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Ontario Arts Council

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FAQ Online Grant Applications and Program Redesign

General Questions

What is changing that everyone needs to know about?
Is my program deadline changing?
Why are program deadlines changing?
Why is OAC making so many changes at the same time?

Program Redesign

I just looked at the new list of programs, and I saw that my program is being combined with another one. How did you decide to do this?
My specific program is being merged into a more general one. How will we be assessed amid a wider pool of applicants?
How will these changes affect program budgets?
I just looked at the list of new program names, and I saw that my program has the same name as before. Can you confirm whether there will be any changes?
Were priority groups taken into consideration in your program redesign?
I want more information on how my program(s) are changing. Where do I find the information?

Applying Online

Why is OAC moving to online applications?
What if I want to submit a paper application?
What if I have technical difficulties with the online application process?
Who can I speak with if I have a question about a program?

New Funding Framework

What’s the difference between an OAC funding stream and an OAC program?


General Questions

What is changing that everyone needs to know about?

  • Most applications will be moving online in 2017.
  • As of 2017, there is a new deadline time for all applications: 1 p.m. ET.
  • Deadlines dates for many 2017 programs have changed.
  • You can start applying two months before your program deadline. Check the program webpage to see when you will have access to Nova.
  • All 2017 program details will be posted on OAC’s website.

Is my program deadline changing?

It is very likely that your program deadline has changed.


Why are program deadlines changing?

There are two main reasons for this:
  • Previously, OAC scheduled multiple programs with the same dates. This is not advisable for our online application system. We want to make sure the system works well and not overload our tech support staff on deadline days.
  • Also, if two programs were merged, and they had different deadlines, we needed to align deadline opportunities within the new program.

Why is OAC making so many changes at the same time?

  • Moving to the Nova online granting system created somewhat of a domino effect. There is a close relationship between the online applications, the program redesign, and the new website. Each one of these areas depends on the other two to work.
  • For example – to be able to process applications online, we needed to develop a more streamlined program structure, which we did by looking for common elements between programs.

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Program Redesign

I just looked at the new list of programs, and I saw that my program is being combined with another one. How did you decide to do this?

In order to launch Nova, OAC needed to streamline granting programs and applications to remove inconsistencies and improve clarity. Some programs have been merged, and others have had certain elements of their activity moved to another program. Many of these changes were already in the works – they were simply sped up in order to facilitate launching online applications.

Overall, these changes will make applying for OAC funding a much more accessible process:
  • It will soon be easier to figure out what OAC funding opportunities fit with your activity.
  • Your new program may offer more than one deadline, so you’ll be able to apply at the time of year that works best for you.

My specific program is being merged into a more general one. How will we be assessed amid a wider pool of applicants?

  • The OAC remains committed to peer assessment, so your applications will still be assessed by artists and arts professionals working in your field, and with expertise in the kind of work that you do.
  • As always, assessors for each deadline will be chosen based on the types of applications received at that deadline.
  • Many OAC programs currently combine multiple art forms within an artistic discipline. As such, we already have a successful model for how to assess applications fairly in broader programs. There will also be some panels that are split into specialized assessment categories.

How will these changes affect program budgets?

  • Where programs are being merged, their budgets will be combined as well.
  • There are no program budget changes or reductions planned for 2017-18.

I just looked at the list of new program names, and I saw that my program has the same name as before. Can you confirm whether there will be any changes?

  • Programs in two areas – Indigenous Arts and Francophone Arts – will largely remain the same in 2017-18. These programs will be changing, but not until 2018-19. We’ll provide more information on this in 2017.
  • Even if your program doesn’t look like it’s changing, its deadline very likely is.
  • Eligibility and support materials requirements may also have changed. Full details will be posted on our website in mid-December.
  • Finally, even if the program name, deadline or support materials have not changed, you will still be applying online.

Were priority groups taken into consideration in your program redesign?

Yes. Priority groups remain a key focus in all OAC programs and streams. We remain committed to our priority group–designated programs and our peer assessment processes in which the priority groups play a significant role.
 

I want more information on how my program(s) are changing. Where do I find the information?

  • Program officers will be connecting with applicants in their sector in various ways – for instance, with emails, webinars, in-person information sessions and meetings. They’ll provide information specific to your program then.
  • All 2017 program details will be posted on OAC’s website.

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Applying Online

Why is OAC moving to online applications?

  • To provide better service to OAC applicants. Paper application processes have become outdated, costly and inefficient for applicants and OAC staff alike. Online applications will be more efficient and cost-effective for all of us.
  • Because Nova is browser-based, you’ll be able to access it from anywhere. It will also be easier to collaborate with others (e.g. co-workers or agents) on your application.

What if I want to submit a paper application?

  • Paper applications will no longer be accepted as of mid-December 2016.
  • The OAC is committed to having an accessible application process, so certain exceptions will be made. These will be outlined an Accommodation Policy, which will be released early in 2017.

What if I have technical difficulties with the online application process?

  • We’ll provide guidelines that will walk you through the Nova online application system, from setting up your profile through to submitting an application.
  • Once your program is open in Nova, our bilingual technical support staff will be ready to help with technical issues.
  • If you have program-related questions, please contact the program administrator or officer responsible for the program.

Who can I speak with if I have a question about a program?

If you have program-related questions, please contact the program administrator or officer responsible for the program.

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New Funding Framework

What’s the difference between an OAC funding stream and an OAC program?

  • The OAC’s four funding streams are a framework under which our granting programs are categorized. (Individual programs themselves remain discipline-, activity- or priority group–based.) The OAC’s six priority groups remain a key focus in all programs and streams.
  • These streams will make it easier to understand what types of activity OAC funds, and where your activity fits best. Once our new website is launched, you’ll be able to search for application opportunities by funding stream, by discipline and by priority group.

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