Apply for SPARK and Signature project funding for the 2024 Cultural Hotspot in Jane and Finch below by January 22 at 11:59 p.m.

 

From June through October 2024, the Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on the Jane and Finch community. This prioritizes supporting and highlighting communities within the geographic boundaries of Steeles Avenue to the north, Wilson Avenue to the south, Weston Road to the west and Keele Street to the east.

The Cultural Hotspot provides funding to high impact and innovative project proposals that foster community engagement and create opportunities for people to connect and participate in community arts through workshops, activities and events.

The City of Toronto offers a variety of funding opportunities associated with the Cultural Hotspot program. Review the requirements for SPARK and Signature Project funding below, and sign up for the CultureTO newsletter to receive weekly emails about all City of Toronto funding opportunities and arts news from across Toronto.

SPARK Project funding supports emerging and established equity-deserving artists, artist collectives, not-for-profits and community-based organizations from diverse communities with up to $7,500 per project.

Applicants may also request up to $1,500 in additional funding to support youth workforce development opportunities either through employment or paid mentorships. Successful SPARK funding recipients that do not have official not-for-profit status must work with a trustee organization to receive funding.

SPARK Project Requirements

All SPARK Project proposals must be:

  • Aligned with the Cultural Hotspot theme of celebrating arts, culture and community.
  • An inclusive and accessible arts and cultural project that engages community in the creation of the project, as participants, and/or as audience members.
  • A project that may bring some additional funding and/or in-kind support.
  • Feasible, with a realistic budget, timeframe, etc.
  • Based in the Jane and Finch area, with priority given to applicants based in the M3N, M3M, M3L and M3J postal codes.
  • Free to both project participants and the public.

Selection Criteria

Project proposals will be assessed by a review panel composed of Jane and Finch community members. Proposals must:

  • Meet the SPARK Project requirements listed above.
  • Engage with community, with a focus on equity-deserving groups (i.e. persons with disabilities, women, Indigenous, Black, persons of colour, 2SLGBTQ+, undocumented workers, immigrants and refugees, persons with low income, youth) and/or vulnerable populations (i.e. seniors, residents in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, persons with low literacy, persons who are homeless or under-housed, victims of violence).
  • Provide opportunities for local youth workforce development opportunities through employment or paid mentorship.
  • Support emerging local artists.

Application Process

Artists, artist collectives, not-for-profits and community-based organizations, current Jane and Finch residents and people displaced from the community interested in applying for SPARK Project funding must:

  1. Attend a Cultural Hotspot Funding Information Session. Register for a Virtual Session, or register for an In-Person Session.
  2. Email CulturalHotspot@toronto.ca to discuss potential project details with a staff member before submitting an application.
  3. Submit a project proposal by completing an online application. Alternate application formats available upon request, please email CulturalHotspot@toronto.ca to request one.

Funding recipients from a previous Cultural Hotspot funding cycle must complete and submit a Final Report prior to applying for a 2024 project grant.

Projects will be assessed by a review panel composed of Jane and Finch community members. If a proposal receives conditional approval, applicants may be asked to submit additional information and/or letters of support from proposed project partners. Successful applicants will be invited to enter into a formal agreement with the City of Toronto.

Contact

For further information on SPARK Project funding please email CulturalHotspot@toronto.ca.

Application deadline is January 22, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

Apply Online

Signature Projects are intended for established organizations with a proven track record to successfully deliver mid to large-sized community-based arts and cultural projects. These projects are free for both participants and the public, which aim to promote and grow community arts and provide new opportunities to engage residents in the arts and celebrate local creativity and culture through workshops, activities, events and other initiatives. Youth employment and/or mentorship opportunities are built into each Signature Project with priority given to youth from equity-deserving communities.

Signature Projects are eligible for funding of up to $20,000 each, with additional funding of up to $2,000 to make projects more accessible for persons with disabilities. There are usually three to five Signature Projects selected per funding cycle.

Signature Project Requirements

Local arts and community organizations from all art disciplines based in or with experience in the Jane and Finch area are welcome to apply.

All Signature Project proposals must:

  • Be a new, unique and dynamic project concept.
  • Be an inclusive and accessible arts and cultural project that engages community in the creation of the project, as participants and/or as audience members.
  • Be similar in scope to projects previously and successfully undertaken by the organization.
  • Have a youth job placement and/or mentorship component to the project, with priority given to projects engaging youth from equity-deserving communities.
  • Be a project where the organization brings some additional funding and/or in-kind support.
  • Be feasible, with a realistic budget, timeframe, etc.
  • Be based in the Jane and Finch area, with priority given to applicants based in the M3N, M3M, M3L and M3J postal codes.
  • Be free to both project participants and the public.

Selection Criteria

Projects will be assessed by a review panel composed of Jane and Finch community members. Proposals must:

  • Meet Signature Project requirements listed above.
  • Aligned with the Cultural Hotspot goals of celebrating arts, culture and community.
  • Engage with community, with a focus on equity-deserving groups (i.e. persons with disabilities, women, Indigenous, Black, persons of colour, 2SLGBTQ+, undocumented workers, immigrants and refugees, persons with low income, youth) and/or vulnerable populations (i.e. seniors, residents in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, persons with low literacy, persons who are homeless or under-housed, victims of violence).

Application Process

  1. Attend a Cultural Hotspot Funding Information Session. Register for a Virtual Session, or register for an In-Person Session.
  2. Email CulturalHotspot@toronto.ca to discuss potential project details with a staff member before submitting an application.
  3. Submit a project proposal by completing an online application. Alternate application formats available upon request, please email CulturalHotspot@toronto.ca to request one.

Funding recipients from a previous Cultural Hotspot funding cycle must complete and submit a Final Report prior to applying for a 2024 project grant.

Projects will be assessed by a review panel composed of Jane and Finch community members. If your project is conditionally approved, you may be asked to submit additional information and letters of support. Successful applicants will be invited to enter into a formal agreement with the City of Toronto.

Contact

For further information on Signature Project funding contact Nawfal Sheikh, Community Cultural Coordinator by emailing Nawfal.Sheikh@toronto.ca, or calling 647-473-1894.

Application deadline is January 22, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

Apply Online

Ignite Ideation Funding supports artists, collectives and arts organizations up to $5,000 per applicant. The ideation phase does not have to result in an artistic product but must support exploratory concept development or capacity-building practices that may help conceive a future art project. These may include Cultural Hotspot SPARK and Signature Projects. The Ignite Ideation Funding window opens in spring 2024.