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 which in turn contribute significantly to the goals in relation to community capacity, equitable access, well being, diversity, civic participation and civic cohesion. The majority of the City’s cultural grants are administered by the arm’s length Toronto Arts Council. However, the City does provide financial investments in culture via the programs below.

Grants programs identify their specific criteria. They include areas such as:

  • Consistency with the City’s objectives – the activity or outcomes for which funds are sought must support one or more goals of the City of Toronto.
  • Financial Need – the applicant must demonstrate that it does not otherwise have the resources to undertake the activity for which funds are sought.
  • Not-for-Profit Status – the applicant must demonstrate that the activity for which funds are sought will be organized without financial gain for its members or directors.

Major Cultural Organizations

The City provides grants to not-for-profit organizations that play a major role in Toronto’s cultural economy.

Grants to Specialized Collections Museums

These museums with their unique collections are an important feature of Toronto’s cultural sector with the responsibility of interpreting, presenting, and preserving its heritage.

Local Arts Service Organizations

Local Arts Service Organizations (LASOs) support the City of Toronto’s strong neighbourhoods strategy in underserved areas. They provide inclusive opportunities for children and youth and participants from a broad demographic spectrum. There are six LASOs receiving municipal funding

Culture Build Investment Program

The Culture Build Investment Program provides matching funds to assist the City’s not-for-profit cultural sector with funding for state-of-good-repair and minor capital projects for their facilities.

StreetART Toronto

StART‘s mission is to revitalize and engage communities through street and mural art. StART provides up to $50,000 in funding for partnership projects.

The City provides grants to not-for-profit organizations which play a major role in Toronto’s cultural economy. In 2017, these organizations had a combined attendance of more than 10.5 million residents and visitors to the city, demonstrating significant impact on Toronto’s reputation as a global cultural destination.

Major Cultural Organizations demonstrate a consistent level of professional standards, artistic excellence, international achievement, a diverse funding base and board accountability. All recipients are subject to the City of Toronto’s Grants Policy.

In 2015, revisions were made to the Major Cultural Organizations program in order to increase the clarity and transparency of the program guidelines. The program changes established three program streams: Producers & Curators, Cultural Support & Infrastructure and Festivals and revised the eligibility and assessment criteria.

Grants to Major Cultural Organizations for 2018:

  Organization   Amount
  Art Gallery of Ontario    $684,000
  Canada’s National Ballet School    $225,000
  Canadian Opera Company    $1,500,000
  Festival Management Committee (Toronto Caribbean Carnival)    $625,000
  Harbourfront  Centre   $1,315,500
  National Ballet   $1,390,000
  Pride Toronto    $260,000
  Toronto Artscape Inc.    $415,000
  Toronto Festival of Arts, Culture and Creativity (Luminato)    $400,000
  Toronto International Film Festival Group    $1,195,735
  Toronto Symphony Orchestra     $1,220,000
  Total    $9,230235

Toronto’s multi-faceted museum sector gives meaning to our history, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to discover the world through unique collections and accessible programming.

Grants to Specialized Collections Museums allocations for 2018:

  Organization Amount
  Design Exchange   $200,000
  Gardiner Museum   $158,370
  Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA Toronto)   $324,478
  Total   $682,848

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 geographic areas outside the core. They provide inclusive and affordable opportunities for local residents, artists, and arts organizations, with a focus on underserved children, youth, and participants from a broad demographic spectrum. There are six LASOs receiving municipal funding:

The LASOs have been successful in reaching out to populations that otherwise would not have participated in the various arts opportunities they offer. LASOs are important building blocks for healthy and cohesive communities providing hubs for community arts programs. 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 seek partnership opportunities amongst themselves and with wide-ranging partners, utilizing existing resources and talent in Toronto to design, develop, facilitate and implement relevant arts services and programs.

LASO grant allocations for 2018:

  Organization   Funding Allocation
  Arts Etobicoke   $424,295
  Lakeshore Arts   $295,430
  Scarborough Arts   $260,000
  UrbanArts Community Arts   $295,435
  East End Arts   $171,000
  North York Arts   $259,240
  Total   $1,705,400

Fund Overview

Deadline: October 12, 2018

Toronto has been an important site for gathering, trading and celebration for Indigenous people for thousands of years. It is the treaty territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit and its land and waters have been stewarded by the Haudenosaunee, the Huron Wendat and the Anishinaabe. Toronto continues to be home to many diverse Indigenous peoples, whose artistic and creative contributions are vital to the fabric of the city. The City of Toronto recognizes the rich Indigenous history of this land, and our responsibility in fostering strong relations between the municipality and the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who call Toronto home.

