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Operating Program Application Questions

Multi-Year 1 application and Annual operating application 

Applications include questions related to the program assessment criteria. 
These are the questions for a Multi-Year 1 and Annual operating application. Publishing organizations will see slightly different questions that do not make reference to Canadian Arts Database/Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC). 

Organization Information 

Mandate and Vision 

  • What are your organization’s mandate and vision, and how do you make sure they stay relevant? (Maximum 325 words) 
    • Writing tip: If they have changed in recent years, explain why and how. You may refer to recent consultations and processes. 
  • OAC’s priority groups are Indigenous artists, artists of colour, Francophone artists, new generation artists (18-30 years old), Deaf artists or artists with disabilities and artists and organizations located in regions outside of Toronto. How does your organization support OAC priority groups? (Maximum 250 words)  
    • Writing tip: 
      • Tell us if and how your programming includes and/or involves members of OAC priority groups. 
      • Tell us about any other equity goals of your organization.
        For organizations specifically mandated to serve one or more OAC priority groups:
      • Describe how this informs your programming and relationships.
      • Describe your role and contribution within the priority group community you serve.  
        For organizations not specifically mandated to serve one or more OAC priority groups:
      • Describe how you support them. 

      • Describe any strategies for increasing your support of OAC priority groups. 

Brief History 

  • Tell us about your organization. For example, state the year it was founded, and important milestones in its development. (Maximum 250 words)
  • ​Describe the work that you do, the context you operate in, and the communities you serve. (Maximum 250 words)

Governance and Organizational Structure 

  • Tell us how the experience and expertise of your artistic and/or administrative leader(s) are helping to guide your organization. (Maximum 400 words)  
    • Writing tip: If your leadership includes representation from OAC priority groups, consider what this experience and perspective brings to your organization, and tell us how the organization supports these contributions. If your leadership does not currently include representation from OAC priority groups, tell us if and how the organization is developing this for the future, outlining any processes and timelines. 
  • Tell us about your board/governing body and staff. (Maximum 250 words) 
    • Writing tip: Explain how they are representative of your community. Provide information about their skills and expertise. Indicate how the board represents OAC priority groups and/or how you are developing this for the future. Outline any committee structures, including the executive. If your organization is currently going through major staff or board changes, describe your transition plans and recruitment processes, including selection criteria. 
  • Describe how your organization creates a supportive, safe and respectful work environment for staff, contractors, board members and volunteers. (Maximum 300 words) 
    • Writing tip: This can include any past initiatives as well as current or planned processes, such as community consultations, anti-harassment or anti-racism policy development and professional development opportunities. 
  • Upload board and staff lists (maximum 10 pages total). 

    • List the members of your board, governing body or advisory committee, and their committees, including names, dates of appointment, city/town/First Nation, expertise and roles.  

    • List your staff (programming and administrative), indicating if they are full- or part-time, and their key roles and responsibilities.   

    • Do not include résumés or biographies. 


Reports and Plans 

Last Completed and Current Years 

  • Describe your organization’s challenges, achievements and plans with regard to artistic/service programming and activities, finances, human resources, board governance and communications during the last year and for the remainder of the current fiscal year. (Maximum 1000 words) 
    • Writing tip: Include the following information, as applicable: 
      • how the pandemic, and social justice calls to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism have impacted your organization  
      • programming that occurred as planned, and how you handled, cancelled and rescheduled programming activities 
      • new programming you are undertaking or envisioning
      • how you are cultivating and sustaining relationships with audiences, partners, donors, sponsors and volunteers, and how you are communicating with your stakeholders 
      • (if you have or use a building or other facility) choices you made regarding your facility’s use, how you adapted it to meet health and safety standards, whether the space is currently open, and, if so, how the space is being used by yourself or others 
  • Other than providing a salary, how do you support your staff (for example, benefits, education, development opportunities)? How do you attract and retain staff? (Maximum 150 words) 
  • How are you currently establishing artist fees, and what industry standards do you use? (Maximum 150 words)  
    • Writing tip: In the case where activities were cancelled, tell us if fees were paid, including artistic staff salaries and freelance contracts. Indicate if any programming changes or cancellations required discussions or negotiations with unions or guilds. Consider providing information about any other relevant forms of artist compensation you provide in addition to artist fees (for example, health or retirement benefits, intellectual property rights).  

Request Year 

  • Describe your artistic/service programming plans, as far as these are known. Explain your choices. (Maximum 450 words) 
    • Writing tip:  
      • This may include alternative scenarios and contingency plans. 
      • If applicable, explain how your plans impact your projected artist fees (including artistic staff and contracted artists) differently in the request year compared to the last completed and current years. This could include changes to the number of artists hired, fee standards being used, etc. 
  • What are your organizational expectations for the coming year? How will you continue to address organizational challenges (for example, human resources or board governance matters) and meet your communications, marketing and audience development needs and goals? (Maximum 300 words) 
    • Writing tip: Leave out discussion of finances; address them in the next section.  

The following question applies to eligible applicants requesting Multi-Year 1 requests only. 
  • Describe your key artistic/service programming and organizational plans for Year 2, and how they support your long-term goals. (Maximum 500 words)

Financial Notes 

  • What is your projected financial state for the end of the current fiscal year? What are your financial expectations and plans for the request year? How will you handle cash flow and manage potential financial risks? (Maximum 500 words) 
    • Writing tip: You may identify new sources of revenue from special programs, expenses for cancelled activities or changes in self-generated revenues. For those with significant unrestricted net asset deficiencies, describe how you will continue to manage your organization’s finances in order to meet ongoing obligations. 
  • List and explain any major year-to-year financial variances that will substantially affect the interpretation of your financial report. In your variance explanations, please indicate the relevant year/years. 


Additional Information 

  • You may provide additional information, if necessary, that has not been addressed in the application questions. (Maximum 250 words) 

Activity List 

  • You are required to submit an activity list for your organization’s current and request year. 

Support Material 

In some programs, you may be required to submit the following information: 
  • artistic examples (e.g. audio/video or digital examples) of artistic work 
  • website address 
  • CV(s)/résumé/bio, study guides, media reviews