This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists

Program Guidelines

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

Funding Priorities

In addition to the evaluated merit of submitted proposals, the Cultural Funding Support Section will look at prioritizing applications from the following equity seeking communities:

  • Algonquin Host Nation
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis
  • Francophones
  • Racialized people

Additional Equity Consideration will be given to the following:

  • Deaf people and persons with disabilities
  • LGBTQ+
  • Rural residents
  • Youth

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


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


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?

To be eligible, an individual must be an established, mid-career or emerging professional artist who:

  • is 18 years or older
  • is a current resident of the City of Ottawa[1] and must have lived in Ottawa for at least one year prior to the application deadline date or is Algonquin Anishinabe and lives within 150 km radius of Ottawa (those who do not have a status card must include a letter of acknowledgement from their Band Council)
  • has completed specialized training in the artistic discipline (not necessarily in academic institutions) for which they are applying; can include mentorship, apprenticeships, etc.
  • is no longer a student (including master’s programs)
  • has worked for a minimum of two years as a practicing professional artist
  • has produced a reasonable body of professional work created separately from basic training, apprenticeship programs, educational programs or commercial industry.
  • is dedicated to the professional practice of art in their chosen discipline, as evident by a significant investment of time and resources 
  • has received payment for artistic work (i.e. artist fees)
  • has received public exposure through professional showings at not-for-profit public arts venues, screenings, publications, or performances where selection was carried out by an objective, arm’s length body such as a jury or publisher
  • has received professional recognition through critical reviews, involvement in Ottawa’s professional arts community activities and/or membership in professional associations
  • is not a City of Ottawa employee or an elected representative

[1] City staff reserve the right to ask for proof of Ottawa residency. Residency is established by having received a personal CCRA Notice of Assessment (the statement you are sent after filing an annual income tax return) indicating a current residential address in Ottawa. Applicants who do not produce this information upon request will be deemed ineligible.

City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives may not apply for individual cultural funding or awards.

City of Ottawa staff from the following Branches may not hold a key position within an organization requesting cultural funding from the City: Community, Recreation & Cultural Programs; Business and Technical Support Services; and Archives. 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.

An artist may receive funding from the City of Ottawa’s Creation and Production Fund no more than once within a period of two years.

An artist may only apply for ONE project at a time.

An artist 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.

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 in the film industry sector (as an editor, tech crew, cinematographer, etc.) may apply for the production of a first time independent film.
  • 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 or a collaborations’ own work. Presenters showcasing other artists’ work are not eligible to apply for funding.


Artists may apply for projects involving a creative collaboration where final copyright is shared between all participating artists. Collaborations can be comprised of up to 3 professional, local artists. All collaborating artists must meet the eligibility requirements of the Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists. One of the artists must complete the application form and assume responsibility for the grant, if successful. Please note that all collaborating artists are required to sign the application form.

What is NOT eligible?

  • projects that have been completed on or before the application deadline date
  • 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
  • projects that occur outside the City of Ottawa

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

Application Process

Applicants must complete the Application Form and attach all required documentation.

If you are a first-time applicant, you may wish to speak to a Cultural Funding Officer to ensure that you are eligible for this program, and to discuss the application process.

If municipal funding was previously received from the City of Ottawa, an Activity Report detailing how the funds were used must be attached, if not already sent. 

Failure to provide an Activity Report approved by the City of Ottawa Cultural Funding Support Section may result in ineligibility for subsequent City of Ottawa funding.

Working with the Vulnerable Sector

Section 6.3 of the Criminal Records Act defines a “vulnerable person as a person who, because of his or her age, a disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, (a) is in a position of dependency on others; or (b) is otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a person in a position of trust or authority towards them. “ This includes children, youth, senior citizens, people living in poverty, people experiencing homelessness, people with physical, developmental, social, emotional, or other disabilities, as well as people who are victims of crime or harm.

Please contact your Cultural Funding Officer should your proposed project include persons within the vulnerable sector; in certain situations the Cultural Funding Support Section may request additional information such as sample contracts/release forms.

Support Material

All applicants must submit support material which will be reviewed by the evaluation committee and plays an important role in the assessment of the application. It gives the evaluators an indication of the merit of the work proposed and provides documentation of past and proposed activities.

In the application materials you will find information on what to submit as support material and how to submit it.

Please do not send originals. The Cultural Funding Support Section does not have the facilities for their proper care and storage. The City of Ottawa retains printed materials such as program books, brochures and critical reviews. The applicant agrees that the City of Ottawa is not responsible for loss or damage, however caused, to support material.

If you wish to have support material returned, please enclose a self-addressed envelope with the required postage.  Applicants may also arrange to pick up support material by contacting the Cultural Funding Support Section at or 613-580-2424 ext. 29404.

