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Ontario Arts Council


Maura Broadhurst

Associate Officer
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7467

Nina Charest

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7417

Arts Service Organizations: Operating


The program supports the ongoing operations of not-for-profit, professional arts service organizations in Ontario. Arts service organizations may have provincial, national, regional or local mandates. There are five categories:
  • National Arts Service Organizations
  • Provincial Arts Service Organizations
  • Regional Arts Service Organizations
  • Local Arts Service Organizations
  • Community Arts Councils


The program's priorities are to support organizations that demonstrate a consistent commitment to:

  • providing high-quality services to professional artists, arts professionals or arts organizations in Ontario
  • providing services for members who are or who are mandated to support OAC priority groups: artists of colour, Deaf Artists and artists with disabilities, Francophone artists, Indigenous artists, new generation artists (18-30 year old), and artists living in regions outside Toronto

Deadline Dates

March 1, 2018, 1 p.m. ET

  • In 2018 this program is in year one of a three-year cycle and is accepting new applicants.
  • Applications are available in Nova approximately two months before the deadline.
  • Financial and statistical reports must be submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC) before the deadline.
  • Grant notification will be available in July 2018.
  • If you have an overdue final report in any OAC grant program your grant will be conditional upon receipt of the report.


  • New applicants must contact the program officer to discuss eligibility.
  • 2021 is the next deadline open to new applicants to this program.

Eligible applicants

  • Ontario-based, not-for-profit corporations, or national not-for-profit corporations with the head office in Ontario
  • Organizations must have:
    • at least $75,000 in total revenues for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenues for the current and requested years (for applicants not currently receiving funding from this program)
    • at least two years of sustained, regular, ongoing programming, as of the application date. If your organization does not meet this requirement, consider applying for project funding
    • a range of revenue sources
    • an active board of directors/governing body
  • Arts Service Organizations must:
    • have a primary mandate to provide services to artists and/or arts organizations
    • serve professional artists, arts professionals and/or arts organizations
      • The arts professionals and arts organizations you serve must be eligible to apply to another OAC program
    • have at least one (full- or half-time) paid staff member. If your organization does not currently have any paid staff, a written plan proposing how the organization will move toward having paid staff within the next year or two is required

Read the Guide to OAC Operating Programs for more eligibility information.

Ineligible applicants

  • non-arts organizations
  • municipalities, colleges and/or universities

To apply

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. You will be able to apply online in Nova approximately two months before the deadline.

Before applying, you must:

Your completed application includes:

  • your answers to annual or multi-year application questions
  • financial and statistical information submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC)
  • financial statements of your organization’s last completed year, uploaded to CADAC
  • support documents: website, membership brochures and, if applicable an HR plan

For information on how assessors rate applications see the Evaluation Rubric - Operating Programs.

Program-specific definitions

Arts services include:
  • professional development
  • support for building capacity
  • raising public awareness for the value of the arts
  • advocacy work
  • setting fees and standards
  • dissemination of information about your sector’s or region’s artists and arts organizations
  • providing networking opportunities
  • other services and programs to support professional arts communities