Government of Ontario, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation (OCAF) (2022)

Description:

The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund is an investment fund to assist arts, cultural and heritage organizations to develop, promote and present one-off or first time events, or a significant expansion of existing activity, that are designed to attract new tourists and visitors to cultural events in communities across Ontario. The main two objectives are: attract new tourists to the region, and increase the earned revenue capability of the applicant organization.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is as follows:

  1. 33% of total project costs (to a maximum of 3 times the private sector sponsorships and donations) for project expenses of more than $1 million.
  2. 50% of total project costs (to a maximum of 5 times private sector sponsorships and donations) for project expenses between $100,000 and $1 million.
  3. up to 66% of total project costs for project expenses of less than $100,000; the same way funding will apply for all projects from Northern Ontario or projects coming from cities and municipal regions of less than 100,000 inhabitants.

Funding will take the form of a partially repayable loan. The maximum repayment levels range from 30% to 50% of the OCAF investment and depend on the size of your organization and where it’s located.

Eligibility:

Applicant must:

  • an incorporated Ontario-based, not-for-profit and/or charitable professional arts, heritage or cultural organization or an Ontario municipality or municipal agency that is undertaking a major project in the arts or heritage sector that has been in existence for at least one year;
  • in compliance with the legal financial reporting requirements under the Canada Corporations Act or the Corporations Act of Ontario, depending on their incorporation jurisdiction. 

To be eligible, projects must meet all of the following criteria:

  • must be distinct from ongoing programming or activity (this can be either a new event or a significant expansion or enhancement to existing programming);
  • must represent the single largest new programming initiative in the applicant’s business plan for that year;
  • must run for a fixed or limited period of time;
  • must have a marketing plan targeting new tourists to the community;
  • must anticipate that at least 10% of the project total revenues are secured from the private sector AND at least 40% of total revenues are achieved through the project’s earned revenue. The OCAF Board understands that some of the biggest tourist draws are free or low admission festivals and events and will consider applications which do not meet the 40% earned revenue criteria. These applications must demonstrate that earned revenue combined with private sector revenue represents at least 50% of total revenue.
  • must demonstrate clearly the capability of repayment to OCAF and with an aim to generate a surplus for the applicant;
  • The Board typically considers projects with total attendance figures of at least 1,000 in rural areas and 10,000 in large urban centres. Special consideration will be given to projects with attendance between 7,500 and 10,000 in large urban centres or between 750 and 1,000 in rural and northern areas if there is a strong case for tourism potential.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must provide: Not-for-profit organizations incorporated under the Corporations Act of Ontario must provide:

  1. audited financial statements as part of their application if their annual revenues are over $100,000;
  2. the extraordinary resolution waiving the requirement to provide an audit if their annual revenues are under $100,000 and if the members of their corporation passed such a resolution OR audited financial statements if they did not passed such a resolution.

Not-for-profit organizations incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act must:

  1. provide audited financial statements as part of their application if their annual revenues are over $250,000;
  2. provide the extraordinary resolution to require a review engagement instead if their annual revenues are over $50,000 and up to $250,000 and if the members of their corporation pass such a resolution OR audited financial statements if they did not passed such a resolution.
  3. conduct review engagement if their annual revenues are $50,000 or less.

Other Things to Note:

The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund is a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.
There are six application deadlines for Stage 2 each year.

  1. Stage 1 applications may be submitted anytime.
  2. We are open to relaxing these timelines in light of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 health crisis. Please contact Thomas Vaughan at tvaughan@ocaf.ca to discuss the eligibility of your event. 

Testimonials: 

https://youtu.be/NSaT6uNAVSQ

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