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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Market Development Travel

Until this program opens in Nova, 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 Nova, but before starting your application.



This program supports travel undertaken to promote the work of Ontario artists to presenters. Applicants may travel within Ontario, Canada or internationally to attend a single recognized arts marketplace/event or to meet with arts presenters. As this is a market development program, projects should aim to build future opportunities for the work to reach new audiences.

Note: Presenters are intermediaries between artists and their potential audiences; they include (but are not limited to):

  • programmers, curators, artistic directors, gallerists
  • distributors, broadcasters, publishers, booksellers

Important: First-time applicants to OAC are not eligible to apply to this program. Some travel activity may be eligible for funding through Touring and Circulation Projects. To explore other OAC grant programs, go to Advanced Search.

See Program-specific definitions, below, for examples of recognized arts marketplaces.


The program’s priorities are to support:

  • opportunities that offer a high level of engagement between the applicant and presenters (for example, showcases, exhibitions, networking events, meetings with presenters)
  • applicants travelling to events or locations for the first time
  • travel to a broad range of events (OAC may limit the number of Market Development Travel grants supporting attendance at the same event)

Deadline dates

This program has no specified deadlines.

  • The 2024-25 program opens in April 2024 and accepts applications on a continual basis until the program budget is spent.
  • The 2024-25 program may close at any time and will close by January 15, 2025 at the latest.
    • If this program is listed under "Funding Opportunities" on your Nova homepage, it is currently accepting applications.
    • If you are working on a draft application and you see the "Submit" button at the bottom of the application, you can still apply.
  • Grant notification will be available approximately eight weeks after an application has been submitted.

Grant amount(s)

  • Ontario: $1,000
  • Canada (all other provinces and territories): $1,500
  • United States: $1,500
  • Outside Canada and United States: $2,000

Supplementary funds

  • Applicants in Northern Ontario may request supplementary funds of $500.
  • Applicants in remote, isolated and fly-in communities in Northern Ontario may request supplementary funds of $1,000.


  • This program does not award partial grants.
  • You may only be awarded one Market Development Travel grant per OAC program year (April 1 – March 31).
  • You may only submit one Market Development Travel application at a time.
  • If you have submitted one Market Development Travel application during the current program year, you cannot submit another application until you have received notification that your application has not been successful.
  • A grant in this program will count as one grant toward your three-grant limit for 2023.
  • Changes to the funded activity are not permitted in this program; if you are unable to complete the activity as proposed, you will be required to return the grant.

Recent changes

  • The application questions and evaluation rubric have been reworked to better align with OAC’s current strategic plan.
  • Applicants are no longer required to have previously received an OAC grant, as long as they have submitted an eligible application (not withdrawn) to an OAC program in the last five years.

Eligible applicants

  • professional artists and arts professionals who reside in Ontario
  • Ontario-based ad hoc groups and collectives
  • Ontario-based incorporated not-for-profit professional arts organizations
  • Ontario-based, Canadian-owned for-profit book or periodical publishers

Important: To be eligible for this program, you must have done one of the following in the past five years:

  • received a grant from one of OAC’s third-party recommender programs (Exhibition Assistance, Indigenous Visual Artists’ Materials, Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators, Recommender Grants for Writers)
  • submitted an application to one of OAC’s other grant programs and received notification of Awarded or Not Awarded status (not Withdrawn)

Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.

Ineligible applicants

  • commercial dealers
  • municipalities, schools, colleges and universities
  • community and semi-professional choral organizations, semi-professional youth orchestras, community orchestras, choral training organizations/groups (see Music Definitions web page)
  • staff members travelling to represent their organization (the organization or publisher must be the applicant)

Note: If you are a participant in a project that has been supported by a Touring and Circulation Projects grant, you cannot apply to Market Development Travel for the same activity.

What this program funds

Applicants may travel to:

  • attend a single recognized event (showcase, art fair, trade show, festival, conference, networking events) where it is known that presenters will be in attendance, for the purpose of promoting their artistic work to presenters
  • meet with at least two presenters, for the purpose of promoting their artistic work to them

Travel locations must be at least 100 kilometres from the applicant’s place of residence.


Eligible expenses

  • transportation
  • accommodation and meals
  • registration and booth fees
  • promotional materials

What this program does not fund

Ineligible activity

Travel for the purpose of:

  • research and creation/development of new artistic works
  • rehearsing artistic works
  • presenting only to public audiences
  • networking with other artists
  • professional development, apprenticeship or mentorship, including artist residencies
  • organizational development
  • attending an annual general meeting of a membership-based organization
  • touring or any other activity that has been supported through an OAC Touring and Circulation Projects grant
  • participating in competitions

Presenters travelling for the purpose of:

  • ineligible activity listed above
  • booking artists
  • promoting their own events

Ineligible expenses

  • artistic and production costs
  • fees to artists, arts administrators and technicians
  • venue or studio rental
  • regular living expenses, such as rent, etc.
  • capital expenses including purchase of equipment

Activity timing

The activity for which you are requesting funding:

  • cannot start earlier than eight weeks after you submit your application
  • must be completed no more than one year 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.

