In fulfilling its mandate, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) serves one of the most diverse cultural, racial, linguistic and Indigenous populations in Canada. Through its programs and services, OAC supports artists, organizations and communities across Ontario, and identifies all applicants outside Toronto as a funding priority.
Ontario’s regional characteristics can exert strong influences on artists. At the same time, artists and arts organizations in geographically distant parts of the province face particular challenges with regard to access to resources and professional opportunities. Read more
The OAC has a number of programs that specifically support Ontario’s performing arts presenters outside of the city of Toronto and for individuals, ad hoc groups/collectives representing any artistic discipline to tour their work in Ontario. Applicants who live and work in the North are encouraged to apply to any program in which their activities are eligible
What We Fund
The program supports the creation, production and presentation of artwork; professional development; and community-engaged arts initiatives that benefit communities in northern Ontario.
What We Fund
The program supports the presentation of arts events or series in Ontario by volunteer collectives, groups and organizations or municipalities, colleges and universities.
The OAC recognizes and values the distinctive nature of the arts produced in Ontario’s Northern regions. We believe that the arts are essential to the quality of life, cultural identity, social well-being and economic prosperity of Ontario. We recognize the specific challenges and costs to creating, presenting and accessing the arts in the North. Applicants who live and work in the North are encouraged to apply to any program in which their activities are eligible. In addition, OAC has a program that specifically meets the needs of northern artists.
The OAC employs a regional representative serving the Northeast and Northwest regions through information sessions, consultations and community outreach. The role of the regional representative is to work at the local level as a resource and community liaison between OAC and artists and arts organizations working and living in the North.
OAC’s Equity Statement
We are inspired by and value Ontario’s artists, who help shape our thriving and diverse society and express the richness of our stories, histories and cultures. Therefore, as a public agency, funder and employer, OAC will lead and be responsive and inclusive in supporting diverse artists, artistic practices, arts communities and our own organization. See our Equity Plan
for more information.
Peer assessment is an important principle for OAC. We are committed to assembling panels of artists and arts professionals that reflect the rich diversity of Ontario, OAC priority groups, and a wide range of perspectives. All assessors receive a fee for reading the applications and for participating in the assessment meetings. The OAC covers travel, meals and accommodation for assessors who come from out-of-town, as well as accessibility and childcare needs. If you would like to be considered to serve as an OAC peer assessor, you may nominate yourself by completing the form on this page
The OAC staff and assessors adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code
. Assessors are asked to consider who is telling whose story and who has the right to develop and share cultural expressions and knowledge from any community, particularly historically underrepresented groups or individuals. Assessors may consider the impact of the artistic work in the context of historic or continuing barriers faced by the applicant and the communities engaged by the work, when accessing opportunities for producing and participating in the arts. In cases where two applications have an equal score when funding runs out, the applicant who is a member of a priority group will be awarded the grant.