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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

OAC launches new online grant application system and new website

January 10, 2017

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has launched a new website to support Nova, OAC’s new online grant application and management system, which is now live. The dynamic new website and Nova will make it easier for applicants to search for granting programs that best suit a proposed arts activity.

New website screen capture

With the launch of the website and the successful completion of Nova pilot testing, most OAC grant applications will now be submitted online. The new application process will be much easier for OAC’s approximately 12,000 applicants each year, and more cost-effective for both applicants and OAC.

Changes to program deadlines

With OAC’s move to online applications, many granting programs have changed, and some 2017 deadlines have changed. A few programs now have additional deadlines.

Applicants can log on to Nova and begin the online application process two months in advance of a program deadline.

New OAC Funding Framework

In preparation for Nova, OAC developed a new Funding Framework organizing all granting programs under the following four streams. The OAC’s six priority groups remain a key focus in all programs.

These four funding streams are not replacing OAC programs, which remain discipline-based, activity-based or priority group-based. However, in order to develop Nova, some OAC programs needed to be streamlined to remove inconsistencies and improve clarity. With the merging of some programs, there are now 35 per cent fewer OAC programs. Where programs are merged under the new funding framework, their budgets have been combined as well. No reductions to 2017-18 program budgets are planned. The OAC is also maintaining its commitment to peer assessment-based decision-making processes.

Most program modifications will be implemented in 2017-18. Some program areas (Indigenous Arts, Francophone Arts and Touring and Residencies) will not change until 2018-19.

Why are programs changing?

When OAC held province-wide consultations to develop the 2014 Strategic Plan, Vital Arts and Public Value, the agency received significant feedback. A common theme was that applicants wanted OAC to significantly simplify its programs and processes. The implementation of Nova provided the impetus to review OAC’s program design and find opportunities to standardize programs wherever possible.

Development of OAC’s new funding framework, new website and new online grant application and management system are also part of OAC’s ongoing efforts to operate leanly, efficiently and effectively on behalf of the government and taxpayers of Ontario. This effort also included OAC relocating its main offices to smaller, more efficient and more affordable premises in early 2016.


Like all new systems, both Nova and the website will evolve over time as OAC adds new functions and responds to feedback. Follow OAC on social media and visit the new website for regular updates.

Please share this information with anyone who applies to OAC.

For more information

Kirsten Gunter
Director of Communications
416-969-7403 | toll-free in Ontario 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403