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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Music Production and Presentation 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.



This program supports the development and presentation of all genres of live and virtual music by Ontario-based professional musicians, ad hoc groups, collectives and organizations. The program has six categories:

  • Rehearsal and repertoire development (including first-stage opera workshops)
  • Single performances/concerts
  • Concert series
  • Music festivals
  • Opera productions
  • Second-stage opera workshops

Note: For recording projects, please see the Music Recording Projects program; for music creation projects (composing/songwriting), please see the Music Creation Projects program.


The program’s priorities are to support:

  • activities that engage Ontario and Canadian professional musicians with appropriate fees, and support the work of Ontario and Canadian composers and songwriters, unless restricted by genre (for example, early music)
  • projects that advance the development of music in Ontario
  • projects that enhance the range of live and virtual music activity available to the public
  • original work by Ontario-based composers and songwriters used in rehearsal and repertoire development, and second-stage opera workshops
  • activities that, in addition to the above, may contribute to arts education, public participation and community involvement in the arts in Ontario

Deadline date(s)

March 26 and October 2, 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)

  • Individual professional musicians and programmers – maximum $20,000
  • Professional ad hoc music groups, collectives and music organizations – maximum $20,000
  • Semi-professional, community and choral training organizations – maximum $5,000
  • Northern semi-professional and community orchestras – maximum $20,000
  • Other semi-professional and community orchestras – maximum $15,000
Note: Northern semi-professional and community orchestras are those based in the Far North, Northwest, and Northeast regions of the province, including the Manitoulin, Parry Sound and Nipissing districts and all regions north of these.


  • Grant requests should be in proportion to the scope of the project.
  • Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.
  • All public presentation(s) must occur after grant notification (four and a half months after deadline date).

Recent changes

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

Eligible applicants

  • Individuals: Professional musicians and music programmers, including composers, songwriters, and curators, who are Ontario residents. An individual may choose to apply on behalf of a group. A personal Nova profile must be used to start and submit an application. In this case, if awarded, a cheque would be made out in the name of the individual and they would take full responsibility for all aspects of the grant.
  • Ad hoc groups and collectives: Bands, ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, choirs, other music producers, presenters and festivals. These must operate on a not-for-profit basis (i.e. administrative, production costs and artistic leadership fees are covered with remaining proceeds going to the artists involved in the activity). Most members must be professional musicians, except in the case of professionally-led community orchestras, community choirs, and choral training groups. All must be comprised of a minimum of two professional musicians, songwriters, composers, music programmers/curators, or arts administrators. In the case of community orchestras, community choirs and choral training groups, the professional artistic leadership must be one of the collective members. The other members may include professional artists and/or professional or volunteer administration (i.e. not the non-professional choristers).
    Note: A collective must be able to deposit a cheque issued in the name of the group, as opposed to the name of an individual artist or other entity.
  • Incorporated not-for-profit organizations: Professionally-led music presenters and producers of concerts, series and festivals, including opera companies, orchestras, bands, ensembles and choirs who have a head office in Ontario. Non-music arts organizations may request support for music presenting activity provided that one or more persons must take a music curatorial leadership role. An artistic director or leader may volunteer services or receive an honorarium or contracted salary. For organizations where the primary activity is self-presentation, most members must be professional musicians, with the exception of community orchestras, community choirs, and choral training groups.

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

Ineligible applicants

  • colleges, universities, schools and municipalities
  • religious institutions
  • record companies/labels, managers, agents and lawyers
  • organizations that receive a grant in the Music Organizations: Operating program
  • organizations that receive an operating grant in other OAC programs, with the exception of organizations mandated to serve one or more of the OAC priority groups
  • volunteer-run series or festivals not organized by professional artists, music curators or artistic leadership (see the Ontario Arts Presenters Projects program)
  • youth orchestras

What this program funds

  • rehearsal and repertoire development and live and virtual music where the applicant is responsible for production and presentation costs, including artist fees, venue rental, the virtual platform, and ticket sales.

