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Creation and production fund for professional artists

Program guidelines

Deadline for application:

  • Monday, January 27, 2020 - 4 p.m.

Program objectives

  • To support local professional artists of all disciplines and backgrounds
  • To support the creation and production of new works in literary, performing, media and visual arts within Ottawa’s bilingual and culturally diverse community 

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
  • Immigrants/Newcomers
  • People Living in Poverty
  • People of Colour
  • People with Visible and Invisible Disabilities
  • Deaf People
  • Rural Residents
  • Seniors/Older Adults
  • Women+
  • Youth

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.

Program description

This fund supports local professional artists for the creation and production of new work or the completion of works in progress. Funding is awarded to individual emerging, mid-career, and established artists in the literary, visual, media, and performing arts. The funding is intended to cover project expenses and up to three months’ living expenses.

Categories of funding

A Grant – Mid-career and established artists    $5,500

For artists at the mid or later stages of their professional artistic career. They have produced a solid body of work and have achieved a significant degree of peer recognition and professional public exposure.

B Grant - Emerging artists                $4,000

For emerging artists in the early stages of their professional career, having dedicated a minimum of two years to a professional artistic practice after completing basic training or an apprenticeship.  They have produced a reasonable body of work to date, and have had a fair degree of professional public exposure.


Who is eligible?

Established, mid-career or emerging professional artists who:

  • are 18 years or older
  • are a current resident of the city of Ottawa and have lived in Ottawa for at least one year prior to the application deadline date or are Algonquin Anishinabe and lives within 150 km radius of Ottawa
  • have completed specialized training in the artistic discipline for which they are applying; this can have been achieved through a combination of training, mentorship and/or practice
  • are recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, have a reasonable body of professional work, have a history of public presentation or publication, seek payment for their work and are dedicated to the independent practice of art in their chosen discipline 

What is eligible?

Funding is awarded for the creation and independent production of a single new work in the following disciplines:

Dance – choreography and dance production*. Established performing artists may apply for a first time choreographic work as an emerging creation artist.

English and French theatre – playwriting, script development (including dramaturgy), and theatre production*. Established performing artists may apply for a first time playwriting project as an emerging creation artist.

English and French literary arts – poetry, long and short fiction, non-fiction, spoken word, and storytelling. 

Independent film and video – screenwriting, script development, production, and post-production up to the answer print.
Individuals who demonstrate a minimum of 5 years of work experience, after the completion of their training in the film industry sector (editor, tech crew, cinematographer, art director.) may apply for the production of a first time independent film. Producers are not eligible to this fund

Music – composing, songwriting, recording of a master of an artist’s work, and concert production*.
Commissions may be eligible; please contact your Cultural Funding Officer to determine eligibility.

Visual arts – painting, sculpture, installation, photography, drawing, mixed media, new media, performance as well as curatorial research and writing. 

*Productions are Ottawa-based presentations of an artist’s own work. Presenters showcasing other artists’ work are not eligible to apply for funding. 

Please review the required support material for each discipline in the application form.

What is NOT eligible?

  • projects that have been completed on or before the application deadline
  • projects submitted by managers or agents applying on behalf of an artist, ensemble, group or band
  • fundraising projects and initiatives
  • projects involving the manufacture and distribution of a product in multiple copies, such as producing copies of a CD or printing and publishing a book
  • self-promotion or marketing costs such as framing costs, catalogue production, album launches, etc.
  • works of art that are created primarily for commercial purposes
  • Arts education/training projects
  • commissioned work (exception: music discipline)
  • documentation of art work
  • professional training or development
  • artist-in-residence programs, where an artist is invited by an arts organization or institution to work, teach or mentor for a specific period
  • purchase of equipment, instruments, computers or software
  • projects that occur outside the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation


  • City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives may not apply for individual cultural funding or awards. 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.
  • An applicant may receive funding from the City of Ottawa’s Creation and Production Fund no more than once within a period of two years.
  • An applicant may only submit one application at a time within this program
  • An applicant may only receive one funding allocation for the same activity
  • An applicant who has received City funding for a previous project must have completed the project and submitted a Final Report before reapplying. Subsequent applications will not be considered until the Final Report has been approved.

Meeting all eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding.

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.

Assessment criteria

Peer assessors will use the following assessment criteria to evaluate your request for funding. 

Artistic merit (principal criterion)

  • Strength of the proposed body of work and its relationship to previous work
  • Strength of artistic vision and goals
  • Artistic excellence and innovation
  • Technical competence

Artistic impact 

  • Access to your work by the local community
  • Strength of involvement of other artists (where relevant)
  • Contribution to the artistic discipline

Effective planning

  • Viability of the project (realistic goals, appropriate planning)
  • Effective budgeting
  • Track record

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.  

Cultural funding results

All 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.

Please be advised that artistic feedback will not be provided to the applicant.

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. 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.


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 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.

If Yyou 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.

Application forms & contact information

2020 Application form

Please read the Program Guidelines above before completing your application

Please note: 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.

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: 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:

Literary Arts - English
English Theatre
French Theatre 

Marlène Barré
613-580-2424 ext. 28517

Literary Arts - French
Anik Després
613-580-2424 ext. 27208

Independent Film and Video
Visual Arts 

Marie-Christine Feraud
613-580-2424 ext. 23915

Adrija Kličius
613-580-2424 ext. 23231

General inquiries

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

613-580-2424, ext. 29404