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Deaf and Disability Arts Projects

Grants to Ontario Artists, Arts Professionals, and Nonprofits
for Works by Artists Who are Deaf or Have a Disability

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Deadline Date:

10/11/18 1:00 PM ET


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Grants of up to $10,000 to Ontario professional artists and arts professionals who are Deaf or have a disability, as well as nonprofit disability arts organizations and ad hoc groups and collectives, to support artistic works and initiatives. Funding is available for artistic production, creation, and professional development.


The program supports Ontario-based artists and arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability, or ad hoc groups/collectives and arts organizations mandated to serve and led by artists and/or arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability. It funds all contemporary and traditional art practices that are supported at OAC.

There are three categories:
-Creation: to help cover the costs of research and development, exploration and experimentation, and creation of new work
-Production: to help cover the costs of production and/or the creation of art works
-Professional development: to help cover the costs of study/training; mentorship; internship/apprenticeship; and/or documentation of art work


Professional development activity can include study/training, mentorship, internship/apprenticeship and/or documentation of art work in one application.

This Program Funds:

Creation: Research and development, exploration and experimentation, and creation of new work

-Eligible expenses include: workspace/equipment rental, research materials, artist’s fees, transportation and travel, accommodation, meal allowances
-Production expenses are ineligible unless the production element(s) is essential to the development of the work being created.

Production: the creation and/or production art works (e.g., music composition, visual art, craft, media art, theatre, dance, multi and inter-arts piece)

-Eligible expenses include: artistic, production, venue, marketing/publicity/promotion and administrative costs; workspace/equipment rental; research materials; artist
fees; transportation and travel; accommodation; and meal allowances
-Productions must take place in Ontario.

Professional development: Study/training, mentorship, internship, documentation of art work

-Study and training: to cover the cost of arts professionals’ attendance at conferences, master classes and workshops or training courses
-Mentorship: to cover the cost of developmental relationships between arts professionals and mentors
-Internship and apprenticeship: to cover the cost of arts professionals working in temporary positions that emphasize on-the-job training. The applicant must initiate the internship/apprenticeship, and it cannot replace a current position at the group/arts organization
-Documentation of art work: to cover the costs of professional preparation of materials that document an arts professionals’ skills, training and abilities

- Artist fees – payment to yourself or other artists engaged in the project. Artist fees should be calculated based on time or contribution to the project and/or relevant industry standards. The program does not fund living and personal expenses – do not include these as the rationale for the calculation of artist fees.
- In the professional development category, you can apply for more than one activity, e.g. applying to take a workshop and to work with a mentor.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165448

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Creation: Maximum $10,000
-Production: Maximum $10,000
-Professional development: Maximum $10,000

Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.

Term of Contract:

The activities for which you are requesting funding cannot start before you receive your grant results must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
-Professional artists and arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability. They must be Ontario residents and have a permanent physical address in Ontario
-Ad hoc groups/collectives or not-for-profit disability arts organizations that are led by Deaf artists and/or artists with disabilities. They must demonstrate that the artistic process is led by artists and/or arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability. They must have a permanent physical address in Ontario.

Ineligible Applicants:

You are not eligible to apply for the professional development category in this program if you have applied to any of the following programs and have not received notification this application was unsuccessful:
-Skills and Career Development: Indigenous Arts Professionals and Arts Professionals of Color (formerly Access and Career Development)
-Chalmers Professional Development Projects
-Craft Projects – development component of the Research/Creation and Development category
-Northern Arts Projects – Skills/Career Development category

This program does not fund
-Fundraising activities
-Student projects at all education levels
-Materials and supplies for workshop activities
-Capital expenses and equipment purchases
-Studio renovation, repair or relocation
-Accredited college or university programs
-Tuition for full-time study
-Business, promotional and marketing expenses (except for production grants)

Eligibility Requirements:

Eligible applicants include Ontario-based:
-Individual professional artists and/or arts professionals
-Ad hoc groups/collectives

All applicants must have a permanent physical address in Ontario.

In some project programs, municipalities, colleges/universities, school boards, First Nation and schools administered by a First Nations or Indigenous Education Authority are eligible. For a list of the types of organizations eligible to apply to a particular project grant program, refer to the program’s web page.

An Individual must:
-Be a professional artist/arts professional. The OAC defines a professional artist/arts professional as someone who has developed skills through training or practice, is recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for her or his work and actively practices his or her art. Short breaks in artistic work history are acceptable.
-Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, or have an application pending for permanent resident status and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.
-Be a resident of Ontario who has lived in Ontario for 12 consecutive months prior to making a grant application, and
-Live in Ontario no less than eight months a year.

Temporary absences from the province:

-You must have lived in Ontario no less than 8 months in the 12 months immediately preceding the deadline for the grant program to which you are applying. Or, if you were temporarily absent from Ontario prior to this application deadline, you absence must have been for no more than one year and must not be recurring.
-Prior to this absence, you must have been a resident of Ontario who lived in the province for at least 12 consecutive months.
-During this absence, you must have maintained you residency status and a permanent physical address in Ontario, and must not have applied to public funding agencies/ministries in the jurisdiction of your temporary residence.

Establishing permanent residency:
-If you are new to Ontario or returning to the province after an absence of more than 12 months, you must establish or re-establish Ontario residency for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to the deadline for the grant program to which you are applying.

If requested by OAC, you must provide documentation to verify your residency information.

Ad hoc groups/collectives must:
-Have 50 per cent of their members residing in Ontario
-Be comprised of at least two members who are Ontario-based professional artists, artistic leaders or arts professionals, who will be responsible for the administration of the grant on behalf of the ad hoc group/collective
-Not be a corporation
-Be able to deposit a grant cheque in the name of the ad hoc group/collective

Note: Ad hoc groups/collectives may be formed for a one-time project (ad hoc group) or have ongoing activity (collective).

Incorporated not-for-profit organizations 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

-You are not eligible to apply to any OAC project program if you have an overdue or unapproved final report in any OAC grant program. Note: Only final reports associated with grants received through Nova applications are displayed in your Nova profile. If you are unsure of the due date or status of any other final report(s), please contact OAC.
-If you have an overdue report for a previous grant at an application deadline, your application is ineligible and will be withdrawn.
-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.
-Third-party recommender programs are an exception – the same activity may be supported by multiple recommender grants. See recommender program web pages for specific eligibility criteria.

Three-grant limit:

Individuals, and organizations that do not receive OAC operating funding, are eligible to receive up to three project grants in a calendar year, provided each grant is for a different activity. This three-grant limit per year is based on the date of the application deadline, not on the date the grant payment is received. 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 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.

Operating grant recipients may receive a maximum of two project grants in a year. Refer to each project program page for information on eligible applicants.

Grants in these programs are exceptions, and do not count as OAC grants:
-Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment in Ontario
-Indigenous Culture Fund

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is October 11, 2018, 1 p.m. ET.

Applications are available in Nova approximately three months before the deadline.

Grant notification will be available approximately four months after the deadline.

If you require application support to complete your application, please make your request at least six weeks before the program deadline.

Nova User Guide:

Guide to OAC Project Programs:

Guide to OAC Assessment:

Guide to OAC Support Materials:

Grant Program Deadlines and Important Dates:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online through Nova:

Bushra Junaid, Program Officer
416-969-7407 /​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7407 (toll free in Ontario)

Habibah Haque, Program Administrator
416-961-1660 ext. 5081 / ​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 5081 (toll free in Ontario)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario