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Creation and production fund for professional artists

Program guidelines

Deadline for application:

2022 program information will be available at the end of October 2021. 

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

Grant writing assistance

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

  • 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 14th, 2020 directly to your funding officer and feedback will be provided
  • Provide peer assessment committee feedback on a previous applications

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 live within a 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
  • Presentations 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.
  • Applicants may only submit ONE project application per year to the following cultural funding programs: Heritage Funding Program, Diversity in the Arts Fund, Arts Funding 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 emailed  electronically to by 4 p.m. on the deadline 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.  

Applicants must read the Information for Applicant 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.

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 CFSU 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 CFSU 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 CFSU 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 program’s Terms and Conditions. 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 CFSU.

Please read the Terms and Conditions 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 CFSU 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 CFSU, you will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding.

To obtain a reporting form, please contact

Acknowledgement of support

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

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.

Funding priorities

Following the peer-assessed evaluation of submitted proposals, the CFSU will look at prioritizing applications from the following Indigenous and equity-seeking communities:

  • Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, People of Color)
  • People with visible and invisible disabilities
  • Non-ambulatory persons
  • Deaf People
  • Refugees / Immigrants / Newcomers
  • People living in poverty
  • Rural residents
  • Francophones
  • Seniors / Older adults
  • Women+
  • Youth

The City of Ottawa recognizes that people identify themselves in many ways. Terms used to self-identify are continually evolving. People can change their identities or the ways they want to identify over time. With this understanding, the CFSU uses terms recommended by community members through various consultations.

Application forms & contact information

2021 Application form

Please read the program guidelines above before completing your application

Please note: You must download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through a web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded, printed, or saved.

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: You must download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through a web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded, printed, or saved.

Contact us

General inquiries

For general information, technical issues, or to request an application form, contact

Program inquires

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

Yasmina Proveyer
Literary arts - English
English theatre
French theatre

Anik Després
Literary arts - French

Marie-Christine Feraud
Independent film and video
Visual arts

Adrija Kličius

How to submit support material

Applicants must submit support material which will be reviewed by the evaluation committee. It plays an essential 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.

Examples of support material: promotional material, program brochures, media coverage, photos, annual reports and publications, video or audio recordings or links to web pages or social media.

You must submit support material via the CFSU’s online portal by uploading the files directly or by inputting the URLs. Different programs have different requirements, so please check them carefully.

Exceptions include: funding programs that are not currently live on the portal, and reports submitted for funding received prior to the 2022 cycle.

Should you require accessibility accommodations, please contact

For all submissions:

  • File names cannot contain any special characters including accents, commas or hyphens. Please rename all files in plain text. Provide a brief description of the content.
  • Jurors have limited time to review support material. The total time allotted to review all audio and video files cannot exceed 7 minutes per application. Please select your material with this time constraint in mind. Provide cue times as part of your description.
  • QuickTime files are not accepted (.mov or .aiff) .
  • Test all electronic materials to ensure readability and quality.