This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Arts Funding Program

Program Guidelines - Project Funding

Program Objectives

  • To spark and support the creation, production, presentation, exhibition, and dissemination of the literary, performing, visual and media arts, and independent film and video within Ottawa’s bilingual and culturally diverse community.
  • To support the educational, training and service organizations that foster the development of the arts in Ottawa.
  • To support local professional artists of all disciplines and backgrounds.
  • To support community-based artistic activities that develop local arts audiences and communities.

Funding Priorities

Following the peer-assessment evaluations of submitted proposals, the Cultural Funding Support Section (CFSS) will look at prioritizing applications from the following Indigenous and equity-seeking communities:

  • Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Francophones
  • 2SLGBTQIA
  • Immigrants/Newcomers
  • People Living in Poverty
  • People of Colour
  • People with Visible and Invisible Disabilities
  • Deaf People
  • Rural Residents
  • Seniors/Older Adults
  • Women+
  • Youth

Information Sessions

The CFSS will be holding drop-in information sessions on the following days:

  • Friday October 25th, 2019 from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Shenkman Arts, Upper lobby
  • Tuesday October 29th, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kanata Recreational Centre, Hall A
  • Wednesday November 6th, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, Lobby
  • Wednesday November 13th, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Great Canadian Theatre Company, Lower lobby
  • Thursday November 14th, 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m. at SouthPoint Community Centre, Lobby
  • Wednesday November 20th, 2019 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Mary Pitt Centre, Mercedes Room
  • Thursday November 28th, 2019 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Glebe Community Centre, Lobby
  • Wednesday December 4th, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Arts Court, Room C129

Grant Writing Assistance

Cultural Funding Officers are available to help you prepare your grant application in the following ways:

  • Meet with you, one-on-one, to discuss eligibility of your project, requirements of the program and answer any questions about the application and evaluation process.
  • Review a draft version of your application prior to the deadline. Drafts can be emailed at any time up until Monday, December 16th, 2019 directly to your funding officer and feedback will be provided by telephone within a week’s time.
  • Provide peer assessment committee feedback on a previous application that you, or your organization, has submitted.

Who is Eligible

Incorporated Arts Organizations that:

  • are incorporated as not-for-profit
  • have a mandate to support the creation, production, presentation dissemination and/or development of the arts in the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • are led by arts professionals
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • have an active board of directors composed of a minimum of 3 members
  • have at least 50% of board directors residing in the Ottawa region

Professional Artists Collectives that:And one of the following:

  • are an unincorporated not-for-profit group of individuals contributing to a specific goal or a series of common projects
  • have a minimum of 3 professional artists or 2 professional artists and one professional arts administrator residing in the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. Additional members of the collective may include professional artists, amateur artists, arts administrators, curators, etc.
  • have at least 50% of collective members residing in the Ottawa region
  • can receive payment in the collective’s name
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation

Non-arts organizations, in partnership with a professional artist(s) or a non-profit professional arts organization, that:

  • are incorporated as a not-for-profit
  • are proposing a project with an arts goal in partnership with a not-for-profit professional arts organization or professional artist(s) from the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • have a board of directors composed of a minimum of 3 members; at least 50% of directors must reside in the Ottawa region

Note: The City of Ottawa defines a professional artist as someone who is recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, has a reasonable body of professional work, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work and is dedicated to the independent practice of art in their chosen discipline.

What is Eligible

Activities that:

  • demonstrate significant support for local Ottawa artists
  • are managed and/or sponsored by members of the Ottawa artistic community
  • occur within the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and enhance the city’s quality of life
  • are accessible and of interest to the public
  • significantly involve participation of the local cultural community
  • are singular in scope and occur within a specific period of time

Who is NOT Eligible

  • government agencies and for-profit organizations
  • organizations whose activities come under the jurisdiction of other levels or departments of government (school boards, hospitals, universities, social services, military programs, business improvement associations, etc.)
  • political parties

What is NOT Eligible

  • fundraising projects and initiatives
  • self-promotional / marketing activities
  • commercial ventures, art sales, competitions
  • projects involving the manufacture and distribution of product in multiple copies
  • activities funded by an operating grant from any City program
  • projects where participation is conditional upon partaking in the religious activities of the organization
  • activities that are solely intended for the membership of an organization
  • capital purposes (i.e., purchase of land, equipment, facilities, etc.)
  • projects that have been completed on or before the application deadline date
  • projects that do not include sources of revenue other than the City’s contribution
  • an organization’s full season of programming
  • projects submitted by managers, consultants or agents

