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Youth Engagement Program

Grants to British Columbia Nonprofits and
First Nations to Engage Youth in Arts and Culture

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British Columbia Arts Council

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Grants of up to $30,000 to British Columbia nonprofits and First Nations to engage youth in arts and cultural experiences. Applicants may be required to confirm eligibility with program staff prior to applying. Proposals are invited for innovative projects that actively engage young people with professional arts and cultural organizations and their programming.

Programs will provide youth with exposure to professional artists and arts experiences, as participants in the artistic or creative process, and/or, as the primary audiences for artistic work and programming.

Funding assistance through this program will support exemplary approaches to youth engagement and the development of programming at various stages of implementation. Eligible projects can include both new and existing programming initiatives.

The Youth Engagement Program builds on existing expertise in the creative sector by supporting programs delivered by organizations that demonstrate success in artistic achievement, community engagement and organizational capacity.

The Youth Engagement Program supports eligible organizations across the province to engage children and youth in innovative projects that involve professional artists.

Eligible projects include:
-New initiatives, including the research and development of pilot projects; and
-The enhancement or expansion of existing programs; and
-Existing programs.

The program will support projects in three general areas of activity; the area of focus may overlap within any given project. Supported areas of activity may include:

1. New work – creation and commissioning: New artistic and curatorial projects for children and youth audiences that provide opportunities to engage with exemplary artistic experiences.

2. Participation in artistic creation: Projects that directly engage children and youth, working with professional artists, as creative participants in the artistic process, through developing and/or producing new projects wherein the quality of the participants’ artistic experience is as important as the project’s artistic achievement.

3. Outreach and engagement: Projects that actively engage and integrate young people into organizations’ core activities and programs.

For the purposes of this program, following the example of UNESCO, “youth” are defined as young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Similarly, following the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, “children” are defined as young people under the age of 18. Eligible projects must serve one or both of those definitions as primary participants.

Eligible projects include existing programs or new initiatives, including the research, development, implementation and/or presentation of pilot projects and new programs, as well as enhancements or expansion of existing programs.

An eligible project must:
-Have the engagement of children and youth, as audiences and/or as creative participants, at its core.
-Include professional artists and/or arts and culture practitioners.

Funded projects must:
-Compensate artists and other professional practitioners by paying fees at industry standards.
-Adhere to international intellectual property rights standards.
-Address cultural protocols where required.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167014

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Maximum Assistance Level for the Youth Engagement Program is $30,000.

Term of Contract:

Funding is available for projects of up to two years duration. Applicants may apply for a particular phase or phases of longer term projects; this phased approach must be clearly identified in the application. Receipt of funding for one phase of a project does not guarantee funding for subsequent phases of the work.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be eligible for support through this program, an eligible applicant must meet the criteria of one of the following categories:

Category I:

-Be an arts and cultural organization assisted by the BC Arts Council in the five most recent years (2013/14-2017/18 government fiscal years) through BC Arts Council operating or discipline-specific project programs;


-Be an incorporated nonprofit arts and cultural organization assisted through the programs of the BC Arts Council’s Shared Cost Arrangement partners in the two most recent years (BC Touring Council – Community Presenters Assistance: 2016/17 or 2017/18 fiscal years; First Peoples’ Cultural Council – Aboriginal Arts Development Awards and Creative BC – Arts Innovation and Interactive funds: 2015/16 or 2016/17 fiscal years).

Note: 2017/18 applicants to BC Touring Council’s Aspiring and Emerging Artists Touring and Training programs or the First Peoples’ Cultural Council’s Aboriginal Youth Engaged in the Arts program are not eligible to apply to this program.

Category II:

-Be an incorporated nonprofit arts and cultural organization that has not received support from the BC Arts Council or its partners (above) in the designated years but: has a specific mandate to provide quality arts experiences for children and/or youth; and, is otherwise eligible for support within a discipline-specific program at the BC Arts Council.

-Be a First Nations Band Council or Friendship Centre.

Individuals, collectives and unincorporated groups are ineligible to apply to either category of this program.

Applicants are encouraged to explore opportunities for partnerships and collaboration. An application may be submitted by one organization on behalf of the partners.

All applicants are urged to determine their eligibility with the appropriate program officer prior to submitting an application.

British Columbia schools and school groups may be the primary participants or audiences for proposed projects. However, the program is not intended to directly support curriculum-based activity. Other programs of the BC Arts Council exist to support arts-in-education activity and school-based programs.

Projects supporting early career practitioners are eligible; however, this program will not support projects in professional training or post-secondary studies in the arts. Other programs of the BC Arts Council exist to support training and post-secondary studies along with professional development opportunities for early career practitioners.

Awards are not available for:
-General operating activity.
-Project phases that have begun prior to the application deadline.
-Capital expenditures (construction, renovation, or purchase of property or equipment).
-Start-up costs or seed money.
-Feasibility studies.
-International travel costs of foreign artists visiting British Columbia.
-Travel to international symposia.
-Conferences or competitions.
-The creation or preparation of performances/exhibitions for competitions.
-Projects that are secondary to other purposes (e.g. fundraising events, conventions, or family,
religious or community celebrations).
-Subsistence to artists, curators, or other arts professionals.
-Projects or activities that are funded through other programs of the BC Arts Council or its third party delivery partners.
-Projects taking place outside British Columbia.
-Curriculum-based activity.
-Professional training or post-secondary study.
-Professional development of early career practitioners.

Pre-Application Information:

Support from this program may form up to 100% of the total project budget. Proposals demonstrating diversified revenue streams may receive priority.

All applicants, especially new applicants, are urged to discuss their request with Council staff prior to submission.

Applicants in Category II MUST confirm their eligibility by email with the appropriate program officer before submitting an application and will be required to submit supplementary application materials.

The application deadline is January 15, 2018.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline becomes the next business day.

Decisions will be made within sixteen weeks of the application deadline.

Contact Information:

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

Chris Gilpin, Program Officer
778 698-3585

Nicole Neidhardt, Program Officer

Mailing Address:
Box 9819
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 9W3

Location Address:
800 Johnson Street, 2nd Floor
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 1N3

250 356-1718

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: British Columbia;

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