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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Media Artists Creation 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 individual professional Ontario-based media artists/directors working with film, video, audio, digital, new media, video and electronic games, and virtual reality as independent artist-controlled art forms in the production and post-production phases of their projects. The program has two categories:
  • Emerging Artist: You have completed at least one independent media work and are not currently enrolled in a formal media arts education program.
  • Mid-Career & Established Artist: You have completed at least two previous media works independently. Mid-Career artists have a history of independent media arts practice of at least 5 years. Established artists have a history of independent media arts practice of at least 15 years.


The program’s priorities are to support:

  • projects that are innovative – in content, point of view, form, style, technique or process
  • projects that further the applicant's development as an artist

This arts council program is not intended to support commercial media production. There are other funders that support the commercial film, television, and game industries. Please carefully read the eligibility criteria below.

In addition to considering the OAC’s priority groups, this program also strives to support gender parity.

Deadline date(s)

April 4 and October 9, 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 each deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Emerging: $10,000 maximum
  • Mid-Career & Established: $40,000 maximum
Important: Total project budgets must not exceed:
  • $125,000 for Emerging applications
  • $300,000 for Mid-Career & Established applications

Recent changes

  • The application questions and evaluation rubric have been reworked to better align with OAC’s current strategic plan.
  • This program will be assessed by two separate panels. Please choose your category carefully to ensure your application is assessed by the appropriate panel.
    • One panel will evaluate the applications submitted in the Documentary and Narrative categories.
    • The other panel will assess applications submitted in the Animation, Audio art, Dance film/video, Experimental, Media art installation, New media, Video or electronic games, and Virtual reality categories.
  • Eligible support material now includes non-commercial commissioned work, television episodes and web series.
  • The restriction stating that applicants could not apply to more than one OAC Visual Arts, Craft or Media Arts project program within the same year has been updated. You must receive confirmation of not being awarded a grant from one program before applying to another program. See the Ineligible Applicants section for details.

Eligible applicants

  • Directors/principal media artists who: 
    • reside in Ontario
    • have completed the requisite number of independent works for their applicant type (emerging, mid-career or established – see Definitions)
    • are taking their own initiative and making their own decisions about the work to be created
    • work with or without a producer
    • hold copyright over the proposed work
      • Contracts with producers or other funders must not require that the artist give up such control, even if they are arranged after confirmation of OAC support.

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

Important: Applicants must meet program and OAC eligibility criteria at the time of application and for the duration of your project.

Ineligible applicants

  • producers
  • individuals who have only contributed to media art projects that were directed or led by someone else (for example, screenwriters)
  • secondary and undergraduate students (see note below for graduate students)
  • artists who have been awarded a grant in the Visual Artists Creation Projects program in the same year
  • artists who have applied to Visual Artists Creation Projects program in the same year and are still waiting for their results


  • Collaborators (for example, co-director) named in one application cannot be the applicant or collaborator on another application submitted to this program at the same deadline.
  • Applicants who have previously received a Media Artists grant in the Mid-Career & Established category cannot apply in the Emerging category.


  • If you have not completed the requisite number of independent media art works but are a professional artist in another discipline (for example, dance, theatre, music), your media arts project may be eligible in another project grant program. See the full list of programs here.
  • If you are a graduate student, you may only apply to the Mid-Career & Established category. You must provide a letter from the department head stating your proposed project is not a part of your academic program.

What this program funds

  • Production and post-production costs, including artist and personnel fees, related travel expenses, insurance, promotional materials, prototyping, rights for visuals and sound/music, facility and equipment rentals, purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
  • You may apply for:
    • animation
    • audio or video art
    • dance film/video (for the choreography only, also see the Dance Projects program)
    • documentary
    • drama/comedy
    • experimental
    • media art installation
    • new media
    • media-based performance projects
    • web-based art projects
    • video or electronic games
    • virtual reality projects

This program also supports:

  • childcare and other dependant care fees enabling you to take part in the project (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)


  • Applicants to this program who identify as Deaf or as having a disability may apply for supplementary funds for their project-related accessibility expenses through Accessibility Fund: Project Support.
  • Applications in the Documentary and Narrative Film categories will be evaluated by a separate assessment panel. All other categories will be assessed together.
  • Applicants may apply for up to 100 per cent of the project costs but are encouraged to seek revenue from a variety of sources, where possible.