Note: OAC may contact you after the submission of your final report to gather additional information on the long-term impact of the grant.

Final reports for this program require grant recipients to provide:

  • a description of how the project contributed to the development of the market for your work regionally, nationally and/or internationally
    • Include information on presenters reached, and prospective and confirmed engagements that were a result of the travel.
  • documentation and/or an explanation of how you followed or will follow OAC’s Recognition Requirements for Project Grant Recipients
    • This should include samples of any promotional or other materials produced for the project that show the OAC and Government of Ontario logos. Read logo guidelines
    • This could also include social media screenshots or a description of how you recognized OAC or plan to do so in future activities or materials tied to the project.

To apply

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system.


Before applying, you must:

Your application includes:

  • basic information about the project
  • your answers to application questions
  • support documents:
    • applicant’s résumé/bio or organization history
    • for travel to a recognized event: letter of invitation, proof of registration or information on how to register for the event
    • for travel to meet presenters: letters indicating confirmed meetings with at least two arts presenters

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.


For help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.


How applications are assessed

Applications to this program are internally evaluated by OAC granting officers, a process which allows granting decisions to be made much faster than in most other OAC programs.


Applications are evaluated based on the program’s purpose and priorities, including the impact that the activity is likely to have on the development of the applicant’s market for their artistic work. The following evaluation criteria are used:

  • the significance of the presenter(s) within the applicable artistic field(s)
  • the level of interaction with presenters (as shown by confirmed invitations to showcase work directly to presenters and confirmed meetings with presenters, for example)
  • the relevance of the activity in the context of the applicant’s career stage, practice and goals
  • the number of times the applicant has travelled to the event/location
  • the applicant’s OAC priority group status

Program-specific definitions

Arts marketplace: event that connects artists with presenters rather than the general public, in order to build future opportunities for their work to reach new audiences. These may include:

  • showcases, festivals
  • fairs, biennales
  • conferences, trade shows
  • powwows

The following are examples of recognized market development events (but not a comprehensive list):

  • Art fairs, biennales and trade shows: Armory Show, Art Athina, Art Toronto, Art Basel, Art Basel Miami, Art Dubai, Biennale de Bamako, Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Dak’Art: African Contemporary Art Biennale, Foire d’art alternatif du Sudbury, Frieze Art Fair, Handwerk & Design (Munich), Havana Biennale, Indian Trader’s Market at Gathering of Nations (Albuquerque), Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival, International Design Show Toronto, Johannesburg Biennale, Santa Fe Indian Market, Sao Paulo Biennale, Schmuck International Jewellery Fair, SOFA Chicago, Supermarket (Stockholm)
  • Book fairs: Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Book Expo America, Art Toronto, Frankfurt Book Fair, Guadalajara International Book Fair, London Book Fair, Salon du livre de Toronto, Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury, Salon international du livre de Québec, Toronto Comic Arts Fair, Comic Arts Brooklyn
  • Conferences: Canadian Art Education Association, Conference for Community Arts Education (US), Performing the World, Pulse Ontario Dance
  • Media arts festivals: ImagineNative, Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs (Toronto), Berlinale, Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, IndieCade (International Festival of Independent Games), International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sundance Film Festival, Sunny Side of the Doc (La Rochelle)
  • Performing arts or multidisciplinary festivals: Avignon Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Manito Ahbee Festival (Winnipeg), PuSh Festival, Riddu Riddu Festival (Norway), sākihiwē festival (Manitoba), Unlimited Festival (London)
  • Performing arts marketplaces: Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP/NYC), Australia Performing Arts Market (APAM), Chamber Music America (CMA), CINARS Biennale (International Exchange for the Performing Arts), Contact Ontarois, Internationale Tanzmesse NRW, IPAY, Ontario Contact, PAMS (Performing Arts Market in Seoul), Rencontres Internationales (Festival TransAmériques), Stage 49 at Gathering of Nations (Albuquerque), Tokyo Performing Arts Market (TPAM), World Music Expo (WOMEX)

Arts professionals: arts administrators, community animators, curators, programmers and arts educators who are engaged in producing, promoting, performing, presenting, distributing and/or programming artistic work.


Market development: the practice of promoting artistic work to presenters, in order to expand the work’s geographic and/or demographic reach and build new audiences.


Northern Ontario: the Far North, Northwest, and Northeast regions of the province. This includes the Manitoulin, Parry Sound and Nipissing districts and all regions north of these districts.


Remote, isolated and fly-in communities: Northern Ontario communities that have infrequent flights, have no roads leading in or out, or have restricted road access.