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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Music Recording 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 the recording of music by Ontario-based musicians including composers, songwriters and beat producers. The program has two categories:

  • Demo/EP recordings:
    • EP recording of a series of songs that may be released individually or as a short album, less than 25 minutes, intended for public release
    • Demo recordings for the purpose of demonstrating newly developed work for labels, funders, presenters, promoters, festivals, etc. These recordings may or may not also be intended for public release
  • Full-length album: a single work or collection of compositions, 25 minutes minimum, recorded for public release in physical format or an online platform. The album is only considered complete after it has been publicly released.

Note: Projects are only considered complete once the recording is publicly available (except for demos not intended for release).


The program’s priorities are to support:

  • music created by Ontario composers/songwriters as well as works by other Canadians. If your project features non-Ontario composers, a compelling case should be made for how the project will add to what is currently available to the public (for example, currently unrecorded, rare music, or a foremost performer of the music of a specific composer)
  • projects that enhance the range of recorded music available to the public (locally, nationally and internationally)
  • projects that are ready or nearly ready to begin recording

Deadline date(s)

May 15 and November 7, 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)

  • Demo/EP recordings: maximum $4,000
  • Full-length album: maximum $10,000

Important: Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.

Recent changes

  • The application questions and evaluation rubric have been reworked to better align with OAC’s current strategic plan.
  • Individual applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply.

Eligible applicants

  • professional musicians and composers who are Ontario residents
  • professional music ad hoc groups, collectives and organizations based in Ontario
  • Ontario-based, professionally led community orchestras and choirs, as well as choral training groups whose project includes fees to professional musicians or composers

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

Ineligible applicants

  • recording studios
  • record companies, record labels, managers, agents and lawyers
  • municipalities, colleges, and universities
  • schools
  • religious institutions
  • 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.

What this program funds

  • recording, mixing, mastering
  • artist and producer fees, including fees to the applicant. For live recordings, additional artist fees for recording (step-up fees) are eligible, but not the fee for live performance itself
  • copyright and royalty fees
  • studio and recording location rental
  • recording media, such as tapes and hard drives
  • packaging artwork and design
  • a contribution towards marketing or promotional costs specific to the recording, including the hiring of an Ontario-based marketing manager or publicist
  • manufacturing, up to the first 1,000 units
  • equipment rental
  • purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
  • 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.

What this program does not fund

  • expenses for activities that take place outside of Ontario
  • school projects
  • compilation projects (that is, albums that are exclusively re-releases of previously recorded material that has been made public)
  • video production, including of promotional and music videos
  • recordings produced as part of projects in other media, such as television and radio shows, commercials, films, videos, installations and video games
  • recordings of incidental music for dance or theatre productions
  • composition or songwriting
  • rehearsal
  • live concert production costs
  • touring and travel related to promotion or marketing
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
  • fundraising activities
  • administrative costs (except for marketing of the recording)

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


  • Project completion schedule should consider the time required to fulfill OAC acknowledgement obligations (see Final report requirements section below).
  • EPs and full-length albums must be released after grant notification (four and a half months after the deadline). This applies to all formats (CD, on-line, vinyl, etc.). You are permitted to release singles from the album before this time as long as the majority (more than 50%) remains unreleased until you receive your grant results.
  • Projects are only considered complete once the recording is publicly available (digitally and/or physically), except for demos not intended for release.

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. Complete and submit the report in Nova.

Note: Full-length recording projects are only considered complete once the recording is publicly available. Projects are only considered complete once the recording is publicly available (digitally and/or physically), except for demos not intended for release.

In your final report, you will need to provide:

  • a description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any approved or minor 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.
  • a web link to where the recording is available to the public (not required for Demo/EP recordings that are not being commercially released)
  • sample audio files of the recording (maximum two tracks)
  • documentation and/or an explanation of how you followed or will follow OAC’s Recognition Requirements for Project Grant Recipients
    • For CD/vinyl releases: The OAC and Ontario government logos must appear on the album’s back cover. You must supply images of the front and back album covers and any additional sleeve/booklet pages featuring the OAC and Ontario government logos. Read logo guidelines
    • For online-only releases: Every effort must be made to include OAC recognition where the music is being distributed and you must supply a screen capture to demonstrate this. Otherwise, you may include the OAC and Ontario government logos on other materials produced for the project, such as publications, brochures, posters, invitations, websites, social media, videos and films, and provide documentation of this. You may also describe any verbal recognition of OAC at public events. Read logo guidelines
    • For Demo/EP recordings that are not or will not be released publicly: Reasonable effort should be made to include the OAC and Ontario government logos on public-facing platforms (website, social media, etc.) and you must supply a screen capture to demonstrate this. In addition, or if this is not possible, describe verbal recognition at public events and/or an explanation of how you intend to recognize OAC in future activities or materials tied to the project. Read logo guidelines

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:
    • two audio examples, with a combined time of no more than five minutes
  • support documents:
    • résumés or bios

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.