Eligible activities:

  • rehearsal and repertoire development
    • intended for future public performances; this may include new repertoire, set-list, concert program, stage or virtual show or first-stage opera workshop, as well as preparation for an upcoming tour
    • rehearsals can also be in preparation for a recording, but there should also be live and/or virtual opportunities for performance planned
    • first-stage opera workshop: the initial exploration of a new work in development, with minimal staging, movement, and props. At least a draft of an entire act of the new opera must be complete before the deadline date. Public presentation at the end of the first stage workshop is not required

Note: Primary creation activity (composing/songwriting) is not eligible

  • second-stage opera workshop: A comprehensive examination and intensive rehearsal of a new opera project that is in an advanced stage of development, moving toward production. Staging, costumes and props are usually employed, and the objective is to identify additional rewriting required before full production. Some form of invited or public presentation is required
  • single performance/concert: presentation or production of a single music concert or performance for which professional musicians are paid
  • concert series – presentation or production of a minimum of two concerts or performances in a season that takes place over an extended time period
  • music festival – presentation of music concerts or performances that takes place in a concentrated time period
  • opera production (see Music Definitions)

In the case of projects proposed by non-music-mandated organizations, a distinctive curated artistic vision must be reflected in programming with a music series or festival as its primary purpose.


Eligible expenses:

  • artistic fees
    Note: For community orchestras, community choirs, and choral training groups, only professional artistic costs are eligible for support (for example, conductor, accompanist, section lead and royalty fees). For these applicants, no other costs listed below other than professional artistic costs are eligible to be covered by this grant.
  • production costs
  • venue and equipment rental
  • purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project (maximum $500)
  • marketing, publicity, promotion and administrative costs
  • audio/visual recording costs directly associated with virtual presentations that are part of the proposed project
  • modest audio/visual recording costs for documenting activity when a live presentation is the proposed project activity (i.e. archival recording).
  • 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
    • Note: Applicants to this program who identify as Deaf or as having a disability may apply for supplementary funds for their own accessibility expenses through Accessibility Fund: Project Support.

For recording projects, please see the Music Recording Projects program. For creation projects, please see the Music Creation Projects program.


Project requirements:

  • Projects must pay fees to professional musicians.
  • Projects must have a range of revenue sources with the exception of rehearsal and repertoire development, and second-stage opera workshops.

What this program does not fund

Ineligible activity:

  • creation/composition/songwriting
  • fundraising activities (including benefit concerts)
  • productions involving a significant number of amateur performers, with the exception of community and children’s choirs and community orchestras
    • Exceptions may also be made in cases of non-European cultural forms (e.g. Beijing opera) where amateur singers and musicians may share the stage with professional practitioners and leaders. This also applies to productions of standard opera repertoire involving amateur choruses, provided that professional singers are cast in a majority of leading roles
  • tours where presenters are paying a guaranteed fee to the applicant (please see opportunities through OAC’s Touring section)
  • music videos and high cost audio/visual productions for the purposes of future dissemination that are not part of the proposed project (for example, marketing, commercial release)
  • performances given as part of religious services
  • artist professional development, training, with the exception of projects where professionals may be hired as clinicians to work with an organization containing a complement of amateur musicians/singers (for example, children’s choir)
  • award ceremonies
  • activities that take place outside of Ontario
Ineligible expenses:

  • expenses for activities that take place outside of Ontario
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment (for example, purchase of sheet music, risers, instruments, computers)

Activity timing

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

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

Note: All public presentation(s) (live and virtual) must occur after grant notification (four and a half months after the deadline).

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:

  • 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
  • for rehearsal and repertoire development projects, sample from printed lyrics/charts/scores and/or audio/video recording of the work(s) developed

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
  • artistic examples:
    • audio and/or video examples – minimum one and maximum three
  • support documents:
    • CV(s), résumés or bios of artists and programmers
    • score excerpts and/or lyrics/libretto (for Opera projects)
    • programming/repertoire list

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

Definitions are provided in the Music Definitions page.