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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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.

Operating Grants

  • Will my organization need to return operating funds if our plans are cancelled or changed due to COVID-19? Will we be required to reschedule activities to a later date?

    As the recipient of a 2020-21 operating grant, 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.

    At this point, we expect and encourage you to factor the pandemic into your plans for the current year and request year when preparing your 2021-22 application. Your plans should be realistic and informed by the current context. But we understand that these plans may need to change in unpredictable ways.

Project Grants

  • 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 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. It is possible that my plans may be affected by COVID-19, but I can’t know for sure. 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.

    We have 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 be lifted, 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, you may indicate that it would be possible for you to do it online if required.
  • 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.

    Before making any significant change to your funded project, you must get approval from the program officer. To do this, go to your application in Nova and click the red Request Project Change Approval button. (Note: You can request a final report due date extension along with approval of your changes.)

    If you need to cancel your project, please contact the program officer as soon as possible to discuss what will happen to the remaining grant funds.
  • 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. Applicants should think about possible pandemic-related challenges and include contingency plans in their application.

    If, after submitting your application but before receiving your notification letter, you realize that your project can no longer take place, we recommend that you withdraw your application as soon as possible after the deadline. For this, please contact the program administrator. It may be possible to adapt the project and apply to a different program or deadline once the original application is withdrawn.


Shoshana Wasser

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