, the Ontario Arts Council’s online granting system, program information may change. This includes deadline dates and specific information on eligibility. Be sure to visit this page after the program opens in
This is a temporary program that supports relationship building between artists and presenters during the suspension of OAC’s 2021 Touring and Market Development program deadlines. The program supports the development of mutually beneficial, long-term relationships and networks between presenters, Ontario-based professional artists and arts organizations in all OAC-funded disciplines. Projects should build or maintain sustainable ways of sharing artistic works with audiences and communities within Ontario, nationally and internationally.
The program aims to:
- help artists build and sustain collaborative relationships with presenters
- support resource sharing and capacity building to grow audiences and reach new markets
- encourage new models of presentation, exhibition and dissemination of artistic work and new audience experiences that can be sustainable in a pandemic context and beyond
- increase public appreciation for the work of Ontario artists through meaningful audience development and engagement activities (in-person or virtually) (see definition)
There are two categories of activity:
- Network and market development: supports the development of networks and activities for the purpose of exchanging knowledge and skills between artists and presenters and cultivating opportunities to reach audiences, communities and markets.
- Presentation and engagement: supports touring, presentation, exhibitions and new forms of dissemination, as well as audience development and engagement activities.
The program’s priorities are to support projects that:
- reduce barriers to arts participation and/or increase access to the arts for underserved, remote, or marginalized communities in Ontario
- can safely take place in a pandemic context
- engage professional artists with fees paid by presenters, as appropriate
April 27 and October 28, 2021 1 p.m. ET
- Applications are available in Nova approximately two months before the deadline.
- Grant notification will be available approximately four and a half months after each deadline.
- Focused impact: maximum $20,000
- Sector impact: maximum $30,000
These grant amount categories are defined as follows:
- Focused impact: Projects in this category impact or promote either an individual artist or specific group of Ontario-based professional artists, whether they have individual practices or are members of a group or organization.
- Sector impact: Projects in this category impact or promote a category or sector of Ontario-based professional artists and/or arts organizations more broadly (for example, craft artists, poets, hip hop artists, Indigenous artists).
- Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.
- Applicants may apply for up to 100 per cent of the project costs but are encouraged to seek revenue from a variety of sources, if possible.
- Grant notification is now available approximately four and a half months after each deadline. Refer to the “Activity timing” section on this page to understand how this may affect the timing of eligible activities. Note that public presentations (live and virtual) must take place after grant notification to be eligible for support.
Projects in this program must be carried out through partnership that includes at least two entities; partners must be confirmed at the time of application. An eligible partnership includes:
- the applicant (who will submit the application and be responsible for the grant)
- one or more eligible partners
- Note: As partners are a key factor in granting decisions in the assessment of this program, significant changes to partners are not permitted. If you are unable to complete the activity with the proposed partner(s), you may be required to return the grant.
The partnership must include:
- one or more presenters (with a history of acting as a presenter as defined below)
- one or more Ontario-based professional artists, ad hoc groups, collectives or arts organizations other than the presenter(s)
Presenters act as intermediaries between artists (Ontario-based professional artists, ad hoc groups, collective or arts organizations) and their audiences. They select work for presentation and pay a presentation fee to the professional artist or arts group. For the purpose of this program, the presenter cannot be an artist or group that will be presented or promoted by the proposed project. A presenter provides venue and technical support (for live or virtual presentation), promotes the event, and presents the work in a professional manner to a public audience (or to a student audience in the case of school presentation).
- Examples of arts presenters: book fairs, arts festivals, cultural centres, theatres, galleries, media arts distributors, independent curators and programmers
- Examples of non-arts presenters: community centres, libraries, municipalities, for-profit businesses, colleges and universities
The following are eligible as either the applicant or a partner:
- Ontario-based professional artists
- Ontario-based independent curators and programmers
- Ontario-based ad hoc groups and collectives of professional artists or arts professionals (including presenters)
- Ontario-based not-for-profit arts organizations (including presenters)
- Ontario-based, Canadian-owned for-profit book or periodical publishers eligible for funding in OAC’s publishing programs
- Ontario-based not-for-profit Indigenous organizations, centres and councils (including presenters)
Note: Applicants must have a history of working in or presenting a discipline supported by OAC: craft, dance, literature, media arts, multi and inter-arts, music, theatre or visual arts. This includes Indigenous, culturally diverse and Deaf and disability arts practices.
For eligible partners that are not eligible as applicants, see the Ineligible applicants
Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs
for more eligibility information.
The following are ineligible as applicants but are eligible as partners (see Eligible applicants section above for partnership requirements):
- municipalities, colleges, and universities
- individuals, collectives, ad hoc groups, and organizations based outside Ontario
- non-arts organizations, ad hoc groups, and collectives
- non-arts presenters (see definition of presenters), with the exception of Ontario-based not-for-profit Indigenous organizations, centres, and councils
- for-profit arts presenters
The following are ineligible as partners and as applicants:
- for-profit artist agents, managers, promoters and commercial dealers
- amateur, pre-professional and student ad hoc groups, collectives, and organizations
- community and youth/training orchestras (see definition)
- community and training choirs/choral organizations (see definition)
- curators and programmers who have a full-time curatorial or programming position in an organization (the organization should be the applicant or partner)
This program funds
Eligible projects must:
- have at least one confirmed partner (see Eligible applicants section above)
- take into account the safety, health and well-being of artists, audiences, partners, presenting venue staff, and communities in a pandemic context
- impact or promote Ontario-based artists working in disciplines supported by OAC: craft, dance, literature, media arts, multi and inter-arts, music, theatre or visual arts. This includes Indigenous, culturally specific and Deaf and disability arts practices.
