, 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
The program supports Ontario-based First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists working in the visual arts, crafts or traditional/customary Indigenous art forms to create artwork. Grants of $500 or $1,000 help cover the cost of buying art materials and supplies.
This is a third-party recommender program. Using Nova, OAC’s online grant application system, an artist applies to an Indigenous organization designated as a recommender for the program. These recommenders assess applications and submit grant recommendations to OAC. See About recommender grants below for more information on the grant application process.
The 2023-2024 program is open from July 2023
until January 31, 2024, 1:00 p.m. ET
Each recommender either sets its own deadlines or assesses applications on an ongoing basis until their budget is spent. See the Recommenders for Indigenous Visual Artists' Materials
web page for deadline information. Note that the list is subject to updates and changes during the program year.Notification:
- Recommenders with set deadlines: You will be notified up to two months after the recommender’s deadline date.
- Recommenders that assess applications on an ongoing basis: You will be notified up to two months after the date you submit your application.
: Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.
- A grant awarded in this program year (July 2023 – March 2024) counts towards a recipient’s three-grant limit for 2023.
- You may submit one application to each recommender.
- You may receive one Indigenous Visual Artists’ Materials grant in the 2023-2024 program year.
- The grant amount has changed
- The grant can be used to pay for travel costs for gathering natural materials
- The grant can be used towards the purchase of materials or tools required to run or participate in workshops
- artists and Elders who self-identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit
- applicants must be Ontario residents
Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.
- ad hoc groups and collectives
What this program funds
The grant can be used for the following expenses:
- materials and art supplies, such as wood, fabric, thread, stone, leather hides, sinew, beads, needles, photographic printing, inks, metals, paint, canvas, paper, pencils, etc.
- small tools for making the artwork or for harvesting or gathering materials, such as blades, carving tools, awls, scissors, etc.
- purchase of materials or tools required to run or participate in workshops
- delivery: cost of transporting or shipping materials and supplies
- travel costs for gathering natural materials
See the Eligible art forms list below for examples of visual art or craft materials.
What this program does not fund
- large equipment purchases (such as a table saw or computer), studio set-up or renovations
- materials and supplies for student projects in all education levels
- business and promotional expenses, such as websites and business cards
- cost of producing a commercial production line (that is, to have your designs manufactured by
- creation of food products and beverages
- creation of body care products such as soaps
The activities for which you are requesting funding:
- cannot finish before you receive your grant results
- must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant notification
Important: You must complete and report on a previous grant in this program before submitting another application in this program.
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 short description of what you created with the support of this grant
- three images of artwork you created using the materials purchased
- if relevant, an explanation of how you acknowledged or will acknowledge, OAC support
Complete and submit an application in Nova
, OAC’s online grant application system. Before applying, you must create or update your profile in Nova
Your application will include:
- name of recommender you are applying to
- artistic examples – images or video documentation of your work:
- support document:
Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova
For details on creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova
, see the Nova User Guide
Eligible art forms include, but are not limited to:
- basketry (birch bark, black ash, willow, etc.)
- birch bark work
- drums, rattles and instruments
- leather work
- metal work
- mixed media
- moccasin making
- textile art (embroidery, quilts, etc.)
- traditional dance regalia
- wood working
About recommender grants
Recommenders are organizations authorized by OAC to receive applications, review them and make grant recommendations. OAC allocates a budget to each of the participating recommenders.
Recommenders submit their grant recommendations to OAC, which are then reviewed by OAC for applicant and project eligibility. OAC then sends you an email letting you know that your notification letter is available online in Nova.
See the Guide to Project Programs for more information about grant decisions, grant payments and what you need to do if you get a grant.
Conflict of interest
Artists who have a conflict of interest with a particular recommender may not apply to that recommender. An artist is in a conflict of interest if they are:
- an employee or board member of the recommender organization
- a member of a committee or jury reviewing applications for the recommender
- immediate family members of those described above
How recommenders assess applications
Recommenders establish their own processes for assessing applications and making grant recommendations. Staff, board or committee members, or other arts professionals in the community may take on this role for the recommender.
The link below will direct you to a list of the recommenders and their application deadlines:
Recommenders for Indigenous Visual Artists' Materials