Cultural facilities fund (minor projects)

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Program guidelines


  • Wednesday, September 25, 2024 at 4 pm

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application must be filled and submitted through our Portal.

The application for this program will go live 2 months prior to the deadline date.  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.

Contact Information

Yasmina Proveyer Llopis 
Cultural funding officer  

Program objectives

This program is designed to assist local arts, festivals, fair or heritage organizations in improving cultural facilities, venues and programming in the City of Ottawa. This project-based funding is intended to provide support towards studies related to capital facility development, purchase of equipment (fixed and non-fixed), minor capital renovation projects and restoration related to heritage sites.

The City of Ottawa will provide funding to successful organizations to a maximum of $7,500.

Grant writing assistance

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

  • Discuss eligibility of your activities, 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. Applications in progress can be reviewed at any time up until Friday, September 8, 2023.
  • Provide peer assessment committee feedback on a previous application

Important information for funding recipients reapplying in 2023! 

You will NOT be able to begin a new application in the portal if you have an outstanding report. Your final report must be submitted in the portal and approved by the Cultural funding support unit before proceeding with a new application.  

Your final report must be submitted by Friday, September 8, 2023 so that it can be approved by the Cultural Funding Support Unit. It may take up to 2 weeks for your report to be approved. Once approved you will receive a notification.  

If you have questions about reporting, please contact your Cultural Funding Officer. 

For more information on reporting, go to Report on previous funding – Cultural facilities.


Who is eligible

Local, incorporated, not-for-profit cultural organizations with an arts, heritage, festival, or fair mandate, including organizations representing and/or celebrating First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and equity-seeking communities that:

  • have been in existence for at least two (2) years in their present discipline
  • 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 the majority of their programming and event(s) occurring 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 or Indigenous governing body comprised of a minimum of 3 members
  • have at least 50% of board directors residing in the Ottawa region

Who is not eligible

  • Organizations with an accumulated deficit greater than 25% of their total revenue (excluding capital assets) and exceeding $5,000 are ineligible to apply 
  • Organizations that do not include sources of revenue other than the City’s contribution
  • For-profit organizations 
  • Government agencies 
  • Organizations whose activities come under the jurisdiction of other levels or departments of government, including school boards, hospitals, universities, social services, military programs, business improvement associations. 
  • Political parties 

What is eligible

There are two funding categories for minor projects:

  1. Capital funding
    1. Purchase of equipment
    2. Renovations
    3. Restorations
  2. Studies*
    1. Needs assessment study
    2. Pre-feasibility study
    3. Feasibility study
    4. Capital fundraising study

*Applicants are encouraged to meet with a Funding Officer prior to submitting an application.

What is not eligible

  • Projects or purchases that have been completed on or before the application deadline date
  • Operational costs such as facility rental fees, salaries, or advertising costs
  • Equipment purchases associated with specific one-time project/activity
  • Studies that are not directly related to facilities such as business plans, marketing plans, strategic plans, etc. (please consult the Capacity Building Program Guidelines for funding relating to these types of projects)
  • Projects funded through the Cultural Facilities Fund - Major Capital Projects are not eligible to this program. 

Cultural Facilities Fund - Major capital projects

The Cultural Facilities Fund program includes a Major Capital Development category. This category is administered through the Cultural Development and Initiatives Unit and assists eligible organizations with funding for projects that have an overall estimated budget that is greater than $60,000. The next deadline for this program is September 15, 2023. There is no specific application form. The Guidelines identify the information and documents that must be included in your submission. To obtain a copy of the program guidelines, or for more information, please contact Thomas Radford.


  • The City of Ottawa will provide funding to successful organizations to a maximum of $7,500.
  • The City will not fund more than 90% of the total cost of the project.
  • An organization may only submit one application at a time to this funding program.
  • For collaborative projects between two or more organizations: a letter of partnership that describes the project, each organization’s role and responsibilities including signatures by authorized representatives of each organization is required.
  • For renovation and restoration projects: an organization must provide either proof of ownership or a lease agreement.
  • You must submit a final report before reapplying. If your final report for previous funding has not been submitted by the deadline date, subsequent applications to this program will not be considered.
  • City of Ottawa’s 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 program eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding.