Eligible activity in the Network and market development category includes:
- research and development of new and hybrid models of presentation, exhibition or other dissemination of artistic work
- market development activities to promote artists and artistic works to presenters
- production of events or exchanges such as networking forums, showcases, pitch sessions, and other industry platforms that connect artists with presenters
- development of skills and tools to promote artists and artistic works to presenters, such as digital portfolios and market-readiness training
- other activities that build relationships and networks between Ontario artists and presenters
Eligible activity in the Presentation and engagement category includes:
- presentation of artistic work (in-person, virtual or both)
- touring that is adapted to travel and public gathering restrictions
- presentation activities that include a creation component, such as artist residencies and commissions
- adaptation of artistic work for digital production and presentation with a commitment from presenters to program the work
- audience development and engagement activities (see definition)
- You cannot receive more than one OAC project grant for the same activity.
- You are not eligible to submit more than one project grant application at a time for the same activity. You may re-apply to OAC for the same activity if you have received notification that your first application was not successful.
Eligible expenses include:
- artist fees for Ontario-based artists
- programming, production and presentation costs
- venue rental or virtual platform costs
- equipment rental
- technician fees
- travel, visas, accommodation and per diems (daily meal allowance) and related costs for Ontario-based artists, ad hoc groups and collectives, organizations and presenters
- transportation of works of art and equipment and related costs for Ontario-based artists, ad hoc groups, collectives and arts organizations
- marketing and promotion costs
- administrative costs for applicant and Ontario-based partners
- mentor and professional development fees
- costs related to health and safety measures
- child care and other dependant care services (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)
- expenses related to making the project accessible to audiences and project participants (other than the applicant) who are Deaf or have a disability
- Note: Applicants to this program who identify as Deaf or as having a disability may apply for supplementary funds for their own accessibility expenses through Accessibility Fund: Project Support.
- purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project, up to a maximum of $5,000
This program does not fund
- salaries of regular staff or operating expenses for applicant or partners
- projects that include artistic creation and/or production, but with no presentation
- time and expenses during quarantine
- self-presentation projects (see definition)
- major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
- fundraising activities
- projects by university faculty or student projects associated with their research, course work or studies
- creation or development of websites for the purpose of promoting a single artist, artistic group or organization
- project applications submitted by multiple applicants for the same project at the same deadline
The activity for which you are requesting funding:
- cannot start before the deadline
- cannot finish before you receive your grant results
- must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results
- Only presentations (live and virtual) that take place after grant notification are eligible for support.
- Grant notification will be available approximately four and a half months after each deadline.
Final report requirements
If you receive a grant you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. See Terms and Conditions — receipt of OAC project grant funds for more information on reporting obligations. Complete and submit the report 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
- If the budget you submit shows a surplus of more than $250 (revenues as compared to expenses), you may be required to repay the surplus amount to OAC.
- documentation of work created (when applicable)
- 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 invitations, print, digital and social media communication, videos/films, etc.
- This could also include a description of verbal acknowledgement at public events or the intention to include OAC acknowledgement in associated future activities/materials.
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:
- basic information about the project
- your answers to application questions
- project budget
- artistic examples:
- It is mandatory to include a minimum one and maximum of two artistic examples. Each of the following is considered one example:
- video (maximum 3 minutes)
- audio (maximum 3 minutes)
- images (maximum 5 images)
- manuscript (maximum 3 pages)
- These videos may help you to prepare your support material:
- Support documents:
- letters of commitment from the key project partner(s) that outline why they want to be involved in the project and what they will contribute to it (mandatory)
- CV, résumé or biography of key project participants (mandatory)
Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.
For information on how assessors rate applications see the Evaluation Rubric – Activity Projects
For help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide
Audience development and engagement
: activities that create relationships between the artist, the artistic work and the audience.
- Audience development activities build awareness of artists and their work, beyond traditional marketing, with the goal to expand and reach new audiences, such as free presentations in public spaces.
- Audience engagement activities go beyond traditional forms of presentation to deepen the relationship between the artist(s) and/or presenter, the art and the audience. Examples include Q&A’s, artist talks, backstage tours, pre- or post-performance workshops.
an organized set of relationships to support connections and professional interaction. Members of arts networks have a shared commitment to engage and promote the arts, and to foster the public’s appreciation of the arts in their community and region. Individuals or organizations in a network have like missions, visions and objectives; engage in the development and presentation of artistic work; expand audiences for the arts; build audience loyalty and facilitate the presence of the arts and artists in their community; and share knowledge and skills with one another.
a strategic and mutually beneficial relationship formed between artists, arts organizations, presenters, and/or other stakeholders to achieve a greater impact than they would alone. A strong partnership includes equitably shared resources, workload, and benefits.
an artist or arts organization presenting their own work to a public audience without the support of a presenter. This typically involves the artist or arts organization renting a venue and relying largely on box office revenue to pay artist fees.