You read that right – there are 130 artist grants, loans and more for artistic professionals and arts and culture-based corporations and non-profits!
While most of the programs are grants, there are loans, wage subsidies, investment programs, and tax credits you could pile onto those grant programs to save yourself even more money and realize your dream, purpose, or goal.
It doesn’t matter what your discipline, there’s a little bit of everything, from music to digital gaming to books, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in to read through and see how many of these programs you can make work for you.
What is an Artist Grant?
The Government of Canada defines a grant as:
a transfer payment subject to pre-established eligibility and other entitlement criteria. A grant is not subject to being accounted for by a recipient nor normally subject to audit by the department. The recipient may be required to report on results achieved.
So, an artist grant is:
What Can Artist Grants Be Used For?
Artist grants can be used to pay for many aspects of starting or running a business. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:
And that’s just a sample! See the section below with a complete list of artist grants available.
How Much Grant Money Can I Get for My Arts-Based Business?
In our database we currently have grants ranging from $3,000 to $100,000.
Am I Eligible for an Artist Grant? Common Eligibility Criteria
Two of the most common questions we get asked at Ontario Business Grants are “Am I eligible?” and “How do I qualify?”.
We analyzed the artist grants in our grants database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:
Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.
Artist Grants for Ontario: Current Grants Available
In the table below we list the grants currently available to Ontario artist entrepreneurs.
To learn more about each program, just click the program name and you’ll be taken to a web page that provides detailed information on the program, including eligibility, the dollar amount of the program, and how to apply for the grant:
Grants for Ontario Artist Entrepreneurs
How to Apply for Artist Business Grants: Follow These 6 Steps
While the application steps for artist grant programs vary, here are some common steps:
- Research all options: there are many funding programs for various purposes, industries, and demographic groups. It’s important to find out what is available to boost your chances of getting a grant.
- Zero in on grants that align with your business goals: When it comes to deciding whether to apply for a grant, eligibility is the most important factor. Focusing on grant programs that you’re most likely to win will save time and effort.
- Reach out to the grant agencies: The people giving out the money understand the requirements best. To get a clearer understanding of your chances of winning the grant, reach out to the grant agency.
- Organize your plan: Draft a one-page grant application abstract to be included in your plan for the grant application.
- Gather your documents: You’ll need a variety of documents when applying for a grant. Prepare these documents ahead of time for submission to the grant agency.
- Submit an exceptional application: Make sure you follow all grant application requirements, so your application isn’t immediately rejected.
- Go beyond grants: There are many other types of funding available to businesses besides grants, including low-interest loans, wage subsidies, tax incentives, business competitions, start-up incubators and accelerators, crowdfunding, and many more.
Other Types of Funding for Artists Entrepreneurs
Our goal is for this guide to be a complete source of funding information for Arts-based businesses. So, in this section you’ll find all the other money programs (besides grants) that are available to Artist entrepreneurs:
There are a number of loans available for artist entrepreneurs, provided largely by non-profit organizations. In the table below you’ll find a sample of the loans available:
Loans for Artist Entrepreneurs
A subsidy is a type of financial assistance usually provided by the government to promote a social good or an economic policy. Wage subsidies are the most common subsidies.
In the table below you’ll find the subsidies currently available for artist entrepreneurs:
Subsidies for Artist Entrepreneurs
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|FACTOR - Comprehensive Artist - Tour Support||$35000||Subsidy|
|FACTOR - Comprehensive Artist - Showcase||$7500||Subsidy|
|EURIMAGES – European Cinema Support Fund and Telefilm Canada - Support for Co-Production||no fixed amount||Loan, Subsidy|
|FACTOR - Marketing and Promotion for Non- FACTOR-Funded Sound Recordings - Tour Support||no fixed amount||Subsidy|
|FACTOR - Marketing and Promotion for Non- FACTOR-Funded Sound Recordings - Showcase||$7500||Subsidy|
|Career Launcher Digital Tech Internships (2022)||$28000.00||Wage Subsidy|
A tax credit reduces the tax that a business pays on its taxable income. Below is a sample of the tax credits available:
Tax Credits for Artist Businesses
An investment is a contribution of funds to a business in exchange for equity (i.e., ownership in the business).
Investments are typically made by angel investors, venture capitalists, and private equity organizations, but in some cases federal government organizations (such as the Business Development Bank of Canada) also makes equity investments in businesses.
In the table below you’ll find some investment programs currently available:
Investment Programs for Artist Businesses
A business competition is a contest where entrepreneurs and start-ups present their business plans to a panel of judges for the chance to win prizes and/or funding. These contests are typically organized by universities, government agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations.
In the table below you’ll find business competitions currently available:
Business Competitions/Contests for Artist Businesses
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|Haltech Regional Innovation Centre – Hi5 Pitch Competition||$ 5000.00||Competition|
A business accelerator is a program that helps start-up companies grow and scale their businesses quickly by providing mentorship, training, and resources. Accelerators are typically run by experienced entrepreneurs and investors.
In the table below you’ll find some business accelerator programs currently available:
Business Accelerators for Artist Businesses
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|Canada Media Fund - Experimental Stream - Accelerator Partnership Program||$30000||Accelerator, Grant|
In-kind support for businesses typically involves services that are provided at no charge to businesses (usually start-ups) and are often provided by non-profit and government-affiliated organizations.
