, 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
This program supports touring and circulation by Ontario artists, arts groups and arts organizations for audiences across Ontario, Canada and internationally. Grants fund touring presentations and exhibitions in all artistic practices funded by OAC. Tours may also include engagements for audience-building, artist-presenter networking, and market development activities. The program has two categories:
- Category 1 – Tour
- Category 2 – Large-scale tour
Engagements must take place outside of the applicant’s home city, town or First Nation. Exceptions are made for school tours within Ontario, where engagements may take place in the applicant’s home city, town or First Nation.
A tour can be based on one confirmed presentation or exhibition engagement at the invitation of a presenter. Projects must include plans for at least three engagements with distinct presenters or hosts.
OAC encourages the development of environmentally sustainable practices in touring and circulation, including slow tours (tours with longer stays at each stop), tours to multiple stops close to one another, and hybrid tours (tours with both virtual and in-person presentation or exhibition).
- tours in which the majority of engagements are ones where the artists are invited by a presenter
- for tours within Ontario: projects that broaden access to artistic work for Ontario audiences
- for national and international tours: projects that heighten recognition of Ontario artists
- projects that consider environmentally sustainable approaches to touring and circulation
April 5 and October 19, 2023 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.
- Category 1 – Tour: maximum $30,000
- Category 2 – Large-scale tour: minimum $30,001, maximum $60,000
If you are awarded a grant, it may be conditional on confirmation of engagements that were unconfirmed at the time of application. See What this program funds for more on eligible tours.
For Category 2 – Large-Scale Tour, “large-scale” may refer to the number of engagements, the number of people travelling or works being transported, the scale of production, or other logistics that would require a grant over $30,000.
Due to the number of applications to the program and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be less than requested.
The OAC has made changes to the way it supports touring so that you can:
- propose a project with an unconfirmed itinerary, as long as there is one confirmed presentation or exhibition engagement and strong interest from presenters for additional presentation or exhibition engagements
- propose a project with only one confirmed presentation or exhibition engagement, if the project involves other engagements for audience-building, artist-presenter networking, or market development activities with distinct presenters or hosts
- propose an artistic residency that involves public presentation or exhibition
- propose community-engaged collaboration to tour an artistic process concluding in presentation or exhibition
- propose a project that includes both virtual presentation, such as livestreaming, and in-person presentation (hybrid tour)
Presenters and arts service organizations working with Ontario touring artists, arts groups and organizations are now eligible to apply.
Category 1 – Tour:
- professional artists, including curators, who reside in Ontario and work in an artistic practice supported at OAC
- ad hoc groups and collectives working in an artistic practice supported at OAC, the majority of whose members reside in Ontario
- Ontario-based not-for-profit arts organizations working in an artistic practice supported by OAC (including nationally designated youth orchestras – see definition)
- Ontario-based for-profit book and magazine publishers eligible for funding in one of OAC’s publishing programs
Category 2 – Large-Scale Tour:
- Ontario-based not-for-profit arts organizations working in an artistic practice supported at OAC (including nationally designated youth orchestras – see definition)
- Ontario-based for-profit book and magazine publishers eligible for funding in one of OAC’s publishing programs
Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.
- municipalities, colleges and universities
- amateur, student and pre-professional artists, arts groups and organizations
- community and youth/training orchestras (see definition)
- community and youth/training choirs/choral organizations (see definition)
What this program funds
- touring and circulation in all artistic practices supported by OAC, including music, theatre and dance performances, visual arts and craft exhibitions, film and video screenings, and readings
- school tours within Ontario only (see Program-specific definitions)
- tours that include self-presentation (see Program-specific definitions ), if there is a strong audience-building rationale
Eligible tours must:
- include only engagements that take place outside the applicant’s home city, town or First Nation (school touring in Ontario excepted)
- include at least three engagements
- Important: At least one engagement must be for a confirmed presentation or exhibition at the invitation of a presenter (that is, not self-presented).
- Additional engagements can be in the planning stages (unconfirmed) if you can demonstrate strong interest from presenters or hosts.
- Engagements may be part of a continuous tour or may be scheduled with gaps in between, keeping in mind the efficient use of funds and environmental impact.
- Projects with multiple presentation/exhibition engagements may include different artistic works at each engagement.
