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Maggie Lucas

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

Erika Iserhoff

Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058

Lisa Wöhrle

Associate Officer
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Indigenous Visual Artists' Materials

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 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.

Deadline date(s)

The 2024-25 program is open from September 2024 until January 31, 2025, 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.

  • 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.

Grant amount(s)

  • $500
  • $1,000
Important: 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 (September 2024 – March 2025) counts towards a recipient’s three-grant limit for 2024.
  • You may submit one application to each recommender.
  • You may receive one Indigenous Visual Artists’ Materials grant in the 2024-2025 program year.

Recent changes

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

Eligible applicants

  • 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.

Ineligible applicants

  • ad hoc groups and collectives
  • organizations

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 someone else)
  • creation of food products and beverages
  • creation of body care products such as soaps

Activity timing

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, including details on any minor or approved changes to what had been outlined in the application
  • three images of artwork you created using the materials purchased
  • documentation and/or an explanation of how you followed or will follow OAC’s Recognition Requirements for Project Grant Recipients
    • This could 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. 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:
    • 8 images maximum
  • support document:
    • résumé (optional)
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.

Program-specific definitions

Eligible art forms include, but are not limited to:

  • basketry (birch bark, black ash, willow, etc.)
  • beading
  • birch bark work
  • carving
  • drawing
  • drums, rattles and instruments
  • glass
  • installation
  • jewellery
  • leather work
  • metal work
  • mixed media
  • moccasin making
  • painting
  • photography
  • pottery
  • printmaking
  • quillwork
  • sculpture
  • tamarack
  • textile art (embroidery, quilts, etc.)
  • traditional dance regalia
  • tufting
  • 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