PhD level)
- Curators who have a full-time curatorial position in a public art gallery or artist-run center
- Municipalities, universities and colleges (including private career colleges), commercial art galleries
- Organizations that receive a grant in the Public Art Galleries: Operating or Visual Arts: Artist-Run Centres and Organizations: Operating programs
- Organizations that receive an operating grant in other OAC programs, with the exception of organizations mandated to serve one or more of the OAC priority groups.

Curatorial research projects: Presentation/production stage of a project is not funded in this category

For ineligible activities and projects, see the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Pre-Application Information
The deadline to apply is November 23, 2023, 1 p.m. ET

- Applications are available in Nova (OAC’s online grant application system) approximately two months before the deadline.
- Grant notification will be available approximately four and a half months after each deadline

The restriction stating that applicants could not apply to more than one OAC Visual Arts, Craft or Media Arts project program within the same year has been updated. You must receive confirmation of not being awarded a grant from one program before applying to another program.

The grant will not fund 100 percent of a project. Your budget must show other community support by including projected or confirmed income or donations from other sources in addition to the OAC grant request. The exception is curatorial research projects; grants can cover 100 percent of the project expenses in this category.

Guide to OAC Project Programs:

Guide to OAC Assessment:

Guide to OAC Support Material:

Grant Program Deadlines and Important Dates:

Terms and Conditions:

Application Questions:

Estimated Size of Grant
- Galleries, artist-run centers, and other not-for-profit arts organizations: maximum $15,000
- Ad hoc groups and collectives: maximum $15,000
- Independent curators – presentation projects: maximum $15,000
- Independent curators – research projects: maximum $10,000

Accessibility Fund: Project Support: up to $5,000.

Term of Contract
The activity for which the applicant requests funding:
- Cannot start before the deadline
- Cannot open to the public before receiving grant results
- Cannot finish before receiving grant results
- Must be completed no more than two years after receiving grant results

Contact Information
Apply online:

Yamari Martin, Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Ontario Arts Council
121 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3M5
Phone: 416-961-1660

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