- include presenter support through presentation fees, shared box office or significant in-kind contributions such as venue, technical support and/or publicity and marketing
- include artists’ fees paid in accordance with collective agreements or recommended industry standards
- include works presented to a public audience (or to a student audience for Ontario school tours)
Eligible engagements include:
- performances and exhibitions at arts venues, festivals and other events
- audience-building activities such as artist talks, roundtables, workshops, and creative process or work-in-progress showings
- artist-presenter networking activities such as conferences and pitch sessions
- market development activities such as showcases, fairs, and other marketplace events
- artistic residencies with a public presentation or exhibition
- community-engaged arts activities (see Program-specific definitions)
- virtual presentation and exhibition, in conjunction with in-person presentation and exhibition
Eligible expenses include:
- travel, ground transportation, visas, transportation of freight and equipment, insurance and related costs
- per diems (daily meal allowance) and accommodations of artists and technical personnel while on tour
- promotional and marketing costs specific to the tour, including the hiring of an outreach coordinator, publicist or marketing specialist
- artists’ fees if not covered by presenter fees
- virtual presentation and exhibition costs, including technician support on tour, when in conjunction with in-person presentation and association
- costs associated with COVID safety for artists and audiences
- costs associated with making your tour more accessible to audiences
- costs associated with softening the environmental impact of your tour
What this program does not fund
- school tours outside of Ontario
- pre-tour (home-based) creation, production or remounting of work
- artistic creation, except during artistic residencies or community-engaged collaboration
- virtual production when not in conjunction with in-person presentation
- tour activity supported by OAC’s Theatre Connects or Connexions théâtres programs
- artist-in-residency activity supported by OAC’s Artists-in-Residence (Education) program
- participation in competitions or award ceremonies
- fundraising activities
- major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
Ineligible expenses include:
- fees and salaries of artists and technical personnel for pre-tour activity
- pre-tour administrative fees, salaries and costs
- agent and presenter fees
The activities for which you are requesting funding:
- cannot start before notification (four and a half months after the deadline date)
- 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 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.
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: It is mandatory to include two artistic examples. Each of the following is considered one example:
- video (maximum 3 minutes)
- audio (maximum 3 minutes)
- images (maximum 5 images)
- manuscript (maximum 3 pages)
- support documents:
- at least one signed letter of invitation or contract (mandatory)
Note: If you are awarded a grant, it may be conditional upon confirmation of engagements that were unconfirmed at the time of application.
- applicant history (mandatory)
- biographies of key artists participating on the tour (mandatory)
- additional contracts / letters of invitation, website and/or examples of printed promotional material, such as programs, postcards, posters, publications etc. (optional)
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 help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.
Artistic residency: a program hosted by an institution or organization that provides an artist with access to the organization’s facilities for a specified period of time. The program may contribute to the artist’s travel and accommodation costs, and meal allowance costs. Also called an artist-in-residence program.
Community-engaged arts: a field of artistic activity centered on collective expression. In community-engaged arts projects, individuals who aren’t professional artists actively participate in the artistic process, and the artistic process is considered as important as the final artistic product. For the purposes of this program, community-engaged art projects must be initiated by professional artists.
Hybrid tour: tour with both virtual and in-person presentation or exhibition.
Letter of invitation: an invitation from the presenter, presenting network or school board expressing intention to book the applicant. The letter should confirm the name of the work being presented, the venue and dates of the presentation; and whether support will be in the form of a guaranteed fee, shared box office, or significant in-kind contributions such as venue, technical support and/or publicity and marketing. The letter can state that the activity is conditional on the applicant receiving other financial support for the tour.
Presenter: an organization that selects artistic work for presentation or exhibition and presents the work in a professional manner to a public audience (or to a student audience in the case of school touring). A presenter pays a fee or a share of the box office to the artist or arts group, and/or provides significant in-kind contribution such as venue and technical support and/or publicity and marketing. A presenter may show artistic work as part of a series or festival.
School tour: a series of engagements in different schools (junior kindergarten to grade 12), or community venues to which students are transported, where the primary activity is the presentation, exhibition, screening or reading by professional artists or arts organizations. Schools can be located in or outside of the professional artist or arts organization’s city, town or First Nation.
Self-presentation: the artist or arts organization presents their own work to a public audience without the support of a presenter. This typically involves renting a venue and depending largely on box office revenue.
Slow tour: tour with longer stays at each stop to support extended presentation or exhibition, audience development and engagement, artist-presenter networking or market development activity.