How Funding Decisions Are Made

Peer Assessment Principles

The Cultural Funding Support Section uses a peer assessment model in the evaluation process that involves professionals who are active within their cultural community. Evaluators and outside assessors are selected for their recognized expertise within specific fields of related work. Committee members represent the community they are assessing but not any particular group or institution, and have an awareness of a broad range of artistic, heritage and/or cultural activity as well as an appreciation of the diversity of the local cultural community. 

Key principles of assessment committee composition strive to create a balanced representation of diversity of content, program and discipline expertise, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas and culture-specific communities.

Peer assessment is a nationally accepted best practice, credible to the arts, heritage, and cultural communities, and has been approved by City Council.

How Jurors and Assessors are Chosen

Cultural Funding Officers are responsible for the selection of peer assessors and are continually researching and adding names of qualified individuals to the juror database. Members of the cultural community are encouraged to recommend qualified individuals.  If you are interested in participating as an assessor or would like to refer someone, please send a résumé to our mailing address or by email to

Peer Assessment Process

Assessment committees are convened to evaluate funding submissions.  Each committee consists of three members who assess applications according to the publicly-stated assessment criteria.  Individual evaluators first review the funding applications independently.  The members then meet as a committee to review the applications and support material together. For each application, the committee establishes the funding priority, decides whether to award funding, and recommends a funding amount.  If required, external assessments in specialized areas beyond the range of a particular committee’s expertise are solicited and taken into consideration.  All results are final.

Please be advised that artistic feedback will not be provided to the applicant.

Allocation of Funding

An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends upon the assessment committee’s final evaluation and the funding available within the program.

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

Meeting all eligibility requirements of the program does not guarantee funding. 

Conflict of Interest

Since the purpose of the peer assessment model is to select qualified and knowledgeable assessors from the local arts, heritage and/or cultural community, these individuals may have relationships with one or more applicants that could lead to a conflict of interest.  Under the City’s guidelines, an actual or perceived conflict must be declared.

Prior to the assessment meetings, assessors receive a copy of the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy with a form for declaring conflicts. All assessors must complete this form and submit it prior to the assessment meeting. In a case where a conflict is declared, the assessor in conflict abstains from any discussion related to the application in question.

Situations of potential conflict are, if an assessor:

  • is employed by or is a member of the Board of Directors of an applicant organization
  • has financial interest in the success or failure of an applicant’s project
  • has an interest based on the fact that an applicant's project involves a spouse/live-in partner or an immediate family member
  • has a personal interest in specific applications other than what is normally expected of interested members of the cultural community
  • for any other reason, is unable to objectively assess an application

Confidentiality of Information

Information provided on the application form, or as support material, may be made available to City of Ottawa staff and assessors.  Personal information contained therein shall be dealt with on a confidential basis pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Assessors and committee members are required to treat both the contents of the applications and the deliberations of the committee as confidential.  At the end of the assessment meeting, committee members turn in their copies of the application materials for shredding.

If You Are Awarded Funding

Release of Funds

If you are awarded funding, you will receive a letter from the Cultural Funding Support Section informing you of the amount. The letter will include the conditions governing the release of funds and the Terms and Conditions document, which describes conditions attached to the use of these funds. A payment from the City’s Financial Services will follow. The Cultural Funding Support Section aims to provide results to all applicants within six months of the application deadline.

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 Cultural Funding Support Section.

Please read the Terms and Conditions document 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 Cultural Funding Support Section either following completion of the funded activities, twelve months after receipt of the funds, or at the time of subsequent application to the program, whichever is soonest.

For projects that have not yet been completed or have been delayed, an interim report is required.

Failure to provide the required report may result in ineligibility for subsequent City of Ottawa funding.

To obtain a reporting form, please contact or call 613-580-2424 ext. 29404.

Acknowledgement of Support

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

Summary Report

At the end of the year, the Cultural Funding Support Section 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 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 results are final. There is no appeal of assessors’ decisions regarding the merit of your organization’s proposed project or the assessment committee’s recommendation of an award amount. The Cultural Funding Support Section 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.

Deadline for Application

  • Monday, January 28, 2019 at 4 p.m.

One complete copy of the application must be mailed or delivered to:


City of Ottawa
Arts Funding Program
Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists
Cultural Funding Support Section (26-49)
100 Constellation Drive, 9th Floor West
Ottawa, ON  K2G 6J8

The package must be received by 4 p.m. on the deadline date, or must be postmarked for that day.

If delivering in person, please ensure to obtain a receipt.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Forms & Contact Information

2019 Application Form

Please read the Program Guidelines above before completing your application

Please note: Download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through the web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded to your computer.

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: Download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through the web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded to your computer.

Contact Us

Program inquires

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

Literary Arts - English
English Theatre
French Theatre 

Marlène Barré
613-580-2424 ext. 28517

Literary Arts - French
Anik Després
613-580-2424 ext. 27208

Independent Film and Video
Visual Arts 

Marie-Christine Feraud
613-580-2424 ext. 23915

Adrija Kličius
613-580-2424 ext. 23231

General inquiries

For general information or to request an application form, contact:

613-580-2424, ext. 29404