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Chalmers Arts Fellowships – Frequently Asked Questions


Gia Pereira

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Chalmers Arts Fellowships

Until this program opens in Nova, 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 Nova, but before starting your application.



Chalmers Arts Fellowships support Ontario artists to undertake an investigation or examination of their artistic practice. The program provides support at a time in an artist’s career when a concentration on artistic growth will have the greatest impact on their long-term artistic development. Professional artists in all disciplines with an artistic practice of more than 10 years are eligible.


Note: The program does not support the creation and production of artwork.


This program is funded by the Chalmers Family Fund, established at OAC in 1979 with donations by Floyd. S. Chalmers, Jean A. Chalmers and M. Joan Chalmers.

Deadline dates

June 4, 2024, 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 about four and a half months after the deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Minimum $30,000, maximum $50,000


  • The grant can cover 100 per cent of eligible expenses. If your expenses exceed the grant request, you must have additional revenue sources to cover them.
  • Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.

Recent changes

  • The application questions and evaluation rubric have been reworked to better align with OAC’s current strategic plan.

Eligible applicants

Individual professional artists who:

  • have been practicing for more than 10 years
  • are Ontario residents
  • are working in an arts practice supported at OAC (see Ineligible applicants section for a list of exceptions)


  • Artists’ résumés must show more than 10 years in which they were actively practicing. Professional practice must include publication or public presentation/exhibition.
  • Applicants must meet program and OAC eligibility criteria at the time of submitting an application and for the duration of the project.

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

Ineligible applicants

  • individuals with a professional artistic practice of 10 years or fewer
  • individuals who have received a Chalmers Arts Fellowships grant in the last three years
  • individuals who have received two Chalmers Arts Fellowships grants
  • ad hoc groups, collectives or organizations
  • arts administrators, arts managers, or producers
  • arts presenters, including programmers, curators, artistic directors, distributors, broadcasters, publishers, booksellers and gallerists
  • post-secondary educators and researchers whose positions are eligible for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding
  • students enrolled full- or part-time at a college or university, including graduate students, regardless of the program of study

Important: If you have received a grant in Chalmers Professional Development Projects or Chalmers Arts Fellowships you must complete the project and submit a final report before applying to Chalmers Arts Fellowships.

What this program funds

Projects in which the individual artist is taking a significant block of time to examine and investigate their artistic practice, without the responsibility of creating and producing artworks.


The project work plan must be:

  • a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12 months
  • scheduled to run uninterrupted, or in several phases

Projects can take place in Ontario, Canada and/or internationally, and in a single location or multiple locations.


Examples of past Chalmers Arts Fellowships awarded:

  • A writer investigated the nature of storytelling and listening. The grant enabled the artist to travel, meet poets, folklorists, anthropologists, activists, writers, composers and other artists, and examine how new stories, myths and traditions are being sustained and reinvented in the modern world.
  • A musician explored the traditional instruments and songs of a local culture. This artist met musicians to explore the foundations of their craft. The artist became more aware of the communal aspect of making music, particularly the powerful effect it has on people’s daily life, emotional experience, sense of ritual and feeling of belonging.

Eligible expenses



  • applicant’s artist fee: $3,400 per month, for each month of the project work plan
    • application budgets must include an artist’s fee of $3,400 per month, no more and no less, otherwise the application will be withdrawn
  • consultant/specialist fees: maximum $2,000
    • fees and expenses for persons hired to work under the artist’s direction to assist, not collaborate, on the project

Service Delivery/Development:

  • venue and equipment rental: maximum $3,000
    • studio/workspace rented specifically for the project
    • purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
  • out-of-town travel/transportation expenses (for the applicant only)
  • accommodation: maximum $200 per day
    • accommodation expenses must be economical, such as renting an apartment instead of a hotel room during an extended stay
  • per diem/meal allowances: maximum: $45 per day
  • other expenses: maximum $4,000; only the following are eligible:
    • fees to participate at an artist-in-residence program
    • fees to access archives, collections and exhibitions or attend performances
    • supplies to carry out the project
    • visa fees

What this program does not fund

  • creating, editing and/or production of artistic work, including research specifically related to new work
  • presenting, touring, exhibiting, distributing, producing, rehearsing and/or publishing art work
  • travel and accommodation costs, and meal allowances covered by an artist-in-residence program
  • professional development that requires advanced/specialized training or formal education to improve professional skills, e.g. mentorships, master classes, private lessons/coaching (see Program-specific definitions, below)
  • projects that include collaborating with other artists, ad hoc groups, collectives and organizations; projects that are affiliated with the applicant’s ad hoc group, collective or organization
  • activities eligible for, or supported by Telefilm Canada or commercial production funds, National Film Board of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada or the National Research Council
  • undergraduate or graduate university or college courses
  • market development projects, such as attendance at performance showcases, book launches, art fairs, festivals, etc.
  • documentation of art work and production of portfolios or promotional materials
  • fundraising activities, contests or competitions

Ineligible expenses:

  • mentor’s fees, registration fees for master classes, language classes and training activities
  • administration expenses, e.g. office supplies, administrator/manager fees
  • travel costs for anyone other than the applicant
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment (including musical instruments)
  • contingency allowance
  • income tax

Activity timing

The activity for which you are requesting funding:

  • cannot start before January 1, 2025
  • must be completed no later than July 1, 2026

Projects must last a minimum of six months, a maximum of 12 months and be completed within 18 months of receiving the funds. Grant payments are made in January.

Final report requirements

If you receive a grant, you must 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.


  • You must request permission in advance to make any significant changes, such as change of location, rescheduling your work plan, change of mentor(s), etc. Your request must be approved by OAC’s Awards Officer before you can proceed with the changes.

In your final report, you will need to provide:

  • a description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any approved or minor changes to what had been outlined in the application
  • a 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 and/or an explanation of how you recognized or will recognize the Chalmers Family Fund (“the Fund”) and OAC support for your project, as outlined in the Recognition Requirements for Project Grant Recipients
    • This should include samples of any promotional or other materials produced for the project that show the OAC and Government of Ontario logos. Read logo guidelines
    • This could also include social media screenshots or a description of how you recognized the Fund and OAC or plan to do so in future activities or materials tied to the project. Wording should include the following statement: “The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chalmers Family Fund administered by the Ontario Arts Council.”

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, be sure to:

Your application will include:

  • support documents:
    • applicant’s résumé
    • other support documents
    • informed consent template to be used in the project, if applicable (see Program-specific Definitions below)

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.


For information on how assessors rate applications see the Guide to OAC Assessment and the Evaluation Rubric – Professional Development Projects.


For details on creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.

Program-specific definitions

Permanent or semi-permanent faculty members of a college or university: Individuals who are tenured, tenured-stream, contractually limited or continuing.

  • By tenured, we mean a person who is a tenured faculty member of a college or university.
  • By tenured-stream, we mean a person who is working towards tenure at a college or university.

Professional development: training/learning activities to broaden an artist’s knowledge, refine their artistic approach and/or allow them to acquire greater mastery of their art or professional practice above the basic level. Professional development includes mentorships (developmental relationships in which the mentor, a more experienced artist or elder, shares information, skills or knowledge), apprenticeships (temporary positions with professional artists or arts organizations that provide on-the-job training), classes and courses.


Artist-in-residence program: a program hosted by an institution or organization that provides access to the organization’s facilities. The program may contribute to the artist’s travel and accommodation costs, and meal allowance costs.


Applicant’s résumé: list of a person’s education, qualifications, professional activities and achievements; include location and date (year) for each item.


Informed consent template: a form to request permission from a person, before conducting interviews, to collect and/or disclose personal information from that person.