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Visual Arts Projects

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

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

11/28/19 1:00 PM ET


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Grants of up to $10,000 to Ontario nonprofit organizations, nonprofit visual arts organizations, public art galleries, ad hoc groups and collectives of arts professionals or visual artists, and curators to present the work of local visual artists, provide professional development, and support curatorial research projects.

There are two categories of eligible programs:

Presentation Project: to help cover the costs of:
- Visual arts exhibitions and festivals, and related outreach/education/audience engagement activities
- Catalogues and publications
- Lecture series, artists’ talks, panels
- Artist residency programs offered by an organization (residencies must include a public program component)
- Conferences, symposia
- Professional development seminars or workshops for visual artists and organizations

Curatorial Research and Development Project: to help cover the costs of curatorial research and writing about Ontario visual artists or arts practice or development of exhibition projects.

Eligible Presentation project expenses include:
- Professional artists’ fees
- Curatorial/programming/design fees
- Travel and transportation
- Publicity, catalogues/programs, audio-visual documentation and brochures
- Equipment and venue rentals
- Purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
- Contract salaries or administrative fees

Curatorial Research and Development Projects:
- Eligible expenses include fees to the curator/applicant, travel, materials and documentation; the grant can cover 100 per cent of the project expenses in this category.
- The presentation/production stage of a project is not funded in this category.
- Projects that have been supported through the Curatorial Research and Development category may ultimately be presented in any location.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158919

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum $10,000

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

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Incorporated not-for-profit Ontario-based visual arts organizations, including public art galleries, with a permanent physical address in Ontario
- Ad hoc groups/collectives of visual artists or arts professionals, with a permanent physical address in Ontario
- Independent curators who are Ontario residents and have a permanent physical address in Ontario. Curators must not be employed as full-time staff in a public gallery or artist-run center
- Other not-for-profit organizations such as non-arts organizations or organizations working in another arts discipline

- Galleries within a multi-purpose institution (such as a library, university, museum or municipality) must be governed by a board of directors or an advisory body solely responsible for the gallery.
- Non-visual arts organizations must demonstrate that they have engaged the appropriate visual arts expertise to carry out the project, i.e. the expertise of the arts professionals directly involved in the project, and/or the expertise of an advisory committee of visual arts professionals.

Projects must include Ontario artists. They may also involve non-Ontario artists; in these cases, the applicant must clearly describe the benefit to the Ontario’s arts community and/or audiences.

Presentation Projects:
- Presentation Projects must include the payment of appropriate professional fees to artists, such as fees for exhibition, reproduction, lectures, and workshops. The recommended minimum fee schedule is available at Canadian Artists’ Representation/Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), or through CARFAC Ontario. Artists’ travel and accommodation costs, per diems and catalogues, are not considered substitutes for fees to artists for presenting their work.
- Presentation Projects taking place outside Ontario are eligible as long as they include a component presented within the province, for the benefit of Ontario audiences.
- For large, multi-faceted projects, applicants are requested to contact the program officer to discuss how to focus the grant request on a specific component.

Ineligible applicants:
- Independent curators who are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in full-time studies
- Individual visual artists applying to create or exhibit their art
- Municipalities, universities and/or colleges (including private career colleges)
- 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

This program does not fund:
- Major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment (including art acquisitions)
- Fundraising activities
- Student projects
- Media arts projects; for projects that include both visual arts and media arts
- Activities that take place in galleries or artist-run centres that receive operating grants in the Public Art Galleries or Visual Arts: Artist-Run Centres programs
- Activities that take place in a commercial/dealer art gallery
- Studio tours, prizes, awards, competitions
- Periodicals and newsletters
- Creation/production projects; individual visual artists and collectives should refer to the Visual Artists Creation Projects program
- Ongoing administrative expenses such as permanent salaries or rent, and expenses related to the production of art.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline dates:
June 19 and November 28, 2019, 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 months after each deadline

It is possible to receive only one Visual Arts Project grant in an OAC fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

Important: OAC will not fund 100 percent of a Presentation project. To show other community support for the project, the budget must include revenue from sources other than the OAC grant request, such as fundraising, earned revenue or other funding. Donations of goods or services are also considered community support for a project.

General Guidelines:
Terms and Conditions:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Caroline Cotter, Program Administrator
Phone: 416-969-7455
Toll Free: 1-800-387-0058, extension 7455

Ontario Arts Council
121 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3M5
Fax: 416-961-7796
Emails: /

CARFAC Ontario (to check recommended minimum fees for artists):
Toll-free 1-877-890-8850.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario