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Ontario Arts Council


Jenny Knox

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7430

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.

Music Creation Projects


The program supports Ontario-based professional artists creating original musical works. There are two categories:

  • Self-directed creation: Projects for composition/writing of a new piece of music or body of work (e.g. song set)
  • Commissioning: Projects where the commissioner is an individual artist, music group or non-profit arts organization, choreographer or dance company, who makes a commitment to give the proposed commissioned work an Ontario première.


Program priorities include: assisting emerging and established composers and other music creators; support for new creation in a wide range of music genres and styles; and support for projects that display exceptional creativity in composition and song-writing. By increasing the availability of new music created by Ontarians, the program also supports activities that contribute to arts education, public participation and community involvement in the arts in Ontario.

Deadline Dates

April 20 and September 14, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
  • Applications are available online approximately two months before the deadline.
  • Grant notification will be available approximately four months after each deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Self-directed creation: maximum $5,000
  • Commissioning: maximum $29,000

Important: Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.

Recent changes

  • Activities are merged from the Music Commissioning project program and the creation category of the Popular Music project program.
  • There are now two deadlines for this program.
  • Librettists/lyricists are no longer eligible as co-applicants with composers. However, in the case of opera or other works with original text, a librettist/lyricist’s costs still can be supported under a commissioning project’s artistic expenses, depending on eligibility of the proposed activity.

Eligible applicants

  • Professional composers and music creators who are Ontario residents and have a permanent physical address in Ontario.

Ineligible applicants

  • Ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations.
  • Professional composers who are undertaking an advanced course of study (e.g. Masters or Doctoral level degrees at a university or conservatory) are not eligible to apply in the Self-directed creation category. However, they may apply in the Commissioning category, provided they can demonstrate that the professional contract to create a new composition for the commissioner is independent of their academic work.

More about eligibility for OAC’s project programs

This program funds

  • Copy costs or the self-generation of parts, artist fees and equipment rental.
  • Self-directed creation, which may also incorporate different media. This includes:
    • Composition of original lyrics and/or music with no recording component.
    • Time to create a body of work, mentor consultation, collaborations with other artists and research.
    • Electro-acoustic works, where the creation process involves sampling and manipulation of recorded materials.
  • Commissioning projects, where a composer is contracted by an ensemble, arts organization, music education organization or an individual artist wishing to commission and première a new work. Applications must meet the following requirements:
    • Commissioners not entirely comprised of professional musicians, such as community orchestras or choirs, are eligible.
    • For commissioners located outside Ontario, the world première may occur elsewhere, but any plans for the first Ontario performance must be provided.
    • In the case of opera, a commitment to production development or workshops must be specified.
    • Commissioners where music performance is not a primary activity, (e.g. an art gallery), must describe the context in which the new work will be presented to the public.
    • Commissions suitable for young performers are eligible if the impact on learners or its potential for future use by the music education community can be demonstrated.
  • Creation of a companion piece or additional movements, intended to accompany an earlier composition, provided the proposed new music has independent integrity and is not a revision of existing material Completion of a larger-scale work under development (e.g. an opera) is also permitted.

This program does not fund

  • Expenses for activities that take place outside of Ontario
  • School projects
  • Commissions by musical performing organizations or dance companies with composers who are their own artistic directors, administrators or members of the board
  • Commissions of composers by librettists for the musical setting of their own texts
  • Commissions by educational institutions for their own faculty
  • Commissions by religious institutions
  • Film or television soundtracks, incidental theatre music and arrangements
  • Expansions of existing works (see above information regarding creation of companion pieces or completion of larger works).

Activity timing

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

  • Cannot start before the deadline;
  • Cannot finish before you receive your grant results; and
  • Must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results.

Important: You cannot apply to this program if you have an overdue final report in any OAC grant program.

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 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/image(s) showing how you acknowledged OAC support for your project. This can include OAC Logo recognition on materials produced in conjunction with the project, such as music score/sheet music, CD/vinyl cover (front and back and page of sleeve/booklet where OAC support is acknowledged), publications, brochures, posters, invitations, program notes, websites/social media or videos/films. This can also include a description of verbal acknowledgement at public events. If the project has not been announced or presented publicly, you need only include an explanation of how you plan to acknowledge OAC in associated future activities/materials.
  • Sample from printed lyrics/charts/scores and/or audio recording of the work(s) created.

To apply

  • Answers to application questions.
  • A project budget.
  • Artistic examples:
    • up to three audio/video samples, for a combined total of no longer than five minutes.
    • two audio/video examples are required (for self-directed creation applications).
    • two examples are required from the composer(for commissioning applications). The commissioner may also submit a maximum of one audio/visual sample of up to 2 minutes.
  • Support documents:
    • artists’ résumés or bios, score excerpts or lyrics; and
    • a letter from the commissioner and a history/bio of the commissioner (for commissioning applications).

Program-specific definitions

Definitions are provided in the Music Definitions page.