The program supports organizations, ad hoc groups/collectives and independent curators to present visual arts projects that exhibit, document or disseminate the work of professional Ontario visual artists and connect them with Ontario audiences, as well as programs that provide professional development for artists.
The program also supports independent Ontario-based curators to undertake research projects focused on Ontario artists and practices.
There are two categories:
- Presentation Project
- Curatorial Research and Development Project
Note: Projects/programming that takes place in galleries or artist-run centres that receive operating grants through OAC’s visual arts section are not eligible.
June 18 and November 26, 2020, 1 p.m. ET
- Applications are available in Nova approximately two months before the deadline.
- Grant notification will be available approximately four months after each deadline.
- Presentation: maximum $10,000
- Curatorial Research and Development: 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.
- incorporated not-for-profit Ontario-based visual arts organizations, including public art galleries, with a permanent physical address in Ontario
- ad hoc groups/collectives of visual artists or arts professionals, with a permanent physical address in Ontario
- independent curators who are Ontario residents and have a permanent physical address in Ontario. Curators must not be employed in a full-time curatorial position in a public gallery or artist-run centre
- other not-for-profit organizations such as non-arts organizations or organizations working in another arts discipline
- Galleries within a multi-purpose institution (such as a library, university, museum or municipality) must be governed by a board of directors or an advisory body solely responsible for the gallery.
- Non-visual arts organizations must demonstrate that they have engaged the appropriate visual arts expertise to carry out the project, i.e. the expertise of the arts professionals directly involved in the project, and/or the expertise of an advisory committee of visual arts professionals.
Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.
- independent curators who are enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate studies (including PhD level)
- curators who have a full-time curatorial position in a public art gallery or artist-run centre
- individual visual artists applying to create or exhibit their art
- municipalities, universities and/or colleges (including private career colleges)
- organizations that receive a grant in the Public Art Galleries: Operating or Visual Arts: Artist-Run Centres and Organizations: Operating programs
- 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
This program funds
The program is open to projects presented or undertaken in-person or in digital/virtual formats.
Presentation Projects, including:
- visual arts exhibitions and festivals, and related outreach/education/audience engagement activities, including exhibitions presented on digital/virtual platforms
- catalogues and publications, printed and/or online
- lecture series, artists’ talks, panels
- artist residency programs offered by an organization (residencies must include a public engagement or presentation component)
- conferences, symposia
- professional development programs for visual artists or organizations
Ontario artists must be included in your project. While non-Ontario artists may also be included, projects that do not include any Ontario artists are not eligible.
Presentation Projects may include a component taking place outside Ontario as long as they also include a component presented within the province, for the benefit of Ontario audiences.
For large, multi-faceted projects, it may be advisable to focus the application on a specific component. Contact the program officer to discuss this in advance.
- artists’ fees for exhibitions and other professional services
- curatorial/programming/design fees
- technical fees and expenses for online or virtual presentations
- travel and transportation
- installation costs
- publicity, catalogues/publications, documentation
- equipment and venue rentals
- purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
- contract salaries or administrative fees
Presentation projects must include the payment of appropriate professional fees to artists, such as fees for exhibition, reproduction, lectures and workshops. The recommended minimum fee schedule is available at Canadian Artists’ Representation/Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC). Artists’ travel and accommodation costs, per diems and catalogues are not considered substitutes for fees to artists for presenting their work.
OAC will not fund 100 per cent of a Presentation project. To show other community support for the project, your budget must include projected or confirmed revenue or donations-in-kind from other sources in addition to the OAC grant request. Examples: fundraising, earned revenue, other grants, donations of goods or services.
Curatorial Research and Development Projects
- curatorial research, including artist/studio visits and interviews, curatorial writing, development of exhibition projects
- presentation/production stage of a project is not funded in this category
- projects supported through the Curatorial Research and Development category may ultimately be presented in any location
- fees to the applicant curator and participating artists
- materials and documentation
Note: the grant can cover 100 per cent of the project expenses in this category.
This program does not fund
- exhibitions and other programming of the galleries or artist-run centres that receive grants in the Public Art Galleries: Operating or Visual Arts: Artist-Run Centres and Organizations: Operating programs, as well as activities that take place in these galleries/centres
- activities that take place in a commercial art dealer’s gallery
- student projects, including projects involving a majority of students or undertaken for academic credit
- major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment (including art acquisitions)
- permanent public art commissions (mural projects are eligible)
- fundraising activities
- media arts projects; for projects that include both visual arts and media arts, please contact the program officer to determine the most appropriate program
- studio tours, prizes, awards, competitions
- expenses related to the production of art; individual visual artists and collectives undertaking creation/production projects should refer to the Visual Artists Creation Projects program
- artists applying to attend a residency
- ongoing administrative expenses such as permanent salaries or rent
The activity for which you are requesting funding:
- cannot start before the deadline
- cannot open to the public before you receive grant results
- cannot finish before you receive your grant results
- must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results
You may receive only one Visual Arts Project grant in an OAC fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
Final report requirements
If you receive a grant you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. See Terms and Conditions — receipt of OAC project grant funds for more information on reporting obligations. Complete and submit the report in Nova.
Final reports for this program require grant recipients to provide:
- description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any minor or approved changes to what had been outlined in the application
- 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, you must:
Your application includes:
- basic information about the project
- your answers to application questions
- project budget
- artistic examples:
- images or audio-visual documentation of past projects or artwork to be presented as part of the project
- documentation of past projects
- critical writing samples
- Support documents:
- résumés or bios for key organizers and participating artists
- letters of agreement or support
Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.
For information on how assessors rate applications see the Evaluation Rubric – Activity Projects.
For help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.