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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Career Catalyst: Project Grants for New Generation Artists

This was a one-time program. There will be no further deadlines. For information on other activities supported by OAC, see our complete list of grant programs.

If you received a grant in this program, you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. A final report form, including information on what you are required to provide, is available in Nova

For a reminder of what activities and expenses were supported by this program, read the archived information below.

Quick Facts:

What does this program support?

  • Activities that support New Generation artists to develop and build career momentum during the recovery of Ontario’s cultural industries.

How much can you receive?

  • $2,000
  • This program does not award partial grants.

Who can apply?

  • Individual artists ages 18-30 at the time of application submission.

When are applications due?

  • December 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET. 
    • The application form will be available in Nova about six weeks before the deadline.
    • You will find out whether you got a grant in March 2022.
View a preview of the application questions.

When can funded activities take place?

  • The activity for which you are requesting funding:
    • cannot start before December 16, 2021
    • cannot finish before March 31, 2022
    • must be completed by March 31, 2024
Before applying, read the Complete Program Information below.


Complete Program Information


The Ontario Arts Council is committed to supporting the next generation of artists, whose ideas and innovations are the future of the arts. We recognize that many young artists today face barriers to gaining experience as professional artists and securing support for their work in competitive and established arts environments. 

This program funds New Generation artists (ages 18-30) in the province who are at a crucial career stage to further their practice during a period of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program may also provide a first point of entry for artists new to OAC grant programs who have so far had limited access to public arts funding. 

Eligible activities include professional development and training, marketing and promotion, purchase of artist materials and supplies, software and hardware upgrades, and artist’s studio or workspace enhancements.

Note: This program does not support creation, production, presentation/dissemination or school- and community-based arts engagement activities. These activities are supported through OAC’s regular project programs which continue to run as usual, many with expanded eligibility in response to COVID-19.


The program’s priorities are to support:
  • projects that reflect the range of artistic practices supported by OAC
  • artists who, in addition to being New Generation artists, are from OAC priority groups:
    • artists of colour
    • Deaf artists and artists with disabilities
    • Francophone artists
    • Indigenous artists
    • artists living in regions outside Toronto

Who can apply?

Eligible applicants

This program accepts applications from:
  • individual artists aged 18-30 at the time of application submission who can demonstrate that they have a professional artistic practice in any artistic discipline funded by OAC:
    • Dance
    • Literature
    • Media Arts
    • Multi and Inter-arts
    • Music
    • Theatre
    • Visual Arts

Note: You cannot apply on behalf of an ad hoc group, collective or organization, or use the grant to pay for their expenses. 

Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more information on general eligibility requirements and restrictions.

Ineligible applicants

This program does not accept applications from:
  • organizations, collectives and ad hoc groups 
  • artist agents and commercial dealers
  • arts managers, publicists and administrators
  • curators and programmers

What does this program fund?

Eligible activities and expenses

This program funds the following activities to support your career as an individual artist:
  • marketing your artistic work to presenters or audiences
  • upgrading your studio or workspace 
  • upgrading technology for your artistic practice
  • developing your artist website
  • purchasing art materials and supplies
  • developing your skills through training or mentorship 

You can use this grant to pay for:

  • marketing costs, including hiring a publicist, creating and buying ads, professional headshots for promotional purposes, creating press releases, one sheets, posters, and other publicity materials, printing costs

  • studio or workspace upgrade or rental
  • purchase or rental of equipment or software for your artistic practice
  • website costs, including web hosting fees, web development and design, and website maintenance 
  • art materials and supplies
  • fees to a mentor, consultant or instructor
  • training courses, workshops and webinar registration fees
  • child care and other dependant care fees to take on program-eligible activities (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)
  • shipping and travel costs for program-eligible activities
Note: All expenses in your expense sheet must relate to eligible activities (see above).   

Ineligible activities and expenses

This program does not fund:
  • researching, creating or producing work 
  • public presentations of your work, such as concerts and exhibitions 
  • school- and community-based arts engagement projects (see Engaging Communities and Schools funding stream)
  • fundraising activities
  • student projects for your degree, course work or studies
  • faculty or research projects
  • living or personal expenses

You cannot use this grant to pay for:

  • artist fees for ineligible activities

  • accredited college or university programs
  • home-based overhead such as rent and living expenses
  • personal expenses

When are applications due?

December 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET 
  • The application form will be available in Nova about two months before the deadline.
  • You will find out whether you got a grant in March 2022.
Important: This program does not provide juror comments or feedback to applicants, whether successful or unsuccessful.

When can your activity take place?

The activity for which you are requesting funding:
  • cannot start before December 16, 2021
  • cannot finish before March 31, 2022
  • must be completed by March 31, 2024

How much can you receive?

  • $2,000 
  • This program does not award partial grants. For this reason, your project must have expenses of at least $2,000.

How to apply

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

Before applying, you must: Your application will include:
  • information about the project
  • your answers to application questions
  • expense form
  • artistic example: It is mandatory to include one example of artistic support material. Each of the following file types is considered one example:
    • video (up to 3 minutes)
    • audio (up to 3 minutes)
    • images (up to 3 images)
    • written (up to 3 pages)
  • support document:
    • artist CV (mandatory)

Detailed 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.


How applications are assessed

This program uses a peer assessment model to review applications. Assessors are professional artists and other professionals in the disciplines represented in the program who will independently review and rate grant applications.  

This program is assessed on three criteria: artistic merit, impact and viability. Assessments are based on answers to the questions in the application, artistic examples, a project expense form, and an artist CV. 
For programs that include artistic examples, the examples are an important part in the assessment of artistic merit. The expense form is an important part in the assessment of the viability of the project. 
Assessors will use the Career Catalyst evaluation rubric to guide them in rating applications. The three criteria will each be rated on a three-point scale: 

3 = excellent 

2 = good 

1 = poor 

Combined assessor scores will determine which applicants receive grants. In the case of ties, these will be broken by the program officer based on program priorities listed above. 

For more about the OAC assessment process, see the Guide to OAC Assessment and the Career Catalyst evaluation rubric. 


What do you have to do if you receive a grant?

If you receive a grant, you will have to complete the project and submit a final report in Nova. See Terms and Conditions — receipt of OAC project grant funds for more information on reporting obligations.

Grant funds can only be used for the project described in the application. 

Your final report will need to include:
  • a description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any minor or approved changes to what had been outlined in the application
  • an expense form listing final project costs
  • documentation and/or an explanation of how you acknowledged or will acknowledge OAC support for your project.
    • This should include samples of OAC logo recognition on any promotional or other materials produced in conjunction with the project, such as publications, brochures, posters, invitations, websites, videos and films. 
    • This could also include a description of verbal acknowledgement at public events or the intention to include OAC acknowledgement in associated future activities or materials.

Program-specific definitions

Artist CV: List of an artist’s education, public presentations and achievements, including location and date for each item. 

Multi- and inter-arts activities: Practices, initiatives and events that have two or more artistic forms present in equal balance in the creation, production and presentation of work.

New Generation artists: Artists 18-30 years of age at the time of application submission.