Developmental Support to Aboriginal Theatre Organizations



No deadline in 2016.

Grant Amount

$5,000 - $25,000

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The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from diverse Aboriginal, cultural and regional communities, and from people with disabilities.

Please refer to the complete Program Guidelines [PDF, 149 KB].

Program Description

This program provides developmental support to Aboriginal theatre organizations. Developmental support grants from this program contribute toward the costs of outreach, production of new theatre works, professional development of Aboriginal theatre artists and organizations, administration, marketing and publicity, travel and other activities.

Aboriginal organizations and artists may also be eligible to apply for other programs within the Theatre Section such as Theatre Production Project Grants and Grants to Theatre Artists.

This program provides two types of grants: one for established organizations and the other for emerging organizations.


Activities normally funded through this program will be eligible in the New Funding Model, starting April 1, 2017.

Grant Amount

The level of assistance that your organization can receive from this program is from $5,000 to $25,000. Your organization might not be awarded the full amount requested.


For this program, the term “organization” includes companies, collectives and ad hoc groups. A collective is a professional, non-incorporated group that has been together for at least two years with the same core membership. An ad hoc group is one that has been formed for the specific purpose of creating a theatre work.

To apply to this program, your organization must be an Aboriginal-directed Canadian professional theatre organization (in other words, Aboriginal people must make up a majority of the organization’s leadership). Aboriginal peoples include First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. In the Aboriginal tradition, elders, storytellers, dancers, singers and other artists may participate in the creation of theatre works.

Your organization must also meet the following requirements: 

  • It must be an emerging or established organization, as defined below.
  • The core members of collectives and ad hoc groups must be Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and must be professional artists.
  • Incorporated organizations must be a non-profit and must pay artists’ fees. They must also have produced a body of work that includes a professional production.

Emerging organizations

Aboriginal theatre organizations are considered to be emerging if they can demonstrate fewer than five years of sustained activity and a commitment to professional artists.

Established organizations

Aboriginal theatre organizations are considered to be established if they can demonstrate five or more years of sustained activity.

The Canada Council defines a professional artist as someone who:

  • has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions)
  • is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)
  • is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if possible financially
  • has a history of public presentation.

Further Information

Keith Barker
Program Officer
Theatre Section

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or (613) 566-4414, ext. 5488
TTY: 1-866-585-5559