Funding categories

  1. Capital funding
    1. Purchase of equipment
      1. fixed equipment (e.g., lighting grid, staging, sprung flooring, etc.)
      2. non-fixed equipment associated with programming (e.g. sound boards, spot lights, computers etc.)
      3. equipment associated with an exhibition or display (e.g., bleachers, exhibition cases, etc.)
      4. equipment purchases to accommodate physical distancing measures
    2. Renovations
      1. renovation, alteration, or addition to an existing facility that enhances the performance, rehearsal, display, programming, and/or administration space, or access for the public
      2. minor renovations and small retrofits to adapt facilities to adhere to physical distancing measures
    3. Restorations
      1. restoration of an existing facility that is designated a heritage site under either the municipal, provincial or federal acts
      2. restoration of artifacts linked to a heritage facility
  2. Studies
    Studies must be related to facility improvements and/or construction and must be completed by an outside consultant/professional working within discipline/specialization of study.
    1. Needs assessment study
      1. provides an organization with a professional evaluation of specific needs to consider for a proposed project (e.g. electrical or technical requirements, architectural planning, etc.)
    2. Pre-feasibility study
      1. provides the Board of Directors an initial working tool that clarifies an organization’s capacity and intended impacts of a designated projects by delineating strengths and weaknesses of the project
    3. Feasibility study
      1. study for the creation / building of a new facility
      2. study for improving /renovating an existing facility
      3. study for equipment upgrades
    4. Capital fundraising study
      1. study and plan for a major fundraising campaign for facility upgrades or construction

Assessment criteria

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


  • Aligns with mandate
  • Goals and objectives fulfill a critical need
  • Qualified project leadership


  • Broader community involvement
  • Impact on discipline and/or community of interest
  • Responsiveness to members and audiences

Organizational effectiveness

  • Management, planning and evaluation
  • Fiscal responsibility and realistic budgeting
  • Initiative in fundraising and diversified revenue
  • Good governance
  • Demonstrated need for financial support

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

Applicants must read and abide by the Information for applicants

Applicants must complete the application form and attach all required documentation. Applications must be submitted through the online application portal by 4 pm on the deadline date. 

Applicants must read and abide by the Terms and conditions.  

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

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

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.

Application questions and required materials

Before you begin:

  • Read the Program Guidelines and refer to them while completing the application.
  • Make sure the following is ready before applying in the application portal:
  1. Written answers to the questions below. (It is much easier to edit your responses on a word document and you can simply copy/paste your answers to the online form when ready to apply)
  2. All of your supporting documents depending on the nature of your project as outlined below (2 quotes, lease, drawings, consultant CV, etc.)
  3. All of your required material listed below.
  • Fill and submit your application on our Portal. Applicants must answer all questions and attach all required documentation.

Application questions

  1. What is the mandate of your organization?
  2. Provide a brief history of your organization. (250 words max)
  3. Who are the professionals leading your organization?
  4. If applicable, provide a list of all capital, operating and/or project funding from the previous two (2) years that has been received from the City of Ottawa. Include date, amount and purpose.
  5. Provide a description of the proposed project and how it relates to your organization’s mandate. (825 words max)
  6. Why are you undertaking this project at this time? Explain how it fills a gap, meets a need, solves a problem etc. (250 words max)
  7. Indicate who will be leading the proposed project, include a short bio and CV.
  8. Do you have a partner in this project? Include letter of confirmation from partner organization.
  9. How will this project benefit your organization, its members and/or the broader local community? (250 words max)
  10. Provide a schedule of activities; include time lines, start and completion dates. (250 words max)

Required material

  • Short bios of professionals leading your organization
  • Curriculum vitaes and short bios of the leaders/consultants involved in the project
  • Letter of confirmation from partnering organization, if applicable
  • List of your board of directors
  • List of staff
  • Approved minutes from most recent board meeting
  • Completed project budget. Submit your budget in Excel or PDF format (numbers files are NOT accepted).
  • Your organization's operating budget or CADAC. Submit your budget in Excel or PDF format (numbers files are NOT accepted).
  • Most recent approved financial statements
  • Support material relevant to your project category

