Updates to these FAQs will be posted when new information is available. Up-to-date information will also be located on relevant program web pages and in Nova, OAC’s online granting system. Some updates will also be shared on social media.
OAC Staff and Operations
Last updated: April 8, 2020
OAC is operating during regular business hours, but please be mindful that our staff may be dealing with a higher volume of calls while also managing other demands (such as caring for family members). We appreciate your patience if response times are slower than usual.
The best way to reach us is by email. Please visit the relevant program page or the staff directory for contact details.
Operating Grant Recipients
Last updated: July 17, 2020
- Will organizations that received an operating grant last year be peer assessed this year?
No. Operating grant program deadlines and assessments have been suspended for current operating grant recipients. We recognize the difficulty in preparing and assessing operating grant applications while the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. We are releasing 2020-21 operating grant payments earlier than usual, understanding the need for cash flow to sustain your organization’s operations.
- I have already submitted my organization’s operating grant application. Will it be assessed?
No. Applications from current operating grant recipients will not be assessed by advisory panels in 2020.
- I have not yet submitted a 2020-21 operating grant application. Will I be required to?
You will not be asked to submit a full operating application for this year if you have not yet done so.
- When will the 2020-21 operating grant payments be issued?
With a few exceptions, all previous operating grant recipients received an initial payment of 50% of the total grant in May 2020. The remaining 50% will be paid out according to regular operating grant payment timelines. For example, an organization that usually receives its operating grant payment in September received 50% in May and will receive 50% in September 2020.
- How will OAC determine the amount of my organization’s 2020-21 operating grant?
The amount of your organization’s grant will be based your 2019-20 grant level, and OAC’s 2020-21 budget context. No assessment-based grant increases or decreases will be applied.
- Will my organization need to return funds if our plans are cancelled or changed due to COVID-19? Will we be required to reschedule activities to a later date?
As an operating grant recipient, you will not be expected to return funds to OAC if your plans cannot proceed as originally proposed, nor will you be required to reschedule activities. If you made financial commitments to artists, collaborators, venues or other contractual partners, use the grant as intended to cover these obligations. If you are now faced with cancellation fees or penalties, you can also use the grant to pay for these unexpected costs.
- My organization has applied to the operating program this year for the first time. Will my application be assessed?
If you are applying to an operating program for the first time, your application will be assessed by an advisory panel. Contact the program officer to find out when results will be available.
Last updated: July 17, 2020
- Is OAC still accepting grant applications?
Yes, we are still accepting grant applications for all programs with the exception of Market Development Travel Assistance, Market Development Projects and Chalmers Arts Fellowships, which have been suspended for the current year.
OAC staff are available to provide support as you work on your application. We are proceeding with the peer assessment of project program applications (via virtual panel meetings), the notification of results and the payment of grants. Since moving our granting processes online three years ago with Nova, we are in a good position to proceed with our grant application processes.
Project Grant Recipients
Last updated: July 17, 2020
- I am due to submit a final report for my funded project but am delayed in completing it due to the COVID-19. What should I do?
We understand that COVID-19 is having an impact on people’s ability to complete projects or work on reporting.
At this stage, you only need to contact your program officer if you have updated plans requiring approval, or if you are unable to submit a final report that is overdue and preventing you from submitting a new application to OAC.
If you aren’t working on a new application to OAC, it’s okay to let a final report become overdue for the time being. If your project is complete, submit the final report when you are ready. If the project has been delayed, please wait until you are able to provide additional information about updated plans and timelines before requesting an extension on your final report due date. Do not submit a final report for an incomplete project unless you have been instructed to do so by the program officer.
To request an extension, email your program officer. If the extension is approved, a new final report due date will be updated in your Nova profile.
- I received a project grant, but my OAC-funded activity has been cancelled, postponed or changed due to COVID-19. What should I do?
We understand that grant recipients may need to pause, change or cancel their activities as well as adjust targets and dates. Give yourself some time to think about your options and explore alternate plans. When you are ready to move ahead, you have a number of options:
Pause or postpone
If you need more time to complete your project or to prepare the final report, contact your officer and ask for an extension to your final report due date. Note: If you are unsure of when you will complete the project, it’s okay to let a final report become overdue for the time being, but keep in mind that you will be unable to submit a new application to OAC until you have submitted the report.
If your project needs to change, contact your officer to request a modification to your project (e.g. dates, location, venue, format), taking into account the latest government COVID-19 advisories and restrictions. Your officer needs to review your proposed changes to confirm that your modified project is still eligible, and that it retains enough of the original elements that influenced the assessors’ grant recommendation.
If your project is cancelled, use your grant as intended for non-refundable expenses already incurred, and to pay any financial commitments to artists, collaborators, venues or other contractual partners. You can also allocate some of your grant to lost income if the projected income was listed in your budget. If you are faced with cancellation fees or penalties, use the grant to pay these unexpected costs as well. If you can provide proof that all of your grant was spent on costs that are non-refundable, state this along with any variances from your original budget in your final report.
At this stage, contact your program officer only if you have updated plans requiring approval, or you are unable to submit a final report that is overdue and preventing you from submitting a new application to OAC. If you are unsure about how to move forward, your program officer will work with you to advise on what is possible.
