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Chalmers Arts Fellowships – Frequently Asked Questions

About the Program


What is the purpose of the Chalmers Arts Fellowships program?

This program supports artists with an artistic practice of more than 10 years, at a time in their career when concentrating on artistic growth will have the greatest impact on their long-term artistic development.

These grants are not for producing artistic work. Rather, they are for exploration and investigation into various artistic practices, issues, or narratives that can support their future projects.


What are some examples of eligible projects?

Here are two hypothetical examples illustrating eligible activities (which do not involve creating and producing artwork).
  • Investigation: A storyteller investigated the origins of storytelling

    A grant toward examining how new stories, myths and traditions are being sustained and reinvented in the modern world. This will be achieved by traveling to various locations in Ontario, across the country and internationally to meet poets, folklorists, anthropologists, activists, writers and other artists working in this area.
  • Examination: A musician explored genealogies and geographies of vocal practice.

    A grant toward understanding the connections between the artist’s music, the landscape, technology and cultural belonging. The work plan included travel to several countries, to investigate genealogies and geographies of vocal practices and to research new approaches to music performance that incorporate digital technologies. The project involved in situ listening, interviewing/recording, reading, and musical experimentation.

Why doesn’t this program fund the creation/production of artistic work?

In contrast with other OAC programs, which are publicly funded, this program is funded by the Chalmers Family Fund. The fund’s financial policies stipulate that the money cannot be used for programs that duplicate or contribute to projects supported by other OAC grant programs and initiatives.

OAC has programs that support creation/production of artistic work in all disciplines. Therefore, if the Chalmers Arts Fellowships supported these types of projects, it would be considered duplication.


What are some examples of projects that are not eligible under the Chalmers Arts Fellowships program?

  • A writer looking for some time to finish their novel or an artist gathering the elements for an installation; these are eligible for support from OAC project programs.
  • Creating, editing and/or production of artistic work, including research specifically related to new work.
  • Presenting, touring, exhibiting, distributing, producing, rehearsing and/or publishing artwork.

Does a Chalmers Arts Fellowship count towards the maximum of three OAC grants that I can receive in a year?



Applying to this program


How do I demonstrate that I have more than 10 years of professional practice?

You will be required to submit a résumé as part of your application, listing the months and dates of your productions/exhibitions/publications. At least one of these must have taken place 11 years before the deadline you are applying to.

For example, if you apply to a deadline in June 2019, your résumé must demonstrate that you have produced, exhibited or published artistic work prior to June 2008.

If your résumé does not meet this requirement, your application will be withdrawn.


When can I start my project? And when must I complete my project?

You can start your project after January 1st the year following the deadline.

You must complete your project within 18 months after the release of the grant cheque in January. Therefore, your project must be completed by July of the following year.

Grant cheques will not be released if you have an overdue final report in an OAC project program. The funds will not be released until the final report is approved.

If any overdue final report for an OAC project grant is not approved by February 1, you will forfeit the Chalmers Arts Fellowships grant and your grant will not be paid.


How long can my project last?

Between six and 12 months, either uninterrupted or in several phases.

Among the criteria that assessors will use to evaluate the viability of the project is whether this timeline is realistic.


If I am awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, can I change my work plan? And can I get an extension?

Not without approval. You must submit a request in writing to OAC’s Awards Section for permission to make changes to your project.

Your request may not be approved if you are making substantive changes, e.g. changing the location(s) of your work plan or rescheduling the dates of your work plan.

If you proceed with any change without approval, and OAC does not agree with changes in the approval process of your final report, you may be required to repay all or a portion of the grant.

Only under special circumstances such as health or family concerns will OAC approve a request to extend a project beyond July of the following year of receiving the grant.

What happens if I leave Ontario after I submit my application, or after I receive a grant?

If your departure from Ontario is permanent after submitting your application – for example, if you’re hired by an out-of-province organization, or you enroll in an out-of-province educational program – your application will be withdrawn.

If you leave Ontario permanently during the duration of your project (not counting travel as part of the project), you will be required to return a portion of or the entirety of the grant.

Applicants must meet program and OAC eligibility criteria at the time of submitting an application and for the duration of the project.


Can my proposal include travel to another location, or multiple locations?

Yes – though it’s also not required.


Can I include travel expenses as part of my proposal?

Yes – if you are planning to do your project away from home, you can include expenses such as accommodation and meals (but only for yourself, as an individual).

There is no minimum/maximum amount you can budget for travel costs. However, we recommend travelling as economically as possible. For example – if you are travelling to multiple locations, we recommend organizing these consecutively, to minimize costs.

Your artist’s fee of $3,400 does not have to cover the costs of travel in your project.

Developing a budget


What amount of money can I request for a Chalmers Arts Fellowship?

You may apply for activities that range from a minimum of $30,000 to a maximum $50,000.


What does an artist fee refer to in this program? Do I need to include that in my project budget? 

For Chalmers Arts Fellowships, an artist fee is intended to cover your overhead costs for the duration of your project. This way, you can fully commit your time to your project, without needing to worry about finding other funding sources at the same time.

To apply for a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, you must include an artist fee of exactly $3,400 per month for the duration of your work plan. If your project budget does not include an artist fee of exactly $3,400 per month, your application will be withdrawn.


What types of expenses should I list in my budget?

These types of costs are considered eligible expenses:
  • Consultant/specialist fees: maximum $2,000.
  • Renting a venue, purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project: maximum $3,000.
  • Other project-specific expenses (e.g. fees to access archives/collections, attending exhibitions/performances, project supplies/materials, visa fees): maximum $4,000.

Do I need to have other sources of income lined up for this project before applying? 

Only if your request exceeds the grant maximum of $50,000 or if you anticipate exceeding the maximum amount in any of the expense categories from the previous question.