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Ontario Arts Council


Kateri Gauthier

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7424

Erika Iserhoff

Indigenous Culture Fund Grants Facilitator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​1-800-387-0058 ext. 5079

ICF Project Grants for Organizations


This program supports Indigenous community, culture and way of life projects in Ontario undertaken by Indigenous organizations. There are two funding categories:

  • Short-term projects
  • Long-term projects
Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Way of Life:
  • Land-based learning.
  • Traditional foods and medicines.
  • Language-revitalization workshops, programs and activities.
  • Cultural programs, workshops, camps and activities that engage any or all age groups.
  • Community gatherings, sharing spiritual teachings, ceremony and protocols.
  • Traditional sports and activities.

Learning and Sharing:

  • Traditional knowledge sharing, storytelling and documentation within the community or with other communities and groups.
  • Cultural exchange between different communities and generations.
  • Researching, developing and sharing protocols.
  • Preserving, sharing, reclaiming and working with archeology and material culture.
  • Using contemporary technology to further cultural practices and goals.
  • Sharing indigenous worldviews and cultures with non-Indigenous people and groups.

Youth-Engaged Projects:

  • Fostering leadership and empowerment in youth.
  • Youth-led or youth-engaged cultural projects.
  • Mentorship or exchange between youth and other generations.
  • Creating safe spaces for youth.
  • Opportunities for self-expression and exploration of identity through culture, including digital and contemporary forms of expression.


The goals of all ICF programs are to:

  • Support the vitality and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis expression and ways of life.
  • Create opportunities for Indigenous people to continue community building.
  • Support community-based activities that foster well-being and resilience for Indigenous peoples of all ages.
  • Support Indigenous peoples to engage in and share cultural practices, knowledge and learning.
  • Support Indigenous language revitalization.

Deadline Dates

May 1 and November 1, 2018, 1 p.m. ET

  • Applications are available online approximately two months before the deadline.
  • Grant notification will be available approximately three to four months after the deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Way of Life
  • Learning and Sharing
  • Youth-Engaged

Eligible applicants

  • First Nations, Inuit or Métis organizations, including:
    • Incorporated not-for-profit organizations.
    • Community centres, cultural centres, friendship centres, libraries, schools, health and social services organizations.
    • Band councils, tribal councils, Métis community councils and provincial organizations.
  • Applicants must work or operate in Ontario and have a permanent physical address in Ontario.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive up to two ICF project grants in a year, provided each grant is for a different activity. The limit of two per year is based on the date of the application deadline, not on the date the grant payment is received.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive ICF grants in addition to other OAC project or operating grants. However, the same activities cannot be funded by both OAC and ICF. 

Ineligible applicants

  • Indigenous individuals, collectives and ad hoc groups; see ICF Project Grants for Individuals, Groups and Collectives.
  • Non-Indigenous groups, organizations, schools, universities, and individuals.
  • Municipalities.
  • Students may not apply for projects related to their student work.
  • For-profit enterprises.

Important: For more details on eligibility, see Program-specific definitions below.

This program funds

  • Administrative, programming, material, equipment and technical costs or fees to implement the proposed project.
  • Childcare costs for project staff and participants.

Note: Applicants may apply for up to 100% of the project costs, but are encouraged to seek revenue from a variety of sources where possible.

This program does not fund

  • Powwow competitions (traditional powwows and special projects within powwows are eligible).
  • Individual artists applying with arts creation projects (See OAC’s Indigenous Arts Projects program).
  • Arts presentations or exhibitions that do not involve or engage the community in the creation (See OAC’s Indigenous Arts Projects program).
  • Ongoing organizational operating costs.
  • Purchase of land or real estate.

Activity timing

  • The activity for which you are requesting funding:
    • Cannot start before the deadline.
    • Cannot finish before you receive your grant results.
  • Short-term project grants are issued in one payment; the project must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant notification.
  • Long-term project grants are issued in two payments. No more than 60 percent of the total grant will be paid out in a year. An interim report is required after one year and must be approved before the second payment will be issued. The project must be completed no more than three years after you receive the grant notification.

Important: You are not eligible to apply to any OAC program, including ICF, if you have an overdue or unapproved final report in any OAC grant program as of the deadline. You may have an outstanding final report for a project that is not yet completed. 

To apply

  • Answers to application questions.
  • A project budget.
  • Support documents:
    • Audited financial statements for the last completed fiscal year
    • Images, video or other documentation (optional)

OAC is committed to having an accessible application process. OAC can, if needed, provide an alternate form or process to submit an application. See the Inclusive Application Process Policy. Oral applications may be accepted from Indigenous individual applicants.

Program-specific definitions

Indigenous: Status or non-status First Nations, Inuit, or Métis.

Indigenous organizations:
  • Are governed by a volunteer board of directors, advisory board or council.
  • Must have a board of directors or membership group of at least 60 percent Indigenous people and a minimum of two Indigenous staff members in key decision-making roles, e.g., executive director, artistic director, chief financial officer.
Youth: Indigenous youth ages 16 to 30.