Restrictions

  • The City will not fund more than 90% of the total cost of the project; the project budget must include sources of revenue other than the City’s contribution
  • organizations with an accumulated deficit greater than 10% of their total revenue and exceeding $3,000 are ineligible to apply
  • Organizations with accumulated surpluses greater than 100% of total revenue (excluding capital assets) are ineligible to apply
  • organizations that receive operating funding from the CFSS are ineligible to apply for project funding
  • Organization may only submit one application at a time within this program
  • Organizations cannot receive more than one funding allocation for the same activity
  • A final report must be submitted before reapplying. If the final report for previous funding has not been submitted and approved by the deadline date, subsequent applications to this program will not be considered. In cases where a previous project will be completed after the deadline date, organizations agree to complete the project and submit an approved Final Report by the time funding results are announced (June 2020)
  • Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department staff may not hold a key position within an organization requesting cultural funding from the City. Exception: where staff participation has been approved as one of the duties of their position
  • City of Ottawa staff are required to act in compliance with the City of Ottawa Employee Code of Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations. For further inquiries, please contact your Cultural Funding Officer

Meeting all eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding

Types of Funds

Literary Arts Fund

Supports production, presentation, dissemination and other professional activities that contribute to the development of the literary arts. Aimed at professional presenters of written and oral literary artists, and book and magazine publishers.

Performing Arts Fund

Supports creation, production, presentation, dissemination and other professional activities related to the performing arts. Aimed at professional choirs, bands, orchestras, ensembles, theatre companies, dance companies, presenters, opera and musical theatre groups, and includes dance, music and theatre.

Visual Arts / Media Arts / Independent Film and Video Fund

Supports activities that contribute to the development of visual and media arts, and film and video. Supports exhibition, collective distribution of independent film and video works and the production of contemporary visual or media arts. Aimed at professional artist-run centres and public galleries, film and video production co-operatives, and professional artists’ and curatorial collectives.

Arts Events & Arts Festivals Fund

Supports arts organizations in the production and presentation of artistic programming for local festivals and/or events that celebrate and highlight artistic disciplines including literary, performing, visual and media arts, or independent film and video.

Arts Training & Arts Education Fund

Supports professional arts organizations with a mandate to provide arts training and/or arts education (including community arts). Open to all artistic disciplines. Groups must employ professional artists, instructors or educators and must pay professional fees.

  • Arts Training provides professional instruction for the development of artistic skills.
  • Arts Education provides opportunities to learn about the arts through direct exposure to, and/or participation in, professional artistic practices.

Arts Services & Arts Venues Fund

Supports the umbrella activities of professional arts service associations and of venues dedicated to the presentation of the arts. Aimed at:

  • Professional arts service organizations - associations of individual artists or arts organizations that carry out a broad range of functions such as cooperative promotions, marketing, administration, advocacy, networking, information dissemination and professional development.
  • Professional arts venues - arts facilities that provide access to artists and arts groups and carry out other related services for the performing, visual, media, film and video, and/or literary arts.

Amateur Arts Fund

Supports community-based artistic activities that provide opportunities to local residents to participate in the arts. Aimed at supporting performance, exhibition, collective art making, and other community-based arts activities and includes music, theatre, literary arts, dance, visual and media arts, film and video, and multidisciplinary events.

Application Process

Applicants must complete the Application Form and attach all required documentation. All applications must be submitted in hardcopy either in person by 4:00 pm on the deadline date or postmarked by that date.

If you are a first-time applicant, please contact a Cultural Funding Officer to ensure that you are eligible for this program, and to discuss the application process.

Additional information on how funding decisions are made can be found on our website: ottawa.ca/culturalfunding

Assessment Criteria

Peer assessors will use the following assessment criteria to evaluate your request for funding. Applicants are assessed based upon their respective mandates, type of funding requested, size and scope, and according to the criteria outlined below:

Artistic Merit

  • Fulfillment of mandate
  • Artistic direction, goals and objectives
  • Qualified artistic leadership
  • Maintenance of high artistic standards and practices
  • Requisite skills and means to achieve results
  • Innovation within artistic discipline

Community Impact

  • Support to local artists and artistic community
  • Impact on artistic discipline
  • Responsiveness to members and audiences
  • Strength of partnerships
  • Community involvement (audience participation, volunteer support, etc.)
  • Commitment to engage with local equity seeking communities

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Planning and evaluation
  • Governance, leadership structure and participation of the Board/Steering Committee
  • Fiscal responsibility and realistic budgeting
  • Initiative in fundraising
  • Demonstrated need for financial support
  • Appropriate and effective marketing and promotion

Support Material

All applicants must submit support material which will be reviewed by the evaluation committee. It plays an important role in the assessment of the application as it gives the evaluators an indication of the merit of the work proposed and provides documentation of past and proposed activities.

