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Ontario Arts Council


Annette Mangaard

Interim Associate Visual Arts and Craft Officer
416-961-1660 ext. 6113
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058 ext. 6113

Caroline Cotter

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

Visual Arts Artist-Run Centres and Organizations: Operating


The program supports the ongoing operations of not-for-profit, professional visual arts organizations in Ontario.


The program’s priority is to support visual arts organizations and artist-run centres that demonstrate a consistent commitment to Ontario’s professional artists, including the payment of exhibition and other professional fees, and to their role in the visual arts and/or craft infrastructure and the region.

Deadline Dates

March 1, 2018, 1 p.m. ET
  • in 2018 this program is in year two of a three-year cycle and is not accepting new applicants
  • applications are available in Nova approximately two months before the deadline
  • financial and statistical reports must be submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC) before the deadline
  • grant notification will be available in July, 2018.
  • if you have an overdue final report in any OAC grant program, your grant will be conditional upon receipt of the report


  • New applicants must contact the program officer to discuss eligibility.
  • 2020 is the next deadline open to new applicants to this program.

Eligible applicants

  • Ontario-based, not-for-profit corporations, or national not-for-profit corporations with the head office in Ontario
  • Organizations must have:
    • at least $75,000 in total revenues for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenues for the current and requested years (for applicants not currently receiving funding from this program)
    • at least two years of sustained, regular, ongoing programming, as of the application date. If your organization does not meet this requirement, consider applying for project funding
    • a range of revenue sources
    • an active board of directors/governing body
  • Artist-run centres and visual arts organizations must pay appropriate professional fees to artists. See current recommended fee schedules established by Canadian Artists Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) and by the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA). Artists’ travel and accommodation costs and per diems are not considered substitutes for artists’ fees to present/exhibit their work.

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

Ineligible applicants

  • non-arts organizations
  • municipalities, colleges and/or universities
  • public art galleries (must apply to the Public Art Galleries: Operating program).

To apply

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. You will be able to do this approximately two months before the deadline.

Before applying, you must:

Your application includes:

  • your answers to annual or multi-year application questions
  • financial and statistical information submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC)
  • financial statements of your organization’s last completed year, uploaded to CADAC
  • artistic examples: images or video documentation of your organization’s exhibitions and programming, publications
  • supporting documents: publicity materials, catalogues, letters of reference

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.

For information on how assessors rate applications see the Evaluation Rubric – Operating Programs.

Program-specific definitions

Visual arts organizations: exhibit, present, produce and/or distribute the work of professional Ontario visual artists and craft artists. They include artist-run art galleries, visual arts festivals and presenters, visual arts production centres and distributors, craft organizations with facilities for programming and production.

Artist-run centres: collectives or cooperatives of professional artists that operate as not-for-profit organizations. Founded and primarily directed by professional artists, their activities include production, presentation, distribution and documentation. Artist-run centres provide opportunities for the development of professional Ontario artists and for public interaction with a diverse range of arts activity.