Since its creation in 1963, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has received a number of private donations and bequests to establish endowments and trust funds. The income from these funds allows OAC to present prizes, awards, grants and fellowships to artists for their contributions to the arts in Ontario. Many of these prizes are given in perpetuity, in memory of donors who were passionate devotees of the arts.
The OAC Awards section administers the adjudication, communications and logistics involved in the presentation of all awards—including prizes and grants—endowed at OAC. It also manages, on behalf of the Ontario Arts Foundation and the Government of Ontario, the peer assessment process of several awards, prizes and scholarships endowed outside the OAC.