Cultural facilities fund (minor projects)

On this page

Program guidelines


  • Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 4 pm

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application must be filled and submitted through our NEW Application Portal.

The application for this program will go live on Friday, August 26, 2022.

Contact Information


Program objectives

This program is designed to assist local arts, festivals, fair or heritage organizations to improve 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 16, 2022.
  • Provide peer assessment committee feedback on a previous application


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 received, within the last two (2) years preceding the application year, a project or operating funding from the Cultural Funding Support Unit of the City of Ottawa
  • are in good financial standing
  • 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 Ottawa-based Board of Directors 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 deficits greater than 50% of total operating revenue
  • Organizations that do not include sources of revenue other than the City’s contribution

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 Major Capital Development Projects Fund

Major capital development projects

The Cultural Facilities Fund program includes a Major Capital Development category. This category is administered through the Cultural Development 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 March 31, 2023. There is no specific application form. The Guidelines identify the information and documents that must be included in your submission. To view the Guidelines click here. 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. People can change their identities or the ways they want to identify over time. 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.

Report on Previous Funding

Applicants who have previously received funding from the Cultural Facilities Fund must submit a final report and budget detailing how they used the funds awarded to them. If you are re-applying to this program and have an outstanding report, your application will only be considered eligible if your outstanding final report is submitted along with your application and is approved by the CFSU.

To obtain a reporting form, please contact

Application questions and required materials

Before you begin:

  • Read the Program Guidelines and refer to them while completing the application.
  • Make sure all of these documents are ready before applying in the application portal:
  1. Your 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 documents including: board list, staff list, approved minutes, approved financial statements, operating budget and project budget.
  • Fill and submit your application on our SurveyMonkey Apply Portal. Applicants must answer all questions and attach all required documentation.

Application questions

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

  1. What is the mandate of your organization?
  2. Provide a brief history of your organization.
  3. Who are the professionals leading your organization?
  4. 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.
  6. Why are you undertaking this project at this time? Explain how it fills a gap, meets a need, solves a problem etc.
  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?
  10. Provide a schedule of activities; include time lines, start and completion dates.

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
  • Your organization's operating budget or CADAC
  • 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

Contact information

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

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.