What this program does not fund

  • research, development and screenwriting
  • a series or group of works (including web series and podcasts)
  • commissioned projects and projects contracted for, or produced by a government agency, not-for-profit or private company
  • promotional projects, commercials, or public service announcements
  • educational or instructional projects
  • producer-driven projects, or “calling-card” films
  • student projects, including those done through a training centre or program (for example, Banff Centre, National Screen Institute, Canadian Film Centre)
  • television projects, (including journalistic or reporting-style documentary projects, police dramas, movies of the week, news reports, and bravoFact and bravoFactual projects)
  • pilots or proof-of-concept for television, web series, or podcasts
  • music and music albums
  • music videos
  • comedy albums, specials, or podcasts
  • fashion videos
  • e-books
  • commercial video or electronic games
  • National Film Board of Canada co-productions (except the Filmmakers Assistance Program)
  • documentation of existing artworks, and new versions of works that have already been exhibited
  • media components of a performance or stage production
  • transfers from one format to another (for example, language versioning or subtitling)
  • projects with budgets exceeding $125,000 in the Emerging category, or $300,000 in the Mid-Career & Established category
  • projects for which you have sought or will be seeking support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada or the National Research Council
  • projects for which you will be seeking tax credits
  • websites
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment

Activity timing

The activity for which you are requesting funding:

  • cannot start before you receive your grant results
  • must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant cheque


  • You cannot apply to this deadline if you have not completed the activity for a previously awarded grant in this program and submitted a satisfactory final report.
  • The OAC grant cheque will only be released when all sources of revenue are confirmed. If the funds are not confirmed within one year of your grant notification, the grant will be forfeited.

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 minor or approved 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 acknowledged or will acknowledge OAC support for your project
    • This should include samples of OAC logo recognition on any promotional or other materials produced in conjunction with the project, such as publications, brochures, posters, invitations, websites, or videos/films.
    • This could also include a description of verbal acknowledgement at public events or the intention to include OAC acknowledgement in associated future activities/materials
  • video file of or link to the completed work

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:

  • basic information about the project
  • your answers to application questions
  • a project budget and a detailed budget
  • audiovisual artistic examples:
    • Emerging: one example
    • Mid-Career: two examples
    • Established: two examples
  • support documents:
    • résumé/bio, script, storyboards, installation schematic, design documents, visual and sound treatment, and letters of agreement, as appropriate for your project
    • if you are a graduate student, you must include a letter from your school’s department head confirming that your project is not part of your academic program

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

Independent media art: Work that you initiated as the director/principal media artist. You have complete creative and editorial control and hold copyright. Student works are not considered independent.

Emerging: You have completed at least one independent media work.

Mid-Career: You have completed at least two independent media works. You have been practicing for at least five years.

Established: You have completed at least five independent media works. You have been practicing for at least 15 years.

Audio Art: Artistic activity in which sound is utilized as a primary medium. It is also known as sound sculpture or sound art. This does not include music or podcasts.

Experimental film: A film that pushes the medium of film in unexplored ways and experiments with the filmmaking process. Many experimental films are non-narrative. If your film follows a narrative format, you may want to apply in the narrative category.

Dance film/video: A film where the filmmaker or videographer plays an essential role in partnership with the choreographer to tell a story through movement.

New Media: An artistic practice that uses newly developed media technology to produce works of art.

Visual Treatment or Mood Board: A document illustrating the overall aesthetics of your film. It includes images and/or a colour palette to help assessors understand your vision for the finished film.