Additional required support material by project category


  1. Estimates from 2 different suppliers (for heritage projects one quote may be acceptable – consult Cultural Funding Officer prior to application deadline)
  2. For fixed equipment, please clarify who will be installing equipment.
  3. For non-fixed equipment, a description of where the equipment will be installed or stored


  1. The size of the facility in sq. ft. or sq. m.
  2. Lease agreement or proof of ownership of the building. If leased, please provide a copy of the lease agreement and documentation indicating that the landlord has agreed to the proposed renovations.
  3. Quotes by 2 separate contractors
  4. Schematic drawings


  1. The size of the facility in sq. ft. or sq. m.
  2. Is the building or property designated under a municipal, provincial or federal heritage act? If so, please outline how this may affect the proposed project.
  3. Lease agreement or proof of ownership of the building. If leased, please provide a copy of the lease agreement and documentation indicating that the landlord has agreed to the proposed restorations.
  4. Quotes by 2 separate contractors unless a case can be made for seeking only one estimate.
  5. Schematic drawings (if applicable)


  1. Name and CV of consultant
  2. A draft copy of the Terms of Reference

Report on previous funding – Cultural facilities


All funding recipients are required to submit a final report detailing how they used the funding awarded to them. This report must be submitted through the online portal and approved by the Cultural funding support unit either:   

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

It may take up to 2 weeks for your report to be approved. Please keep this delay in mind when re-applying to the program. Without a final report approved by the Cultural funding support unit, you will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding.  

All reports must be submitted through the online portal. Exception: Cultural facilities fund – minor projects reports submitted for funding received prior to the 2020 cycle. 

Should you require accessibility accommodations, please contact opens email application)(link opens email application) 

Report on Cultural facilities fund – Minor projects funding received prior to 2020 

If project funding was received from the City of Ottawa's Cultural facilities fund, prior to 2020, a final report detailing how the funds were used must be submitted by email to Applicants who fail to provide a final report on previous funding will NOT be eligible to apply for subsequent City of Ottawa funding.  

Your final report must be submitted by Friday, September 8, 2023 so that it can be approved by the Cultural Funding Support Unit. It may take up to 2 weeks for your report to be approved. 

Once approved you will receive a notification. If you have questions about reporting, please contact your Cultural Funding Officer. 

Please write to to obtain a copy of the report form. 

Reporting Questions  

Interim Report (for projects that have been delayed or not yet completed)  

  1. Provide a description of the current status of the project. Include timelines and an estimated completion date. (max 500 words)  

  1. Provide a description of any changes to the scope of the project. (max 250 words)  

  1. Interim project budget  

  1. Upload relevant supporting documentation. 

Final Report  

  1. Provide a detailed description of the final project results. Make sure to include: challenges, achievements, changes to the original proposal, and outstanding deliverables. (max 500 words) 

  1. Provide a description of how you think your project was a success. Include how the project benefited your organization and the community in which you work. (max 250 words) 

  1. Provide a summary of how you publicized the project, and how the City’s contribution was acknowledged in the publicity. (max 125 words) 

  1. Final project budget  

  1. Upload relevant supporting documentation. (proof that project occurred)  

Upload relevant supporting documentation such as:  

  • For renovations, restorations or facilities improvements: schematic drawings or plans, invoices, work contracts, photos of the renovated facility 

  • For equipment purchases: photos of equipment or purchase receipts 

  • For studies or strategic plans, include a copy of the final document  

Contact information

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

Adrija Kličius
Cultural Funding Officer

For general information, technical issues, or to request a report form, contact:

Direct deposit information

Please be advised that the City of Ottawa’s Financial Services Unit is 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 opens in a new tab or window and mail it with a physical original voided cheque or a physical original encoded deposit slip, or a physical original letter from the vendor's bank to the following address:

City of Ottawa
Accounts Payable, PO Box 3426 Stn D
Ottawa ON K1P 0B9

No photocopies will be accepted. Questions may be directed to Accounts Payable at 613.580.2424 extension 27888 or by email to mailbox.