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Chalmers Professional Development Projects

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.



The program supports professional development for Ontario artists who want to gain new artistic skills – or improve existing skills – and advance their arts practice at any stage of their career. It funds all contemporary and traditional art practices that OAC supports in other project programs.

All learning must be led by a specialist who gives feedback throughout the training period. Specialists include mentors, teachers, trainers and Elders. Projects may include study, training, mentorship, internship, apprenticeship, or any combination of these activities.

The program has two categories:
  • Artists practicing professionally for 10 years or less
  • Artists practicing professionally for 11 years or more

Deadline date(s)

November 14, 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)

  • Artists practicing professionally for 10 years or less: $7,500
  • Artists practicing professionally for 11 years or more: $7,500
  • This program does not award partial grants. For this reason, your project must have a budget of at least $7,500.
  • If your project costs exceed $7,500, you must include additional revenue sources so that your total revenues equal your total expenses.

Recent changes

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

Eligible applicants

  • professional artists who live in Ontario and who work in one or more of the following arts practices:
    • dance
    • literature
    • media arts
    • multi and inter-arts
    • music
    • theatre
    • visual arts
Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.

Important: You must meet program and OAC eligibility criteria when you submit your application and for the duration of your project.

Ineligible applicants

  • artists who have applied to one of the above programs for a professional development project and are still waiting for their results

What this program funds

Eligible activities include:
  • mentorships
  • internships and apprenticeships
  • skills training courses
  • master classes

All learning must be led by a specialist who gives feedback throughout the training period. Specialists include mentors, teachers, trainers and Elders.

All activities must take into account the safely, health and well being of artists, educators, staff and communities in a pandemic context.

Eligible expenses include:

  • artist fees – payment to yourself (up to $150 per day)
    • Artist fees should be calculated based on time or contribution to the project. The program does not fund living and personal expenses – do not include these as the rationale for the calculation of artist fees.
  • mentor and tutor fees
  • tuition and registration fees for master classes, workshops and training courses
  • materials and supplies
  • travel (out of town transportation, accommodation, meal allowance)
  • equipment rental
  • workspace rental
  • transportation of musical instruments
  • childcare and other dependant care fees enabling individuals to take part in the project (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)
  • expenses related to making the project accessible for 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.
Note: If your project costs exceed $7,500, you must include additional revenue sources so that your total revenues equal your total expenses.

What this program does not fund

  • creating, completing, recording or producing artwork
  • commissioning, acquiring or publishing artwork
  • touring, exhibiting, promoting or marketing artwork
  • research related to the subject or topic of new artwork
  • projects that do not include a teacher, mentor, Elder or other specialist
  • undergraduate or graduate university or college courses
  • diploma or conservatory studies from accredited institutions
  • projects that include collaborating with other artists, ad hoc groups, collectives or organizations
  • projects that are affiliated with the applicant’s ad hoc group, collective or organization
  • market development or business planning projects, including performance showcases, book launches, art fairs and festivals
  • production of portfolios or promotional materials, documentation of artwork
  • fundraising activities
  • travel costs for anyone other than the applicant
  • fees paid to arts organizations to host internships or apprenticeships
  • language classes (except accent coaching, repertoire development or similar)
  • administration expenses (office supplies, administrator/manager fees, etc.)
  • shipping of artwork
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment such as computers or musical instruments

Activity timing

The activities 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
The project’s work plan may run continuously or be spread out in several segments.

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.

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.
  • written correspondence from the organization(s) or specialist(s) involved in your project confirming your completion of the professional development activities
  • 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:

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

Bio (or biography): A written description of a person’s accomplishments, including dates (year).

Internship or apprenticeship: An arrangement in which an artist (intern/apprentice) works for a more experienced specialist to gain experience and on-the-job training above the basic level. The intern/apprentice should receive the primary benefit of the internship/apprenticeship. The intern/apprentice will receive instruction and feedback throughout the process.

Master class: A lesson or seminar given by a specialist. The specialist will provide instruction and feedback to the student throughout the process.

Mentorship: A developmental relationship between a mentee (an artist) and a mentor (a more experienced artist or Elder). During the mentorship, the mentor shares skills, knowledge and best practices that will advance the mentee’s art The mentee should receive the primary benefit of the mentorship. The mentor will provide instruction and feedback to the artist throughout the process.

Professional development: Training and learning activities that broaden an artist’s knowledge, refine their artistic approach and allow them to gain greater mastery of their art or professional practice. Professional development is delivered by a specialist and includes mentorships, internships, apprenticeships, masterclasses, classes and courses. The specialist will provide instruction and feedback to the artist throughout the process.

Résumé: A list of a person’s education, qualifications and achievements, including location and date (year) for each item. Also known as a CV or curriculum vitae.