[Skip to Content] download Acrobat Reader
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 Individuals, Groups and Collectives


This program supports Indigenous community, culture and way of life projects in Ontario undertaken by status and non-status First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, youth councils, ad hoc groups and collectives. 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 priorities 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, 2018 and November 1, 2018, 1p.m. ET

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

Grant amount(s)

  • Short-term Projects: maximum $30,000
  • Long-term Projects: maximum $60,000
Important: Due to the number of applications we receive and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.

Long-term project grants will be very competitive due to budget limitations. Projects in this category must be larger in scale and scope and have distinct project phases. Recurring annual activities (i.e. conference, annual festival or gathering) are not eligible for the long-term project category.

Eligible applicants

  • Status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, or Métis individuals.
  • Indigenous ad hoc groups, collectives and youth councils made up of at least 50 percent Indigenous individuals.
  • 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.
  • You may only apply for one grant in any program per deadline.

Ineligible applicants

  • Indigenous non-profit organizations; see ICF Project Grants for Organizations.
  • Non-Indigenous individuals, groups, organizations, schools, colleges and universities.
  • 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 projects are divided into two phases and grants are issued in two payments. No more than 50 percent of the total grant will be paid out in a phase 1. An interim report on phase 1 is required one year after you receive your grant results 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 results.

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. 

Final report requirements

If you receive a grant you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. A final report form will be available in Nova. Final reports for this program require grant recipients to provide:

  • Description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any minor or approved changes to what had been outlined in the application.
  • Final budget.
  • Documentation of the project (optional).

To apply

  • Answers to application questions.
  • A project budget.
  • Support documents:
    • CV, résumé or brief bios for group members
    • 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

Definitions of eligible applicants

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

Indigenous ad hoc groups, collectives and youth councils:
  • Must have at least 50 percent of its members residing in Ontario.
  • Must be comprised of at least two members who are Indigenous, and who will be responsible for the administration of the grant on behalf of the ad hoc group/collective or youth council.
  • Cannot be a corporation.
  • Must be able to cash a grant cheque issued in the name of the ad hoc group/collective or youth council.
Ad hoc group: unincorporated group that comes together for a one-time project.

Collective: unincorporated group that has ongoing activity.

Youth: Indigenous youth ages 16 to 30.