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Ontario Arts Council


Amber Yared

Program Administrator

Caroline Cotter

Program Administrator

Final Report Forms

Final report forms are available upon request. Email your request to finalreport@arts.on.ca indicating the program for which you are submitting a report.

Exhibition Assistance


The program supports Ontario-based artists and artist collectives working in visual arts, craft and media art practices in the presentation of their art work in a confirmed public exhibition.

This is a third-party recommender program. Artists apply to galleries and organizations designated as recommenders for the program. Recommenders assess applications and submit grant recommendations to OAC.

See Program-specific definitions for more information on recommender grants.


Recommenders may identify priorities for funding in addition to OAC’s priority groups.

Deadline Dates

The program is active between June 2017 and January 2018. Each recommender sets deadlines or accepts applications on an ongoing basis during this period. OAC does not set deadlines in this program.

Applicants must submit their application to a recommender before the opening date of their exhibition.

Grant amount(s)

  • The minimum grant is $500; the maximum is $1,500.
    • Applicants may receive more than one Exhibition Assistance grant in a program year, up to a maximum of $1,500 for the year.
    • Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.
    • Applicants may receive recommendations from more than one recommender in the same program year.
    • If an applicant is recommended for more than the maximum allowed grant, OAC will reduce the amount to the maximum allowed, or withdraw the application.
    • If an applicant has included ineligible expenses in the application budget, OAC may reduce the recommended amount to cover only eligible expenses, or withdraw the application.
    • Exhibition Assistance grants do not count towards an applicant’s three OAC project grant limit.

What's changed this year

  • Applicants may receive more than one grant towards the same exhibition, as long as the total for the program year does not exceed $1,500.
  • There is a new fillable PDF application form to print out and send to recommenders.
  • The process for notifying applicants of grant results has changed. Applicants must create a profile online in Nova. OAC will email applicants to notify them that their notification letter is available in Nova. See the application form for further details.

Who is eligible

  • Ontario-based professional visual artists, craft artists, media artists and artist collectives who have a confirmed, upcoming public exhibition.
  • For this program, eligible collectives are defined as unincorporated groups of two or more artists who create and exhibit together.
  • For group exhibitions, each artist must apply individually for their own expenses.
  • Applicants must be Ontario-residents with a permanent physical address in Ontario.

Who is not eligible

  • Students enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate level studies.
  • Organizations
  • Curators

What this program funds

Grants assist with the artists’ costs related to the presentation of art work in a confirmed, public exhibition.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Presentation costs, including framing, display structures, mounting and installation hardware and supplies and construction of structural elements specific to an installation.
  • Audio-visual presentation equipment.
  • Technical/installation fee.
  • Crating and transportation of works of art.
  • Exhibition venue rent or booth fee.
  • Exhibition promotional expenses.
  • Insurance.
Only costs that are the artists’ responsibility, and are not covered by the gallery, are eligible. See further details in the budget section of the application form.

Eligible exhibitions include:

  • Exhibitions in Ontario, in other Canadian provinces and in international locations.
  • Exhibitions in public art galleries, artist-run centres and commercial art galleries.
  • Solo and group shows.
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) or self-presented public exhibitions.
  • Exhibitions in alternative locations such as community centres, restaurants or rented spaces.
  • Art fairs, collective studio tours and exhibits at trade fairs.

What this program does not fund

The following expenses are not eligible:

  • Art materials and other costs related to creation of art work, such as photo printing and studio costs.
  • Artist’s exhibition and installation fees.
  • Artist’s travel and accommodation (artist’s own travel costs are only eligible for performance art and site-specific installation).
  • Catalogues and documentation of art work.
  • Hospitality.

The following exhibitions are not eligible:

  • Past exhibitions and those that have already opened before you submit your application to a recommender.
  • Exhibitions in private homes or other venues that are not open to the public.
  • Theatrical-style screening of film or video.
  • Exhibitions of student work.
  • Exhibitions in the artist’s own studio (unless part of a studio tour).

Activity timing

The exhibition for which you are requesting funding:

  • Must not have opened before you submit your application to a recommender.
  • Must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant notification.


  • You cannot apply to this program if you have an overdue final report in any OAC grant program.
  • There is a program break February through May. If you need to apply during the program break:
    • Check the list of recommenders to find one that accepts applications during this period.
    • Submit the application to a recommender before your exhibition starts. If funded, your grant payment will be delayed until the program re-opens.

Final report requirements

If you receive a grant you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. See Terms and Conditions for Project Programs for more information on reporting obligations.

A final report form will be available in Nova. Final reports for this program require grant recipients to provide:
  • Description of your achievements with the support of this grant.
  • Final budget, if different from original application budget.
  • Description of how OAC's support was acknowledged.
  • Proof of exhibition: a digital image of, or link to, an exhibition announcement or other document used to promote the exhibition to the public.

To apply, you need to submit

Important: Applications to OAC recommender programs are made by completing a fillable PDF form, not through the Nova online application.

Program-specific definitions

About recommender grants
Recommenders are organizations authorized by OAC to receive applications, review them and make grant recommendations. OAC allocates a budget to each of the participating recommenders.

Within six weeks of an application deadline, or within six weeks of receipt of an application when there is no deadline, the recommender informs applicants whether their application will be recommended for funding.

The recommender sends the application to OAC. OAC reviews applications for final eligibility, then notifies applicants by email that their notification letter is available online in Nova. OAC sends grant cheques by regular mail directly to the applicants.

Grant recipients must submit a final report online in Nova. The report is due three months after the end of the funded exhibition.

Conflict of interest
Artists who have a conflict of interest with a particular recommender may not apply to that recommender. An artist is in a conflict of interest if they are:
  • An employee or board member of the recommender organization.
  • A member of a committee or jury reviewing Exhibition Assistance applications for the recommender.
  • Immediate family members of those described above.

Recommenders cannot approve grants that will be paid back to them in any way.

How grant recommendations are made
Recommenders establish their own processes for assessing Exhibition Assistance applications and making grant recommendations. A jury, committee, curator or other staff may take on this role for the recommender.

Recommenders base their funding recommendations on the quality of the artist’s work, OAC priority groups and other funding priorities they may establish.

Recommenders in zones 1 through 4 may recommend no more than 40% of their Exhibition Assistance grant budget to artists exhibiting in their own spaces. Northern recommenders, in zones 5 and 6, may recommend up to 80%.

Exhibition Assistance Recommenders

Application Form