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Ontario Arts Council


Caroline Cotter

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7455

Amber Yared

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7461

Final Report Forms

All final reports are completed and submitted in Nova, OAC’s online granting system. This now includes grants received through a paper application process. For instructions on how to log into Nova, see the Nova User Guide. You will find the report form in your Nova profile, under Action Items. For enquiries regarding reporting requirements, contact us at finalreport@arts.on.ca.

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 artwork in a confirmed public exhibition.

This is a third-party recommender program. Using Nova, OAC’s online grant application system, artists apply to the galleries and organizations designated as recommenders for the program. These recommenders assess applications and submit grant recommendations to OAC. See About Recommender Grants below for more information on the grant application process.


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

Deadline dates

The 2018-19 program is active from June 15, 2018 until January 15, 2019. OAC does not set deadlines in this program. Each recommender sets its own deadlines, or may decide to accept applications on an ongoing basis while the program is active.

To be eligible, you must submit your application to a recommender before the opening date of your exhibition.

See Exhibition Assistance – Recommenders List for all application deadlines.

Grant amount(s)

  • minimum $500, maximum $2,000
  • You may apply for only one exhibition per application.
  • You may receive more than one Exhibition Assistance grant in the program year (June 2018 – March 2019), towards one or more exhibitions, up to $2,000. You may receive recommendations from more than one recommender.
  • Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.
  • If you are awarded more than one grant in a single third-party recommender program year, these grants will count as one grant toward your three-grant limit for 2018. The recommender programs are: Indigenous Visual Artists’ Materials, Exhibition Assistance, Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators and Recommender Grants for Writers.
  • If your application includes ineligible expenses, OAC may reduce the recommended amount to cover only eligible expenses or withdraw the application.

Important: You may submit up to three Exhibition Assistance applications at a time. If you have applied for the same expenses to more than one recommender, and are awarded a grant by one of them, you must contact the others to let them know. You cannot receive more than one Exhibition Assistance grant to cover the same expenses.

Recent changes

  • Applications are now submitted to recommenders through Nova.
  • The maximum amount has been increased to $2,000.
  • Applicants may submit up to three Exhibition Assistance applications at a time.
  • Recommenders no longer notify applicants. All applicants are notified by OAC through their Nova account.
  • If you are awarded more than one grant in a single third-party recommender program year, these grants count as one grant toward your three-grant limit for that year.

Eligible applicants

  • 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 collaboratively and exhibit together.
  • Collectives may apply in the name of the collective, or may choose an individual to represent it as the applicant. If the collective applies, OAC issues the grant cheque in the name of the collective.
  • For a group exhibition, each artist must apply individually for their own expenses.
  • Applicants must be Ontario residents with a permanent physical address in Ontario.

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

Ineligible applicants

  • undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time at an educational institution.
  • incorporated not-for-profit or for-profit organizations
  • curators

This program funds

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

Eligible expenses:

  • 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 fees
  • 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 expenses section of the application.

Eligible exhibitions:

  • 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 public locations such as community centres, restaurants or rented spaces
  • art fairs, collective studio tours and exhibits at trade fairs

This program does not fund

Ineligible expenses:

  • art materials and other costs related to the creation of artwork, such as photo printing and studio costs
  • artist’s fees for exhibition and installation
  • artist’s travel (travel costs are only eligible for performance art and site-specific installation)
  • artist’s accommodation
  • catalogues and documentation of artwork
  • hospitality

Ineligible exhibitions:

  • past exhibitions and those that have already opened before you submit your application to a recommender
  • exhibitions in venues that are not open to the public
  • theatrical-style screenings of film or video
  • exhibitions presented for credit in a secondary or post-secondary program

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


There is a program break from February through May. If your exhibition starts during the program break:
  • Check the list of recommenders to find one that accepts applications during the program break.
  • Submit your application(s) to a recommender before your exhibition starts. If funded, your grant payment will be delayed until the program re-opens, and may be issued retroactively.

Final report requirements

If you receive a grant you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. Do not submit your final report before receiving your grant cheque. See Terms and Conditions — receipt of OAC project grant funds for more information on reporting obligations. Complete and submit the report form in Nova.

Important: You must notify OAC to request approval if your exhibition venue or dates change. You must do this before any changes take place.

Final reports for this program require grant recipients to provide:

  • a description of what was achieved with the support of this grant
  • final expenses, if different from original application expenses
  • a 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

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. Before applying, you must create or update your profile in Nova.

Your application includes:

  • basic information about the exhibition
  • budget of eligible expenses
  • your answers to application questions
  • name of recommender you are applying to
  • artistic examples – images or video documentation of your work:
  • maximum of 8 images or 8 minutes of video
  • support documents:
    • résumé
    • letter/document confirming your exhibition (contract, letter of confirmation on letterhead, or email correspondence). This document must include:
      • exhibition start and end dates
      • name and contact information of exhibition organizer
      • location and address of exhibition venue

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.

For help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.

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 received when there is no deadline, the recommender will notify OAC of their grant recommendations. Funding recommendations are reviewed by OAC for final eligibility, and OAC then sends you an email letting you know that your notification letter is available online in Nova.


If recommended a grant, individuals must enter their Social Insurance Number (SIN) and acknowledge the notification letter in Nova before the grant cheque is issued. The OAC sends grant cheques by regular mail.


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 the 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 recommenders assess applications.

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 up to 40% of their Exhibition Assistance grant budget to artists exhibiting in their own program/gallery. Northern recommenders, in zones 5 and 6, may recommend up to 80%.


How to choose a recommender

For the Exhibition Assistance program, recommenders include public art galleries, artist-run centres and other community organizations throughout Ontario.


You must apply to a recommender located in the zone where you live. To find your zone, see:

Map of Exhibition Assistance Zones


You may also be eligible to apply to a specialized recommender. These recommenders can accept applications from artists in any zone.


The link below will direct you to a searchable database of the recommenders for this program:

Exhibition Assistance – Recommenders