City of Toronto grant programs are a strategic tool used to achieve the City’s social, economic and cultural goals. These funding programs represent a form of partnership with community-based organizations that contribute significantly to the goals in relation to community capacity, equitable access, well-being, diversity, civic participation and civic cohesion.
Grants programs identify their specific criteria. They include areas such as:
The majority of the City’s cultural grants are administered by the arm’s length Toronto Arts Council; however, the City provides financial investments in culture via the programs below.
The CFFP advances the City’s access, equity and inclusion goals, including reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The program provides financial support to recurring cultural festivals whose programming supports city-building, focuses on engaging with the people of Toronto, serves Toronto residents across the city, and promotes opportunities for emerging artists, Indigenous artists, and artists from other groups. A significant programming component must be free to the public.
The decision to fund all or part of an applicant’s request will depend on the festival’s alignment with City of Toronto’s current strategic priorities, assessment criteria and overall demand for funds in the program.
For the purpose of this program, a “cultural festival” is defined as a concentrated collection of arts and cultural activities with a common theme, presented over a minimum of a one-day period and no longer than one month. A festival may be devoted to one or more artistic discipline and be produced annually or once every two years. The cultural festival is primarily free to the public, takes place in the public realm, has general appeal and a public profile.
Cultural festival programming includes performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, interdisciplinary arts, craft, design and expressions of cultural identity.
The public realm is defined as the publicly owned places and spaces that belong to and are accessible by everyone. These can include municipal streets, lanes, squares, plazas, sidewalks, trails, parks, open spaces, waterfronts and conservation areas.
“Indigenous-led organizations” are broadly defined as organizations with a mandate to serve Indigenous communities, operate under Indigenous governance models, have executive and senior management who identify as Indigenous, are primarily staffed by Indigenous community members and/or follow an Indigenous service model.
“Equity deserving groups” include women, racialized groups, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, undocumented individuals, 2SLGBTQ+ people, people of low income and other groups the City identifies as historically underrepresented.
Funding is available through three program funding streams:
To be eligible, applicants must have a head office in the City of Toronto (except for Band Councils, Tribal Councils or other Indigenous governments) and/or be one of the following:
More detail is available in the downloadable program guidelines.
Eligible organizations must submit their application on the City of Toronto’s Grants, Rebates and Incentives portal (TGRIP). More detail is available in the downloadable TGRIP User Guide. Please read and then register and set up your account.
Please note that an organization can receive only one grant from the CFFP per calendar year.
If you would like more information, please email CFFP@toronto.ca.
In 2018, the City of Toronto launched a new fund that supports partnerships and collaborations that create new opportunities and visibility for Indigenous-led arts and culture.
The aim of the fund is to spark new relationships between Indigenous artists, arts and culture leaders and professionals, and potential partners at both the grassroots and institutional levels.
Learn more about the Indigenous Arts & Culture Partnerships Fund.
Local Arts Service Organizations (LASOs) support the City of Toronto’s Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy in underserved geographic areas as well as the 2018-2022 Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy of inclusion and equity in neighbourhoods outside the core. They provide inclusive and affordable opportunities community members to engage with arts and culture programming and events. As service organizations, the LASOs provide artists and organizations with learning, professional development, exhibition, performance and employment opportunities, as well as project support. The LASOs operate from an inclusive, anti-oppressive framework and are committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. There are six LASOs receiving municipal funding:
LASOs are important building blocks for healthy and cohesive communities providing hubs for community arts programs, services and engagement. As anchor community arts organizations in Toronto, they promote the arts at the local level, making culture a part of the daily fabric of community living.
Each LASO is as unique as the community it serves, however, each organization shares the common goal of making a range of arts broadly accessible and affordable. To maximize impact, wherever possible, these organizations actively collaborate and seek partnerships with wide-ranging organizations, utilizing existing resources and talent in Toronto to design, develop, facilitate and implement relevant arts services and programs.
|UrbanArts Community Arts||$315,435|
|East End Arts||$216,453|
|North York Arts||$287,240|
StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Since initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART has been successful in reducing graffiti vandalism and replacing it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art. Learn more about the Partnership Grants Program.
The Youth Cultural Incubators Stabilization Initiative (YCISI) focuses on enhancing the growth, capacity and long-term sustainability of Toronto’s small and mid-sized youth-serving or youth-led arts organizations. Established in 2019 as a three-year pilot, YCISI provided support to six organizations: HXOUSE, Manifesto, Nia Centre for the Arts, RISE, The Remix Project and Unity. In the next phase, nine mentee organizations will be supported by up to nine mentor organizations to focus on capacity-building and sustainability. Learn more about YCISI Mentor and YCISI Mentee programs.
The Cultural Organization Operating Partnership (COOP) program was created by City Council in May 2023. The program provides operating support to eight not-for-profit cultural organizations with strong operational and governance links to the City of Toronto.
Under the COOP program, the City develops individual, customized partnership and funding agreements for each recipient with criteria and objectives that reflect the organization’s unique role in the cultural ecosystem. Examples of criteria include providing year-round, accessible public programming; ensuring diversity and representation in programming and administrative leadership; supporting cultural tourism; or providing affordable spaces for other artists or arts organizations. Recipients of funding through the COOP program are not eligible to receive funding from Toronto Arts Council programs.
|Aga Khan Museum||$175,000|
|Art Gallery of Ontario||$660,000|
|Canada’s National Ballet School||$210,000|
|Toronto International Film Festival Inc.||$1,195,735|