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Ontario Arts Council
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Lisa Wöhrle

Associate Officer
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Yamari Martin

Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​1-800-387-0058

Visual Arts Artist-Run Centres and Organizations: Operating

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.


The program supports the ongoing operations of not-for-profit, professional visual arts organizations in Ontario.


The program’s priority is to support visual arts organizations and artist-run centres that demonstrate a consistent commitment to Ontario’s professional artists, including the payment of exhibition and other professional fees, and to their role in the visual arts and/or craft infrastructure and the region.

Deadline dates

March 3, 2023, 1 p.m. ET
  • In 2023 this program is in year 3 of a three-year cycle.
  • Applications are available in Nova about two months before the deadline.
  • Financial and statistical reports must be submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC) before the deadline.
  • Grant notification will be available about five months after the deadline.
  • 2024 will be the next deadline open to new applicants to this program.
  • Potential new applicants (organizations that did not receive a grant from this program last year) must contact the program officer at least one month before the deadline to request approval to apply. This process will involve one or more discussions between OAC and the potential applicant to determine its eligibility to and fit with the program, what grant amount to request, and other particulars.

Eligible applicants

  • Ontario-based, not-for-profit corporations, or national not-for-profit corporations with the head office in Ontario
  • Organizations must have:
    • at least $75,000 in total revenues for the last fiscal year, and in projected revenues for the current and requested years (for applicants not currently receiving funding from this program)
    • at least two years of sustained, regular, ongoing programming, as of the application date. If your organization does not meet this requirement, consider applying for project funding
    • a range of revenue sources
    • an active board of directors/governing body
  • Artist-run centres and visual arts organizations must pay appropriate professional fees to artists. See current recommended fee schedules established by Canadian Artists Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) and by the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA). Artists’ travel and accommodation costs and per diems are not considered substitutes for artists’ fees to present/exhibit their work.

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

Ineligible applicants

  • non-arts organizations
  • municipalities, colleges and/or universities
  • public art galleries (must apply to the Public Art Galleries: Operating program).

To apply

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. You will be able to do this about two months before the deadline.

Before applying, you must:

Your application includes:

  • your answers to the application questions
  • financial and statistical information submitted through Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC)
  • financial statements of your organization’s last completed year, uploaded to CADAC
  • artistic examples: images or video documentation of your organization’s exhibitions and programming, publications
  • supporting documents: publicity materials, catalogues, letters of reference

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.

For information on how assessors rate applications see the Evaluation Rubric - Operating Programs.

Program-specific definitions

Organismes d’arts visuels : exposent, présentent, produisent et/ou diffusent les œuvres des artistes professionnels des arts visuels et des métiers d’art de l’Ontario. Ils comprennent les galeries d’art autogérées, les festivals d’arts visuels et les diffuseurs, les centres de production et les diffuseurs d’arts visuels, les organismes de métiers d’art dotés d’installations de programmation et de production.

Centre d’artistes autogérés : collectifs ou coopératives d’artistes professionnels qui fonctionnent à titre d’organismes sans but lucratif. Fondés et dirigés principalement par des artistes professionnels, leurs activités couvrent la production, la présentation, la diffusion et la documentation. Les centres d’artistes autogérés offrent aux artistes ontariens professionnels des possibilités de perfectionnement et d’interaction avec le public grâce à une vaste gamme d’activités dans le domaine des arts.