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Youth in culture pilot program

Program Guidelines


  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 4 pm

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application can be filled and submitted through our online portal. Alternatively, applicants for this program can submit their application by audio or audiovisual recording and upload it to the portal.

The application for this program will go live on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Contact Information

Natalie Hart 
Program Coordinator

Program objectives

First time grant applicants are encouraged to submit their projects.

The City will provide funding to a maximum of $1,000.

Grant writing assistance

We 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 Wednesday, February 17, 2021 directly to

Here is an instructional video that demonstrates how to sign-up and complete your first application.


Who is eligible?

Applicants who:

  • are between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • are current residents 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.

What is eligible?

Funding is awarded to projects that further your professional career in the arts, heritage or cultural sectors.

This program is intended to provide you with an artist fee and/or cover project/living expenses relating to:

  • creation and production: research, creation, production, and presentation projects relating to arts, heritage, or culture
  • training: masterclasses, workshops, residencies and other training opportunities in the arts, heritage, cultural festival or agricultural fair sectors (including administration and/or management training)
  • mentorship: opportunities for youth to work with mentors within the arts, heritage, festivals and fairs sectors. Mentors include established cultural workers, professional artists, or elders/knowledge keepers including administration and/or management training

Examples of eligible projects

Creation projects:

  • To complete a series of paintings
  • To produce a play
  • To conduct genealogy and/or historical research
  • To create your traditional dance regalia

Training projects:

  • To cover expenses, including travel, related to taking a masterclass
  • To provide you with an artist/administrator fee during an unpaid internship with an arts, heritage, or cultural organization, including festivals and fairs
  • To take a course in a First Nations, Inuit, or Metis language

Mentorship projects:

  • To receive mentorship from an elder in beadwork
  • To workshop with an established storyteller
  • To work with a recognized knowledge keeper on a language preservation project

Who is not eligible?

  • Organizations, including collectives
  • Individuals who have received three or more grants from this program
  • 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

What is not eligible?

  • Projects that are not related to the arts, culture or heritage sectors
  • Commercial initiatives, sales and commissions
  • Projects that have been completed prior to the application deadline date
  • Projects that are part of your school, college or university’s curriculum
  • Fundraising initiatives
  • Projects paid for entirely through other sources
  • Projects that are eligible for funding under the City of Ottawa’s Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists


  • 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

Meeting all eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding.

Assessment criteria

Peer assessors will use the following assessment criteria to evaluate your request for funding. Applications are assessed according to:


  • Relevance of the proposed project as it relates to the applicant’s previous cultural experiences
  • Strength of the goals and objectives
  • Clear intent to pursue a career in arts, heritage or culture


  • Benefit to the applicant’s career

Effective planning

  • Realistic goals and appropriate planning
  • Effective and appropriate budgeting

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
  • 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 CFSU uses terms recommended by community members through various consultations.

Application process

Applicants must read and abide by the Information for applicants.

Applicants must read and abide by the Terms and conditions.

Applicants must complete the application form and attach all required documentation.

Applications must be submitted through the online portal by 4 pm on the deadline date.

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.

The Program Coordinator 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.

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.


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 Cultural Funding Support Unit 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 Cultural Funding Support Unit, you will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding. Reporting forms are available through the online portal.

Application questions and required materials

Before you begin:

  • Read the Program Guidelines and refer to them while completing the application.
  • Prepare your written answers to the question below. (It is much easier to edit your responses in a word document and then simply copy/paste your answers into the online form when ready to apply).
  • Prepare your audio/audiovisual recording if you are applying that way. The quality of your recording will not be assessed, however, recordings must be clear and able to be understood.
  • Prepare the required materials.
  • Complete your application in our online portal. If you are submitting an audio or audiovisual recording of your application, please answer the application questions.

Application questions


  1. Provide a detailed description of the project. (max 1000 words)
  2. Provide a project timeline with start/end dates
  3. Include your résumé/bio or tell us about your previous cultural experiences (examples: your artistic, heritage or festival practice, work, volunteering and/or school).
  4. For mentorship projects only:
    1. Describe the nature of the mentorship, and list desired outcomes in the detailed description of the project section.
    2. Provide your mentor’s letter of approval in the application portal.
    3. Include your mentor’s résumé or bio as an attachment on the portal.


  1. How will this project help further the development of your career in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors? (max 750 words) 

Effective planning

Fill in the attached budget template on the portal OR answer the following two questions:

  1. What are the costs associated with your project?
  2. If your expenses exceed the amount requested in this application ($1,000), how will you cover the extra cost?

Required materials

Make sure all of these items are ready before applying:

  • Your audio/audiovisual recording, if you are applying that way.
  • Your written answers to the question above. (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).
  • Your résumé/bio (examples: your artistic, heritage or festival practice, work, volunteering and/or school)
  • Your mentor's letter of approval, if your project is a mentorship. Please submit a letter from your mentor, accepting that they voluntarily enter into a mentoring relationship with you for the purpose of this project and that they are prepared to commit to the number of hours confirmed above. Please include a description of what the mentorship includes, their name, the date and their signature.
  • Your support material files and links with their accompanying descriptions.

Contact information

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

Natalie Hart
Program Coordinator

General inquiries

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