The City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division is launching a new fund that will support 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.

Key Goals of the Fund

  1. Leverage partnerships to create new economic opportunities, audiences and markets for Indigenous-led arts and culture projects;
  2. Encourage institutional access and exchange for Indigenous artists and Indigenous arts and culture leaders and professionals;
  3. Foster opportunities for new relationships, ideas, dialogue and exchange around Indigenous arts and culture, which includes both traditional and contemporary forms of expression;
  4. Support opportunities for Indigenous placemaking, creative entrepreneurship, and uses of new technologies and approaches in the arts and culture realm.
The Fund supports projects or activities including but not limited to:
  • Residencies, including but not limited to technical or skills-based professional development, artistic exchange, research-based, Elder-in-Residence;
  • Audience outreach and market development;
  • Networking, knowledge sharing, gathering and exchange to promote Indigenous arts and culture;
  • Development of creative entrepreneurship opportunities for Indigenous arts and culture;
  • Research and development in institutional archives for a larger project, working in collaboration with the institution to exchange knowledge about their archival material: New economic and collaborative opportunities for Indigenous people created through arts and culture presentations.
General Eligibility
  • The lead applicant must be an Indigenous (Status or Non-Status First Nation, Inuit, Métis) individual, group, collective or organization;
  • Partners can be Indigenous or non-Indigenous groups, collectives or organizations;
  • Both applicants and partners must be Toronto-based. Applicants must reside in the City of Toronto for six months plus one day per year for the year immediately prior to the application deadline (M postal code). A PO box is not an eligible address;
  • The majority of activities must take place in Toronto;
  • Partners must have a Toronto office or physical location (M postal code).
  • Partner confirmation is required with a completed partner questionnaire and an in-kind or financial contribution to the project.
Not eligible:
  • For-profit organizations;
  • Students whose project or initiatives are related to their school work;
  • Non-residents of the City of Toronto;
  • Groups, collectives or organizations that are non-Indigenous controlled (50 per cent Indigenous Board, executive staff, and/or membership);
  • Core operating staff salaries and core operating costs of an incorporated non-profit organization.

Funding Streams

The program will have the following two funding streams:

Incubation Stream

Maximum $10,000 per project
Application deadline: October 12, 2018

Open to Indigenous (Status and Non-Status First Nations, Inuit, Métis) people, including:

  • Individual artists, arts and culture leaders and professionals;
  • Groups and collectives;
  • Non-profit Indigenous organizations

Incubation funding will support the development of new partnerships, first-time initiatives, project research or pilot phases. This funding may support incubation or development activities that will allow eligible applicants to apply later for a larger amount through the Activation Stream at a later deadline.

Eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  • Incubation or development phases of new partnerships for Indigenous arts and culture presentations, gatherings, creative collaborations and exchanges that have the potential for economic benefits, transformative impact and/or increased visibility;
  • Short-term or pilot residency programs, including artistic, knowledge-sharing, business, creative, technical or skills-based development;
  • Market research, impact studies, development of best practices and protocols that will support the advancement of Indigenous arts and culture;
  • Documenting and sharing Indigenous perspectives, ways of life in an environment of mutual exchange and reciprocity;
  • Conducting research into traditional or historical practices in the context of contemporary expressions of art and culture.

Examples of types of projects that may be funded in this stream:

  • An emerging arts professional, such as a lighting, sound, or costume designer, is brought on to support a live production and learn new skills, receiving mentorship from experienced technical staff in the partner organization;
  • An organization works with an Elder-in-Residence to share knowledge and expertise with staff and community members;
  • A textile designer researches museum archives to gain inspiration and make new connections between traditional methodologies and contemporary practice, exchanging knowledge with museum staff;
  • An artist partners with an educational institution to explore and collaborate on new models for sharing Indigenous histories and cultures in the classroom.
Activation Stream

Maximum $30,000 per project

Open to Indigenous (Status and Non-Status First Nations, Inuit, Métis) people, including:

  • Individual artists, arts and culture leaders and professionals;
  • Groups and collectives;
  • Non-profit Indigenous organizations

Activation funding will support projects and initiatives that have the potential to spark lasting impact and opportunities for Indigenous-led arts and culture projects in Toronto. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the potential for long-term relationship building between the partners, and ongoing impact on the arts and culture landscape in Toronto.

Eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  • Projects that create economic or market development opportunities for Indigenous artists, arts leaders and professionals, and Indigenous creative enterprises;
  • Knowledge sharing and exchange;
  • Arts and culture presentations, exhibitions, gatherings, creative collaborations that demonstrate clear economic benefits, transformative impact, and/or new opportunities for visibility.

