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Community Arts Project Grant

Grants to Toronto, Ontario Nonprofit Art Organizations
and Community Groups for Collaborative Arts Projects

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Funding Source:

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Toronto Arts Council (TAC)

Deadline Date:

08/01/18 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000 to Toronto, Ontario nonprofit art organizations and community groups for one-time or time-limited collaborative projects involving professional artists and community members. First-time applicants must first contact the funding source before applying. Projects can involve one or more art practices such as music, theater, dance, visual arts, and storytelling.

TAC contributes to the development of community arts in Toronto by supporting community-engaged arts activity that demonstrates vision and excellence. In addition to funding professional arts organizations and community groups engaged in community arts activities, TAC recognizes the vital contribution emerging arts organizations make to the cultural life of Toronto and provides funding opportunities to assist these groups to access professional artistic leadership.

Grants contribute to the direct costs associated with a community-based arts project, including artistic fees,
production and technical costs, marketing and publicity costs, administrative costs, etc.

Please note that artists’ fees are the highest priority; this program requires the payment of artists’ fees.

Art practiced at a community level creates a powerful sense of inclusion, understanding and the possibility of self-expression among participants. It can involve one or more art practices but the collaborative involvement of professional artists with community members is a necessary component.

Applicants may apply in one of two categories:

1) Arts Engagement: Applicants may include community organizations, professional arts organizations and artists’ collectives. In this category, artists engage the community through their art form, work with community members to encourage maximum participation in the arts practice and the art making, and recognize that the process of collaboration is as important as resulting artistic products.

- Arts programs in underserved neighborhoods and communities that help overcome barriers to participation in the arts. Examples of possible barriers are age, physical ability, health status, geography, or economic and socio-cultural barriers.
- Artists’ collectives partnering with a community organization to undertake a project or residency.

2) Community Arts Development: This category provides assistance to arts organizations and artists’ collectives for projects that develop the discipline of Community Arts through the development of art practices, art forms and/or emerging artistic voices. For the project to be eligible, members of the arts organization or collective must define their community of practice and terms of engagement with one or more art forms.

- An arts organization or collective may seek to work with an artist who practices an ethnically specific, culturally diverse, or traditional art form, to increase their artistic skills, knowledge, range of creative expression and build a community of practice, with the aim to engage a broader community upon completion of the project.
- An artists’ collective that is part of a specific cultural community may seek to work with artists who have experience working with that community to create and present work in one or more artistic disciplines, with the aim to develop emerging or under-represented artistic voices of community members and/or address issues relevant to their community.
- An arts organization or collective may hold a community arts event, such as a multidisciplinary arts festival or event that celebrates a specific community. However, simply identifying as a community-based event does not of itself make the project eligible. The event must include participatory arts activities in which members of the community are engaged by Toronto-based professional artists.

Projects involving Deaf artists and artists with disabilities may apply for an additional TAC grant by completing the Accessibility Expenses section of the application and including the requisite information in their budget. A TAC Accessibility grant will provide up to a maximum of $5,000 towards accessibility costs for artists incurred during the project. Accessibility costs include but are not limited to: ASL interpretation, audio description, closed captioning, communications assistants, and attendant care.

The Community Arts Committee evaluates all eligible applications in a comparative context and makes funding decisions based on the availability of funds, the program objectives, and the following assessment criteria:

- The demonstrated involvement of both community members and professional artists in the design and implementation of the project;
- The artistic excellence of the proposed project and its innovation in form, interpretation and/or content;
- The quality of experience the project will provide to the participants and the benefits it will provide to the larger community;
- The quality and effectiveness of the applicant’s community outreach and/or audience development strategies;
- The financial viability of the proposed project and the ability of the applicant to carry it out. Assessment of financial viability includes consideration of unrestricted and internally restricted reserves.

In applying the assessment criteria, the Community Arts Committee will consider each applicant’s self-defined artistic goals and objectives, geographic and artistic environment, available resources and stage of development.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172510

Estimated Size of Grant:

- TAC Accessibility Grant: Up to $5,000
- Arts Engagement Grant: TAC will fund 100% of the project budget up to $8,000. For requests over $8,000 and up to a maximum of $15,000, applicants must indicate a range of revenue sources. See below for more details.
- Community Arts Development Grant: TAC will fund up to a maximum grant of $10,000.