Please do not send originals. The CFSS does not have the facilities for their proper care and storage. The City of Ottawa retains printed materials such as program books, brochures and critical reviews. The applicant agrees that the City of Ottawa is not responsible for loss or damage, however caused, to support material.

Allocation of Funding

An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends upon the peer assessment committee’s final evaluation and the funding available within the program.

All funding is subject to the approval of the annual budget by Ottawa City Council.

The amount requested is not necessarily the amount awarded.

Cultural Funding Results

SAll applicants will receive notification from the CFSS informing them of the results. We aim to provide results to all applicants within six months of the application deadline. We cannot share results over the phone.

All results are final. There is no appeal of peer assessors’ decisions regarding the merit of your proposed activities or the peer assessment committee’s recommendation of a funding amount. The CFSS allows for reconsideration, but only in cases where a review of the application and the committee’s deliberations reveals evidence that the application was not assessed according to the publicly-stated procedure and assessment criteria.

Summary Report

Every year, the CFSS publishes a summary of funding results on the City of Ottawa’s website listing the names of all funding recipients and assessors: ottawa.ca/culturalsummaryreport.

Until this list is published, the names of successful applicants and assessors will not be revealed. The identity of unsuccessful applicants remains confidential.

If You Are Awarded Funding

Release of Funds

If you are awarded funding, your notification will include the approved funding amount, as well as conditions governing the release of funds and the Terms and Conditions document. Payment from the City’s Financial Services will follow.

Use of Funds

Funds shall be used only for the purposes outlined in the original application. Any changes to the project scale or activities, including changes in budget, leadership, organizational structure and programming, must be reported in writing to and receive approval from the CFSS.

Please read the Terms and Conditions document for more information on the use of funds.

Reporting

All funding recipients are required to submit a final report detailing how they used the funding awarded to them. This report must be submitted to and approved by the CFSS either:

  • following completion of the funded activities; or
  • twelve months after receipt of the funds; or
  • at the time of subsequent application to the program.

Without a Report approved by the CFSS, you will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding.

To obtain a reporting form, please contact infoculture@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2424 ext. 29404.

Acknowledgement of Support

Funding recipients are required to acknowledge the support of the City of Ottawa as indicated within the official Acknowledgement of Support document which will be sent to all successful applicants.

Letter of Welcome from the Mayor

If your organization wishes to request a Letter of Welcome from the Mayor to be included in your event program and/or brochure, please contact the Communications Officer, Mayor Support Service Unit, at 613-580-2424 ext. 28868.

If You Are Not Awarded Funding

Try again! If you do not receive funding, you are encouraged to try again. The program’s limited envelope cannot fund all applicants, regardless of their merit.

Deadline for Application

  • Monday, January 13, 2020 - 4 p.m

One complete copy of the application must be mailed or delivered to:

City of Ottawa
Arts Funding Program
Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists
Cultural Funding Support Section (26-49)
100 Constellation Drive, 9th Floor West
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8

The package must be received by 4 p.m. on the deadline date, or must be postmarked for that day. If delivering in person, please ensure to obtain a receipt.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Forms & Contact Information

2020 Application Forms

Please read the Program Guidelines above before completing your application.

Please note: fillable PDF forms may no longer be completed through web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and others. Please first download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through the web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded to your computer.

If you wish to apply in the Annual Operating or Three-Year Operating category, please contact the Cultural Funding Officer listed below.

Activity Report on Previous Funding

If funding was previously received from the City of Ottawa, an activity report detailing how the funds were used must be submitted at the completion of the project, or attached with a subsequent application. Applicants who fail to provide an activity report on previous funding will NOT be eligible to apply for subsequent City of Ottawa funding.

Please note: fillable PDF forms may no longer be completed through web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and others. Please first download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through the web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded to your computer.

Contact Us

Program inquires

For specific information on your submission, or to discuss eligibility, contact:

English Literary Arts
English Theatre
French Theatre
Amateur Arts

Marlène Barré
613-580-2424 ext. 28517

French Literary Arts
Arts Services & Arts Venues

Anik Després
613-580-2424 ext. 27208

Dance 
Independent Film and Video
Visual Arts 

Arts Training & Arts Education (Multidisciplinary organizations)
Marie-Christine Feraud
613-580-2424 ext. 23915

Music
Arts Training & Arts Education (Music organizations)
Amateur Arts 

Adrija Kličius
613-580-2424 ext. 23231

General inquiries

For general information or to request an application form, contact:

Infoculture
613-580-2424, ext. 29404

Direct Deposit Information

Please be advised that over the next year, the City of Ottawa’s Financial Services Unit will be moving to the use of an automated Direct Deposit system solely in providing all payments, including Cultural Funding allocations.

