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Ontario Arts Council

Indigenous Culture Fund (ICF) Small Grants -  Evaluation and Criteria


Applications to the Indigenous Culture Fund (ICF) Small Grant program are reviewed internally by Indigenous staff members, a process which allows us to expedite application decisions within a eight to ten-week timeframe. ICF staff members evaluate applications using specific program criteria to determine which applicants are eligible to receive grants and will receive funding. The number of grants and amounts are based on the program budget. Decisions are authorized by the Ontario Arts Council Director & CEO.

To safeguard the integrity of the evaluation process, staff in direct or indirect conflicts of interest with an application do not participate in the evaluation of that application. 

If unsuccessful in their grant application, applicants are encouraged to get feedback from the ICF Grants Facilitator, who can support them in reapplying at a later deadline.


Assessors base their scoring on the following criteria, which are equally weighted:
  1. Culture and Community
  • Self-identification is expressed and/or established through personal narrative and/or work experience as it relates to the funding request.
  • There is a clear connection to their community and/or compelling desire to reconnect with their community through the project activities.
  • If there are collaborators or partners, they are highly suited to the project activities.
  1. Project Planning
  • The intentions, goals and desired outcomes of the project are clearly described.
  • There is a clear plan of when, where and how the project will take place.
  • The community context is clearly articulated, and the project is suited to that context and considers local protocols.
  1. Growth and Impact
  • The communities, audiences, and/or participants are clearly defined.
  • There are clear and relevant goals and plans for having an impact on communities, audiences, and/or participants.
  • The desired outcome for learning and opportunities resulting from the project are clearly described and achievable.