- I received a project grant for an event/tour that was cancelled, and the presenter is unable to pay the agreed upon artist fee. Can I use my grant to pay myself and my collaborators?
Yes, the payment of artist fees is a fundamental principle of OAC. We expect and hope that presenters will pay artists for cancelled engagements. If for whatever reason, the presenter is unable to pay the fee, you may pay these fees as well as eligible costs already incurred, up to the total amount of the grant.
- My project was cancelled, and I had to spend all my grant funds to cover the costs that had already been incurred. Can I apply again if my project is remounted?
If your project is rescheduled due to COVID-19, you would be eligible to reapply to the program for new expenses related to the remounted project. You may also apply for a new project grant for a different phase or component of a project.
- I can’t access my regular mailbox or P.O. box due to the pandemic. Can I receive the grant payment by direct deposit instead of by cheque?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer payment by direct deposit. However, you can provide a temporary mailing address by updating your profile in Nova.
Project Grant Applicants
Last Updated: July 17, 2020
- I am planning to submit a project program application, but I’m unable to submit in Nova due to the pandemic. Are there alternate application processes available to me?
If you do not have an adequate computer or internet source and are unable to access public internet sources (such as libraries) or borrowed technology in the context of COVID-19 closures and restrictions, please contact the program administrator for the program to which you would like to apply. There may be options to fully or partially submit your application outside of Nova.
For more information, please see OAC’s policy on offline submissions for persons with limited internet access. Note that OAC is currently being more flexible than usual in providing this service, and will consider requests that fall outside of the usual scope of the policy if they are related to the pandemic.
- I am planning to submit a project program application, but I can’t get some mandatory application items because of business and service closures. What should I do?
We understand that certain mandatory application items (e.g. letters of confirmation from schools) may be difficult or impossible to obtain at this time. We will work with you to ensure that these limitations are not barriers to applying. Please contact the program administrator to discuss the particulars of your situation.
If you are awarded a grant, you will need to provide the missing mandatory application items to receive your grant payment. If you do not meet this condition within two months of receiving your notification letter, your grant will not be paid out to you.
- I am planning to submit a project program application. It is possible that my plans may be affected by COVID-19, but I can’t know for sure. What should I do?
OAC has added a COVID-19 section to all project program application forms so that you can tell us about how you could modify your plans if your project is impacted by COVID-19.
We realize that this might be difficult to do because no one knows yet when the pandemic will end or when restrictions will lift, but a brief description of any contingency plans that you could adopt if your project cannot be carried out as planned will help inform assessors of what is possible. If, for example, you are planning to hold an in-person workshop in September, you may indicate that it would be possible for you to do it online if required.
If your COVID-19 contingency plans are outdated at the time of assessment, or if assessors support your project but have specific questions about how it may be carried out, you may be awarded a conditional grant at the officer’s discretion. You will need to provide additional information about your project plan to receive your grant payment.
Travel and In-Person Gatherings
Last updated: July 17, 2020
- I am planning to submit an application involving travel or in-person gatherings. Considering the uncertainty around the future impacts and outcomes of COVID-19, how should I outline my plans?
We encourage you to stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 developments from reliable public health authorities and to carefully consider safety and risks when planning the format, location(s) and timing of your proposed project.
While no one knows how long restrictions will continue to be in place, it may be best to postpone your travel or in-person gathering(s), modify it to an activity that doesn’t require travel or in-person contact (such as an online exchange), or remove this aspect of your project altogether.
If your plans do include travel and/or in-person gathering(s), including touring, performance events, rehearsals, workshops, conferences, etc., provide a strong rationale and use the COVID-19 section of the project program application form to tell us about how you could modify your plans if your project is impacted by COVID-19.
See guidelines outlined in the Project Grant Applicants section of this FAQ for guidance on describing contingency measures in your application.
- I have already received a grant for travel and/or an event/in-person gathering, but I can’t go ahead with my project due to current public safety measures. What should I do?
OAC requires you to comply with the latest requirements outlined by government authorities regarding travel and in-person gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. See guidelines outlined in the Project and Operating Grant Recipients sections of this FAQ for guidance on cancellations or modifications to your OAC funded activities.
- I have already submitted an application that includes travel and/or in-person gatherings that conflicts or is likely to conflict with official public safety measures. What should I do?
Once an application is submitted, no changes or additions can be made to it. If it is possible, postpone your travel or in-person gathering(s), modify it to an activity that doesn’t require travel or in-person contact (such as an online exchange), or remove this aspect of your project altogether. That way, you will be ready to provide updated information if you receive a conditional grant.
If it is not possible to postpone, modify or remove activities that conflict with official public safety measures, and if the project therefore cannot take place, you should withdraw your application as soon as possible. For this, please contact the program administrator.
- I have submitted an application to participate in an event (e.g. festival, conference, contact event) that may be cancelled because of COVID-19. What should I do?
If the event is cancelled before your application is assessed, you should withdraw the application as soon as possible. For this, please contact the program administrator.
If the event is cancelled after you receive the grant and before you have incurred expenses, contact your program administrator to return the grant to OAC.