Term of Contract:

Project applications submitted to the February deadline must be for projects commencing after June 1.

Project applications submitted to the August deadline must be for projects commencing after November 1.

Projects must be completed within two years of the date of the awardees's grant notification.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

TAC welcomes and encourage applications from all Toronto artists, arts organizations, and artist collectives. Specific equity measures or targeted programs are in place to ensure full access and participation by indigenous artists, artists of colour, artists who are Deaf, have disabilities or are living with mental illness, artists who self-identify as 2SLGBTQIAP, newcomer and refugee artists, young and emerging artists and artists working outside the downtown core.

To be eligible for Project funding, applicants must be incorporated nonprofit organizations or unincorporated collectives operating on a nonprofit basis. A collective is defined as a group of two or more artists working together under a group name, either on a single project or on an ongoing basis. For collectives of two artists, both must be City of Toronto residents. For collectives of more than two artists, the majority of members must be City of Toronto residents.

Applicants must be located within the City of Toronto and the activity for which the grant is requested must occur within the City of Toronto.

A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized as such by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), who has a history of public presentation, publication and/or production and who is committed to devoting more time to her or his artistic activity if financially feasible.

Included in the Equity Framework is an Equity Priority Policy, which states that if there are multiple well-assessed applications of equal merit in an adjudication round but insufficient funds in the grants budget to support all deserving candidates, applications proposed by applicants that self-identify as belonging to one of Toronto Arts Council’s equity priority groups or that primarily involve or serve artists from these groups will be prioritized.

Funding cannot be used to support an organization’s ongoing staff or faculty salaries. This program does not support schools, tuition-funded training programs, curriculum-based programs, or research projects.

Project funding is not intended to support an organization or collective’s operating costs and ongoing activities.

The following are not eligible to apply to the program:
- Organizations or collectives that receive Toronto Arts Council operating funding;
- Educational and religious institutions, unless there is a clear demarcation at both the program and budget level between their regular activities (i.e. religious or congregation activities or educational or student body activities) and their arts activities;
- Schools that are part of Ontario’s public or private education system;
- Individual artists.

This program does not fund arts-based research initiatives or arts enrichment programs for students.

Costs related to equipment purchase, capital projects (e.g. building purchases, renovations, etc.), film or video production, archiving, publishing, awards and award ceremonies, art therapy, fundraising events or projects, and deficit reduction are not covered by these grants. Costs related to activities occurring outside of the City of Toronto are also not covered (e.g. touring, travel, etc.).

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
- February 1
- November 1
- Applications remain available until 11:59:59 PM of the published deadline date.

First-time applicants to the Community Arts program must speak with the Community Arts Officer prior to submitting an application in order to confirm eligibility.

Programs are open to receive applications two to three months before the submission deadline.

Applications to all programs are submitted through Toronto Arts Council’s online grants management system, TAC Grants Online. Applications will not be accepted by any other means of delivery.

Applicants will be notified by email when the results are available and will be able to log in to the TAC grants management system to receive their results. Notification will be received within four months of the deadline date.

Arts organizations or collectives engaged in annual, ongoing community arts activities may be eligible to apply for operating funding. Please contact TAC’s Community Arts Officer for details.

For requests to TAC's Arts Engagement Grant over $8,000:
- The budget must show revenue from other sources.
- The TAC contribution may not exceed 50% of the project budget.
- In-kind contributions may not exceed 25% of the project budget.

For request to TAC's Community Arts Development Grant:
- Applicants must indicate a range of revenue sources, which may include donated goods and services.

Community Arts project grant recipients may receive a maximum of one additional grant per calendar year and may not have more than two outstanding project reports at any time.

TAC does not fund retroactively. Projects that have commenced prior to the adjudication will not be considered.

Application information:

Information for first time users:

Tips and Tools:


Contact Information:

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

Online application:

Kevin Reigh, Community Arts Officer
Phone: 416-392-6802 ext. 227

Toronto Arts Council
26 Grand Trunk Crescent, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M5J 3A9
Phone: 416-392-6800
Fax: 416-392-6920

Grant Coverage Areas:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario