[Skip to Content]
Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
Grants Advanced Search
Grants Advanced Search


Alana Forslund

Northern Arts Representative


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

Madeline Legg

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

Northern Arts 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 creation, production and presentation of artwork; professional development; and community-engaged arts initiatives that benefit communities in northern Ontario (see OAC’s geographic regions map as a PDF or on Google Maps).The program has four categories:

  • New works: to help cover the costs of creation and production of new works in all artistic disciplines
  • Presentation: to help cover the costs of presenting artistic work
  • Skills/Career development: for artists to undertake skills and career development projects and for groups presenting projects that will benefit northern Ontario artists
  • Working with community: to help cover the costs of community-engaged arts projects


The program’s priorities are to:

  • foster the development and growth of the arts in northern Ontario
  • recognize and value the distinctive nature of the arts produced in Ontario’s northern regions
  • support northern Ontario artists at any stage in their professional careers, recognizing that creating, producing and promoting their work is essential to the artistic diversity and regional representation of Ontario
  • support projects that include fees paid to artists who live in northern Ontario
  • support the arts and arts service organizations in northern Ontario to build capacity and infrastructure
  • provide northern audiences with access to arts experiences
  • support projects that are inclusive and accessible to audiences, participants, and community members

Deadline date(s)

April 30 and November 5, 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)

  • New Works: maximum $15,000
  • Presentation: maximum $15,000
  • Skills/Career Development: maximum $15,000
  • Working with Community: maximum $15,000
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.

Eligible applicants

  • professional artists who reside in northern Ontario, for at least one year prior to submitting an application, and continue to live for at least eight months each year in northern Ontario
  • not-for-profit organizations with a head office in northern Ontario; non-arts organizations must demonstrate appropriate arts expertise and directly involve arts professionals as paid artists or advisory committee members
  • Canadian-controlled professional arts and literary book and magazine publishers with a head office in northern Ontario, including Canadian-owned for-profit publishers (see Program-specific definitions below)
  • ad hoc groups and collectives based in northern Ontario, and are made up of at least 50 per cent professional artists and/or arts professionals who reside in northern Ontario and continue to live for at least eight months each year in northern Ontario
  • northern Ontario-based First Nations and schools run by First Nations or Indigenous Education Authorities

Note: Co-applicant individuals, ad hoc groups, collectives and organizations are eligible. If awarded, the grant is split equally between the two applicants.

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

Ineligible applicants

  • colleges, universities and municipalities
  • for-profit organizations (with the exception of eligible publishers – see Program-specific definitions below)
  • organizations receiving OAC operating funding; they may be a participant in a group project, but cannot be the applicant or co-applicant

What this program funds

  • creation and production of new works in all artistic disciplines
  • exhibitions, single and series presentations, concerts, literary readings, book fairs, festivals and publications
  • skills/career development:
    • for individuals to participate at conferences, workshops, seminars, short-term courses, mentorships, festivals or other similar opportunities, provincially, nationally or internationally
    • for organizations, collectives and ad hoc groups to present conferences, workshops or seminars, or to carry out projects that will benefit northern artists in their artistic or career development
  • community-engaged arts projects in communities and schools, collaborations, residencies and initiatives that engage community members in a creative process
  • editorial, production, circulation, marketing and promotion costs of publishing eligible arts or literary books or magazines; and sales, distribution, and administrative costs if directly related to an eligible publication
  • purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project

This program also supports:

  • 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

  • fundraising activities, competitions and contests
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
  • portfolios or promotional packages
  • music videos (with the exception of professional live documentation of a performance)

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

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 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.
  • documentation and/or an explanation of how you followed or will follow OAC’s Recognition Requirements for Project Grant Recipients
    • This should include samples of any promotional or other materials produced for the project that show the OAC and Government of Ontario logos. Read logo guidelines
    • This could also 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. You will be able to do this approximately two months before the deadline.

Before applying, be sure to:

Your application will include:

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

Northern Ontario: includes the Far North, Northwest, and Northeast regions of the province. This includes the Manitoulin, Parry Sound and Nipissing districts and all regions north of these districts.

Arts professionals: includes artists, arts managers, curators and arts programmers.

Professional arts and literary book and magazine publishers

  • have published no fewer than two eligible books or magazine issues (see below) in the 12 months prior to the program deadline, unless that publisher is an online magazine that has posted content regularly for the last 12 months
  • pay contributors’ fees or royalties and issue contributors’ contracts
  • primarily publish work by writers who are not owners, staff, or editors of the publication

Eligible arts and literary books

Eligible books, for the purposes of applications from professional book publishers, are created by citizens or residents of Canada, and are in English, French, or an Indigenous language.

Translations into French, English or Indigenous languages of Canadian-authored works are eligible if they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Eligible books are works of literary, artistic, or cultural importance in the genres of fiction; poetry; drama; comics and graphic novels; works for children and young adults; and creative and literary non-fiction (including but not limited to literary and arts criticism; autobiography, biography, memoir and essays).

Eligible magazines

  • devote the majority of their content to the publication of original art and literature, critical commentary on the arts or substantive cultural commentary
  • primarily publish work by writers and artists that are residents of Northern Ontario