Creation and production fund for professional artists

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Program information

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.  

Information on this page is for individual professional artists only. If you are a collective or organization looking to apply for project or operating funding, go to the Arts Funding Program webpage.


  • Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 4 pm

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application must be filled and submitted through our Online Portal

The application for this program will go live two months prior to the deadline date.

Reminder: 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.

Objectives of the program

  • 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

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/or up to three months of living expenses.

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.

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.

Funding priorities

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

  • Anishinabe Algonquin Nation
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, People of Color)
  • People with visible and invisible disabilities
  • Non-ambulatory persons
  • D/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. With this understanding, the Cultural funding support unit uses terms recommended by community members through various consultations.

Application process

Grant writing assistance

The Cultural Funding Support Unit (CFSU) can:

  • answer your questions about eligibility
  • review a draft of your application
  • help with your submission
  • provide financial aid to applicants requiring accessibility support
  • provide feedback on the evaluation of a previous application

The Cultural Funding Support Unit will need advance notice to provide any personalized assistance. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss the options available.

Draft applications can be reviewed at any time, up until 2 weeks prior to the deadline date.

Have questions? You can participate in a virtual Cultural Funding Support Unit information session. Visit Information Sessions to see a full list of dates.

Application process

  • Applicants must read and abide by the Information for applicants.
  • Applicants must read and abide by the Terms and conditions of the program
  • Applicants must complete the application questions and attach all required material.
  • Applications must be submitted through the online portal by 4 pm on the deadline date.
  • Applicants must submit support material.
  • Applicants are responsible to submit a complete application by the deadline date. The Cultural Funding Support Unit will not be responsible for any discrepancies or upload errors in additional information submitted after the deadline.

Your Cultural Funding Officer can provide additional information regarding this program, your eligibility, and the application process.

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.

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

The amount requested is not necessarily the amount awarded.

Direct deposit

Funding recipients are encouraged to apply for Direct deposit.

Creation and production fund - Program guidelines


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 Anishinabe Algonquin and live within a 150 km radius of Ottawa
  • have completed training in the artistic discipline for which they are applying; this can have been achieved through a combination of schooling, apprenticeship, mentorship or collaboration. This includes artists who are self-taught.
  • 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 disciplines listed below. Please note that the proposed project must be the applicant`s own work. 

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

To determine the eligibility of your project, contact Yasmina Proveyer.

Independent film and video – screenwriting, script development, production, and post-production up to the answer print

Film industry specialists with 5 years work experience may be eligible; please contact Marie-Christine Feraud to determine eligibility. 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 Adrija Kličius to determine eligibility.

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

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

Please review the required support material for each discipline.

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
  • Purchase of equipment, instruments, computers or software
  • Presentations that occur outside the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation


  • 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.
  • 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.

Meeting all eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding.

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

Cultural funding results

All applicants will receive an email 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.

If you are not awarded funding

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

Creation and production fund - Application questions and required materials

Before you begin:

It is recommended that you prepare your responses and documents prior to starting your online application. It is much easier to edit your responses on a word document and copy/paste your answers into the online form when ready to apply.

To complete the online application form you will be required to:

1. Provide written responses to the application questions provided below.

  • Questions marked with an * are mandatory.
  • Pay attention to word counts, as you will not be able to submit if over the maximum.

2. Provide all supporting and required documents including:

  • Artistic résumé 
    Please provide a résumé of your professional career as an artist (3 pages maximum). List the following items, with locations and dates:
    • Indicate the time during which you trained in your artistic discipline through any combination of schooling, apprenticeship, mentorship or collaboration. If you are self-taught, please indicate as such and include the time frame,
    • Provide a history of public presentations, publications, exhibitions, performances, screenings, etc. Public presentations can also include virtual presentations/live streams. Include information on how your work was selected (invitation to perform, selection by a jury of peers, curation, listeners/followers, etc.)
    • List some examples of recognition of your work by others. Include any previous grants you may have received, awards, reviews, social media stats, streaming stats, etc.
    • If applicable, list of independent creative/artistic work(s)
    • If applicable, talk about your participation in the local arts community. This can be through collaborations or networking with other creatives, volunteering, memberships, associations, or your involvement as a Board member.
  • If applicable, include biographies or CVs of collaborators
  • Prepare a budget
  • Support Material (6 samples max)

3. Fill and submit your application on the online funding portal.

Application questions

Please describe your project and establish its merits by responding to the following questions.