Examples of types of projects that may be funded in this stream:

  • A new festival that supports Indigenous creative entrepreneurs is launched or enhanced;
  • An artist-in-residence works with a performing arts institution to create a new engagement opportunity through a partnership that bridges new audiences or communities;
  • An organization hosts an artist-in-residence to explore new technologies in their work, and expertise is exchanged between the artist and staff;
  • A Toronto-based Indigenous organization partners with a market researcher to track the impact of their work.

Not eligible:

  • Students whose project or initiatives are related to their school work;
  • Non-residents of Toronto;
  • Organizations whose central office is located outside of Toronto;
  • For-profit organizations are not eligible as applicants, but they are eligible as partners;
  • Groups, collectives or organizations that are non-Indigenous controlled (less than 50 per cent Indigenous board, executive staff, and/or membership);
  • Projects that take place outside the City of Toronto.

General Program Guidelines

Please read before filling out the application form.

Submission

Completed application forms for the City of Toronto Indigenous Arts and Culture Partnerships Program, Incubation Stream and Activation Stream, are due on Friday, October 12, 2018, no later than 5 p.m. Late applications will not be accepted.

To request application forms please contact:
Konrad.Skorupa@toronto.ca
Cultural Development Officer
City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

All questions prior to the application deadline may be directed by email to:
indigenousculturefund@toronto.ca

Definitions

Indigenous for the purpose of this program is defined as Status and Non-Status First Nations, Inuit or Métis people. This funding is open to Indigenous residents of the City of Toronto.

Groups and Collectives are defined as consisting of more than two people, of whom at least 50 per cent who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis and live in Toronto. The group or collective must who have a bank account in the name of their name in order to receive funding from the City of Toronto in this program.

Non-profit Indigenous Organizations are defined as an incorporated non-profit with 51 per cent of board members and key leadership staff (Executive Director, Finance Director, Artistic Director) who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis people.

Partners may be Indigenous or non-Indigenous, for-profit or non-profit arts, cultural or other types of organizations, groups or collectives. They do not receive direct funding from the City of Toronto through this program, and are expected to contribute to the project through financial or in-kind support which may include time, training, mentorship, or expertise.

Economic Benefits may include creating access to paid work opportunities; promoting a field of practice where there is a lack of representation or opportunity for Indigenous people; creating opportunities for buyers or marketplace to access work; or building new audiences for Indigenous creative work.

Residencies may include arts and culture creation and presentation; business and administration; technical skills development including for designers, production crew, and creative back-end roles; research and development; learning and exchange.

Culture in this context refers to Indigenous ways of life, knowledge and worldviews, and includes artistic and cultural expressions that are traditional and/or contemporary.

Notification

All applicants will be notified of the assessment results in December, 2018. Successful applicants will be required to submit:

  • Letter of Agreement with the City of Toronto
  • Memo of Understanding with Partner
  • Declaration of Compliance with City’s Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy (to be signed by applicant and partner)

Successful applicants will receive 90 per cent of the funding amount on completion of the required documents. The final 10 per cent will be released on delivery of a final report on project completion.

Applicants have a maximum of two years from the notification date to complete their projects. Applicants cannot apply for the program again until a final report is submitted.

The Culture Build Investment Program provides matching funds to assist the City’s not-for-profit cultural sector with funding for state-of-good-repair and minor capital projects for their facilities.

Applicants to the Culture Build Investment Program must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. incorporated as a not-for-profit organization;
  2. located in the City of Toronto;
  3. have been in existence for a minimum of three years;
  4.   own the facility or have at least five years remaining on their current lease at the time of applying to the program; and
  5. are not City-owned facilities.

Funding for feasibility studies may be provided to those organizations that meet the existing eligibility criteria. The program does not support regular building maintenance costs and cost of purchasing or building a facility, and the maximum allocation available through the Culture Build Investment Program is $100,000.

In all cases, the City’s grant will not exceed 50 percent of total capital costs with matching funds coming from other levels of government, private sector and/or in-kind contributions.

Information about the Culture Build Investment Program is available by contacting Lori Martin at 416-392-5225 lmartin2@toronto.ca.

Culture Build Grant allocations for 2018:

Organization Funding Allocation
  Canadian Music Centre   $50,000
  Caribbean Tales Inc.   $3,884
  Crows Theatre   $100,000
  Liaison of Independent Filmakers of Toronto (LIFT)   $19,000
  Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre   $44,224
  Open Studio   $50,000
  Riverdale Immigrant Women Enterprises   $19,892
  Toronto Artscape Inc.   $43,000
  Total   $330,000

StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. 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 our Partnership Grants Program.