In-kind support includes services ranging from free office space to mentorship to networking and introductions to potential investors.
In the table below you’ll find some in-kind support programs currently available:
In-Kind Support for Artist Businesses
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) – ShopHERE||N/A||In-Kind Support|
|TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario – London Innovation Challenge||$40000||Grant, In-Kind Support|
|Haltech Regional Innovation Centre – ““Start Me Up!”||Not Applicable||In-Kind Support|
Best Artist Business Grants, Subsidies & More
While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best grants, subsidies & more for Artist entrepreneurs:
Best Artist Government Grants
Canada Council for the Arts – Concept to Realization Component of Explore and Create: Project and Composite Grants
The Concept to Realization component of Explore and Create supports the full creative cycle– from the initial idea through to presentation, at any stage of the creative continuum. Canadian artists, artistic groups and arts organizations can apply to create projects intended for presentation. Grants provide support for artistic research, creation, project development, remounts, production post-production and presentation.
Canada Council for the Arts – Sector Innovation and Development: Project Grants Component of Supporting Artistic Practice
The Sector Innovation and Development component of Supporting Artistic Practice provides grants to projects by Canadian and First Nations, Inuit and Métis arts professionals, cultural connectors, groups, and organizations. These projects must grow and improve the arts sector
Canada Council for the Arts – Short-Term Projects Component of Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples
The Short-Term Projects component of Creating, Knowing and Sharing provides support to First Nations, Inuit and Métis professional and aspiring artists, cultural carriers, arts/cultural professionals, groups, collectives and arts/culture organizations for any combination of eligible Creating, Knowing and Sharing activities for projects lasting up to 12 months.
Ontario Arts Council (OAC) – Northern Arts Projects
The Northern Arts Projects program supports the creation, production and presentation of artwork; professional development; and community arts engagement initiatives that benefit communities in Northern Ontario. The program has four categories:
Ontario Arts Council (OAC) – Touring Projects
The Touring Projects program supports Ontario-based professional artists/curators, ad hoc groups/collectives and arts organizations to tour performances, exhibitions, screenings and readings for public audiences within Ontario, nationally and internationally. The work(s) being toured must be created and performed by professional artists.
Best Artist Non-profit Grants
FACTOR – Comprehensive Artist – Sound Recording
Comprehensive Artist is a full-length sound recording program accessible to artists rated 3 and eligible record labels. This program funds a portion of the cost of production or acquisition of an original full-length sound recording and contributes to the marketing and promotion of that Sound Recording under the Marketing, Tour Support, Showcase, Video and Radio Marketing components.
Funding under the Sound Recording component must always be used to produce a qualifying album, and under some programs, to license an already produced but unreleased qualifying album.
FACTOR – Comprehensive Artist – Marketing
Funding under the Marketing component can be used to support a range of activities in the marketing and promotion of a qualifying album. FACTOR-funded full-length sound recordings are qualifying albums.
FACTOR – Marketing and Promotion for Non- FACTOR-Funded Sound Recordings – Marketing
The Marketing component funding supports a range of activities in the marketing and promotion of a qualifying album. FACTOR-funded full-length sound recordings are qualifying albums.
Musicaction – International Marketing: Career Development in a Target Market
The Career Development in a Target Market component aims to support the efforts made to develop an artist’s career by supporting promotional activities and shows, when the artist or the sound recording, in support of the project, is linked with less a recognized professional structure in the target market.
Musicaction – Music Video
The Music Video program’s objective is the production of music videos aimed at optimizing the offer and promotion of Canadian musical content. It is intended for all Canadian companies and artists linked to a recognized distributor who wishes to produce a music video for a piece in French vocal music or other music (world music, jazz, instrumental and classical).
Musicaction – Musical Showcases: National Showcase Component
The National Showcase component aims to support artists from the Canadian Francophonie, from Francophone minority communities, selected by an event in order to present an official paid or unpaid showcase in front of professionals.
SOCAN Foundation – Work Commissioning Assistance Grant
The Work Commissioning Assistance Grant is provided to assist individuals, corporations, performers, ensembles, and presenters to commission SOCAN members to create new works in all genres of music.
Best Non-Profit Subsidies for Artist Entrepreneurs
FACTOR – Marketing and Promotion for Non- FACTOR-Funded Sound Recordings – Tour Support
Funding under the Tour Support component assists Canadian artists by subsidizing a portion of the cost of touring in Canada and abroad.
The Bottom Line
There’s a plethora of financial support out there for arts and cultural organizations and individuals. You can be a for-profit corporation, a non-profit or charity, or professional artist, municipality, or group. The options are almost endless!
Whether you need to develop a project or product, market it, introduce it to the public at home or abroad, research business opportunities, or more, you can find a funding program to help you. You’ll even find plenty of tax credits.
And the best part? Depending on your purpose, you can even look around at some of the general funding programs for businesses and put together a bundle of funding to help you realize your artistic goals.
So go ahead, practice your art, bring some beauty, understanding, and compassion to the world, and get some money for doing it.