  1. Please describe the work you intend to create with this funding. * (Max 650 words)
  2. How does the proposed work relate to your artistic goals and fit within the overall development of your practice? * (Max 300 words)
  3. What is the timeline for this project? * (Max 250 words)
  4. How will the local arts community/general public have access to your final work or to the developmental process (e.g. exhibition, screening, publication, etc.)? * (Max 300 words)
  5. If relevant, how will other people/artists be involved in the creation/production of your work? If applicable, include short bios. * (Max 450 words)

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 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, and Apple specific files are not accepted (.mov; .aiff; .numbers; .pages).
  • Test all electronic materials to ensure readability and quality.

Support material by discipline

Recommended support material for each discipline

Literary arts


  • Sample of proposed work (Prose: max. 20 pages; Poetry: max. 10 pages)
  • Sample of previously published work

Spoken word and storytelling

  • Audio or video recordings of the proposed work
  • Sample script of the proposed work max. 20 pages
  • Past audio or video recordings of your work


Playwriting and script development

  • Sample script, max. 20 pages, or synopsis of the proposed work
  • Sample of previously produced script, max. 20 pages

Theatre production

  • Sample of the proposed script, max. 20 pages
  • Audio or video recordings of previous performances/productions
  • Photographs, programs/promotional material and reviews of previous performances/productions


Applicants must submit:

  • Three recorded samples of pieces you have composed and/or performed

In addition:

  • Songwriters: lyrics for three songs
  • Composers: scores for up to three works, max. 15 pages
  • Concert Productions: recordings or videos, photographs, programs/promotional material, reviews of previous productions



  • Examples of performed choreography/choreographies
  • For established performing artists applying for a first-time creation grant, please provide examples of 3 past performances
  • Works in progress


  • Recordings, photographs, programs/promotional material and/or reviews of previous performances/productions
  • Examples of the participating artists’ works

Independent film and video

Screenwriting and script development

  • One previously written script, max. 20 pages
  • A synopsis of up to 20 pages of the work in progress for which you are seeking support
  • If applicable, other examples of your work, max. 10 pages per script, to a maximum of 2 additional scripts

For independent filmmakers

  • Examples of your previous independent work
  • If applicable, cued rough cuts of your new work

For industry sector applicants

  • Cued rough cuts of proposed new work
  • Samples of projects you have collaborated/worked on, ideally including credits of films

In addition:

  • Animation projects: a complete or partial storyboard
  • Documentary projects: a complete or partial treatment or visual outline
  • Drama Production: a complete or partial script, max. 20 pages
  • Experimental: a complete or partial treatment or work in progress

Visual arts


  • 12 digital images, recordings or documentation of your work


  • Up to 12 digital images of past exhibitions that you have curated; and, if applicable, past excerpts of curatorial texts, max. 20 pages

Report on previous funding


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

Reminder: 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.

All reports must be submitted through the online portal. 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

It may take up to 2 weeks for your report to be approved. Once approved you will receive a notification. Without a report approved by the CFSU, the applicant will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding. 

Report on funding received from the Creation and production fund prior to 2022

If funding was received from the City of Ottawa, prior to 2022, an activity report detailing how the funds were used must be submitted by email to Applicants who fail to provide an activity report on previous funding will NOT be eligible to apply for subsequent City of Ottawa funding. Please use the form below.

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.