If you have not already registered your organization’s banking information, please complete the Direct Deposit Form [ PDF - 664 KB ] and send to Financial Services mailing address as indicated.

For all inquiries, please contact Financial Services Unit:
Peggy Li
613-580-2424, ext. 13910

Henry Wang
613-580-2424, ext. 23747

Annex 1 - Definitions of Eligible Organizations and Professional Artists

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements.

Arts Organizations

  • are incorporated as not-for-profit
  • have a mandate to support the creation, production, presentation dissemination and/or development of the arts in the City of Ottawa
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the City of Ottawa
  • have the majority of their programming and event(s) within the Ottawa region
  • have a board of directors composed of a minimum of 3 members; the majority (51%) must be residents of the City of Ottawa
  • have, in the case of Francophone, Inuit, Métis and First Nations organizations, a Board of Directors that is comprised of at least 50% of directors residing in the Ottawa region

In addition,

Amateur Arts Organizations

  • are generally led by arts professionals who pursue standards of excellence within their discipline
  • include participants who are not generally paid for the artistic work they do within the organization
  • provide opportunities to their local community to participate in and be exposed to the arts

Professional Artists Collectives

  • are an unincorporated not-for-profit group of individuals contributing to a specific goal or a series of common arts projects
  • have a Steering Committee* composed of a minimum of 3 professional artists or 2 professional artists and one professional arts administrator, residing in the City of Ottawa. Additional members of the collective may include professional artists, amateur artists, arts administrators, curators, etc.
  • the majority of Steering Committee members (51%) must be residents of the City of Ottawa
  • have the ability to receive payment in the collective’s name
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the City of Ottawa
  • have the majority of their programming and event(s) within the Ottawa region
  • have, in the case of Francophone, Inuit, Métis and First Nations collectives, a Steering Committee that is comprised of at least 50% of members residing in the Ottawa region and at least 3 members who are professional artists/arts administrators residing in the Ottawa region

Please note that Professional Artists Collectives are ineligible to apply for operating funding.

*Steering Committee: a core group of voting members who are the legal entity that oversees and monitors all aspects of the collective's project and/or activities

Non-arts organization, including First Nation, Inuit and Métis organizations

  • are incorporated as a not-for-profit
  • are proposing a project with an arts goal in partnership with a not-for-profit professional arts organization or professional artist(s) (as defined within this annex) from Ottawa.
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the City of Ottawa
  • have a board of directors composed of a minimum of 3 members; the majority (51%) must be residents of Ottawa
  • have, in the case of Francophone, Inuit, Métis and First Nations organizations, a Board of Directors that is comprised of at least 50% of directors residing in the Ottawa region

Professional Artists

The City of Ottawa defines a professional artist as someone who:

  • is 18 years or older
  • has completed specialized training in their artistic discipline (not necessarily in academic institutions) for which they are applying; can include mentorship, apprenticeships, etc.
  • is no longer a student (including master’s programs)
  • has worked for a minimum of two years as a practicing professional artist (following completion of training program)
  • has produced a reasonable body of professional work created separately from basic training, apprenticeship programs, educational programs or commercial industry
  • is dedicated to the professional practice of art in their chosen discipline, as evidenced by a significant investment of time and resources
  • has received payment for artistic work (i.e. artist fees)
  • has received public exposure through professional showings at not-for-profit public arts venues, screenings, publications, or performances where selection was carried out by an objective, arm’s length body such as a jury or publisher
  • has received professional recognition through critical reviews, involvement in Ottawa’s professional arts community activities and/or membership in professional associations
  • is not a full-time City of Ottawa employee or an elected representative. City of Ottawa staff are required to act in compliance with the City of Ottawa Employee Code of Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations.

Arts Professional/Arts Administrator

The City of Ottawa defines an arts professional/arts administrator as someone who:

  • is 18 years or older
  • has completed specialized training in their artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions); can include mentorship, apprenticeships, etc.
  • is no longer a student (including master’s programs)
  • has worked for a minimum of two years as a practicing professional/arts administrator (following completion of training program)
  • has a track record of professional work within the arts sector
  • is dedicated to the professional practice of art, as evidenced by a significant investment of time and resources
  • has received payment for arts based administrative work
  • has received professional recognition through involvement in Ottawa’s professional arts community activities and/or membership in professional associations
  • is not a full-time City of Ottawa employee or an elected representative. City of Ottawa staff are required to act in compliance with the City of Ottawa Employee Code of Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations.