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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Deaf and Disability Arts 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.

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The program supports Ontario-based:

  • artists and arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability
  • ad hoc groups, collectives and arts organizations mandated to serve and led by artists or arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability

It funds work in all disciplines that are supported at OAC:

  • Dance
  • Literature
  • Media arts
  • Multi and inter-arts (see definition)
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual arts and craft

Your practice can be contemporary (focused on innovation), traditional (focused on preserving a technique), or anything in between.

The program has three categories:

  • Creation: to help cover the costs of research and development, exploration and experimentation, and creation of new work
  • Production: to help cover the costs of production and/or the creation of artworks
  • Professional development: to help cover the costs of study or training; mentorship; internship or apprenticeship; and/or documentation of artwork

Deadline date(s)

October 10, 2024, 1 p.m. ET
  • The application form will be available in Nova about three months before the deadline.
  • You will find out whether you got a grant in February 2024.
  • If you need application support to complete your application, please make your request at least four weeks before the program deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Creation: up to $10,000
  • Production: up to $10,000
  • Professional development: up to $10,000


  • You may only apply to one category per deadline.
  • 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

This program accepts applications from Ontario-based:
  • professional artists and arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability.
  • ad hoc groups, collectives and not-for-profit disability arts organizations that are led by Deaf artists and/or artists with disabilities.
    • The application must demonstrate that the artistic process is led by artists and/or arts professionals who are Deaf and/or have a disability.

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

Ineligible applicants

As stated in the Guide to OAC Project Programs, you are not eligible to submit applications to multiple OAC programs 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.

What this program funds


This category funds the following activities: 

  • research and development
  • exploration and experimentation
  • creation of new work

Eligible expenses include:

  • artist fees– payment to yourself or other artists engaged in the project
    • Artist fees should be calculated based on time or contribution to the project and/or relevant industry standards. The program does not fund living and personal expenses – do not include these as the rationale for the calculation of artist fees
  • workspace and equipment rental
  • research materials
  • transportation and travel
  • accommodation
  • meal allowance
  • a contribution towards the purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project

Note: Production expenses are only eligible if they are essential to the development of new work.


This category funds the following activity: 

  • creation and/or production of artworks (for example, music compositions and recordings; visual art, craft, media art, theatre and dance pieces; multi and inter-art work)

Eligible expenses include:

  • all eligible expenses from the Creation category (see above)
  • artistic, production, venue and administrative costs
  • a contribution towards marketing or promotional costs specific to the project, including the hiring of an Ontario-based marketing manager or publicist

Note: Productions must take place in Ontario.

Professional development

This category funds the following activities: 

  • study and training
  • mentorships (see definition)
  • internships and apprenticeships (see definition)
  • documentation of artwork


  • Your project can combine two or more professional development activities. For example, you can apply to take a workshop and to work with a mentor.
  • The applicant must initiate the internship or apprenticeship, and it cannot replace a currently existing position with the specialist or host organization

Eligible expenses include:

  • tuition and registration fees for conferences, master classes, workshops and training courses
  • mentor and tutor fees
  • internship and apprenticeship expenses
  • documentation of artwork: professional preparation of materials that document artwork, skills, training or abilities

Each category also supports:

  • 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 to audience members and project participants (other than the applicant) who are Deaf or have a disability

What this program does not fund

  • fundraising activities
  • student projects at all education levels
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
  • studio renovation, repair or relocation
  • accredited college or university programs
  • enrolment in an ongoing course of study
  • business, promotional and marketing expenses (except in the Production category)

Activity timing

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

  • must start on or after October 10, 2024
  • must end between February 28, 2025 and February 28, 2027

Final report requirements

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.

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 followed or will follow OAC’s 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 OAC or plan to do so in future activities or materials tied to the project.

To apply

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. You will be able to do this approximately three 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 – Activity Projects.

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

Program-specific definitions

Artists with disabilities: The OAC identifies artists with disabilities as people who have physical, mental or learning conditions with long-term, temporary or varying effects that may be apparent or not.

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

Deaf artists: The OAC identifies Deaf artists as distinct from artists with disabilities based on the Canadian Hearing Society’s definition of “Culturally Deaf,” a term that refers to individuals who identify with and participate in the language, culture, and community of Deaf people.

Internship or apprenticeship: An arrangement in which an artist (intern/apprentice) works for an arts organization or 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.

Multi- and inter-arts: Practices, activities and events that have two or more artistic forms present in equal balance in the creation, production and presentation of work. Artistic forms may remain separate or can be combined to create new, unified forms. Multi and inter-arts activities involve bringing art forms together in ways that make the activity unique and therefore not eligible for funding in OAC's discipline-based programs in Theatre, Dance, Music, Literature, Visual Arts or Media Arts.

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.