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Ontario Arts Council

Guide to Providing Application Support

Thank you for agreeing to provide assistance to an applicant in completing a grant application to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)! Read this information thoroughly before you begin. Most applications are completed in Nova, our online application system. However, if the application is being submitted in an alternative format (such as a paper or oral application), some of the Nova tips may not be applicable.
 

Getting started in Nova

How do I use Nova?

Logging into Nova

  • Important!  Please check to see if the applicant’s email address is already linked to an account (they may have applied for a grant in the past). If so, you can click Request Password Reset to log in with a temporary password.
  • If the applicant has not already created their own account, you can create one for them using their email address (not your own). 

General Nova tips:

  • Use Firefox or Chrome. Any other browser (i.e. Safari, Explorer) may result in technical issues.
  • Prepare the application early to avoid last-minute technical issues. 
  • Begin uploading support material early on in the process. This step can take a long time.
  • Save the application regularly—every 30 minutes or so. The system does not auto-save.
  • Use the Validate Application button to check for errors in your form (e.g. missing information). Some validation messages are links that you can click on. 
  • Validate is not the same as Save! You must use both buttons on a regular basis.
  • Review the application thoroughly before submitting. Changes cannot be made to an application after it has been submitted. 
 

Helping the applicant with their OAC grant application

Step 1: Learn about the program and the application process

  • Read the program web page. Refer to these details while completing the grant application.
  • Read the instructions and writing tips on the application form. Most applications open in Nova approximately two months before the program deadline. (You will not be able to see the application form before this time.) 
  • Read the following resources on the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) website:
  • Call the Program Officer or Program Administrator to discuss the application if you or the applicant has any questions. Refer to the contacts on the program page or the Staff Directory for contact information. 

Step 2: Learn about the applicant’s project 

  • Give yourself and the applicant lots of time to discuss the project and to complete the application.
  • Make yourself familiar with the applicant’s artistic background and the scope of their project so that you have context when working on the application. 
     

Step 3: Write…review…submit!

  • The application should reflect the passion the applicant has for the project and should be edited in such a way that preserves the artist’s unique perspective, voice and project vision.
  • Consider the audience: assessors are peers who may know nothing about the applicant, the applicant’s practice and/or the applicant’s project.
  • Responses to the application questions should be detailed but concise. Avoid repetition.
  • When working on a budget, start with the project expenses.
  • Support material is valuable to the application. Be sure to include high-quality examples of the artist’s work. 
  • Pay attention to minimums and maximums for artistic examples and support documents.
  • Spell chcek!
  • As mentioned previously, click Validate Application to check for errors, and click Save to save what you have written or uploaded. 
  • OAC programs have strict deadline dates and usually close at 1 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted. Check the deadline well in advance and be sure to submit on time. Submitting the application ahead of time will help to avoid last-minute technical issues. 
 

Payment process and final steps

  • OAC issues payment directly to service providers.
  • OAC will provide you with an invoice template. You must complete the invoice and return it to the Outreach unit once the work has been completed, regardless of whether the application has been submitted.
  • Applicants are eligible for up to $500 in application support per program year for one or more applications. Remind the applicant of your rate and inform them of the hours worked before submitting the invoice.
  • Note: If you are submitting an application to a third party recommender program (Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators, Recommender Grants for Writers, or Exhibition Assistance), make a copy of the application and send it separately to the Outreach unit at OAC along with the invoice.
 
Outreach and Development
Ontario Arts Council
121 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON  M4W 3M5
 

OAC contact information

Thank you again for assisting the applicant with their application. Your service is greatly appreciated. Do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email at any point in the process.
 
Bushra Junaid 
Outreach and Development Manager
Toronto local: 416-969-7407
Toll-free: 1-800-387-0058  ext. 7407

Habibah Haque 
Outreach Program Administrator
Toronto local: 416-961-1660 ext. 5081
Toll-free: 1-800-387-0058 ext. 5081