Theatre Touring and Special Initiatives Program



1 December, 2016
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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, 427.3 KB].

Program Description

The Theatre Touring and Special Initiatives Program provides assistance to organizations that serve and reinforce Canada’s theatre touring and presenting infrastructure and contribute to the development of increasingly appreciative and knowledgeable audiences for theatre in Canada.

There are two components to this program:

  • Touring in Canada Grants
    a) Production Touring
    b) Festival Hosting

  • Special Initiatives Grants

Touring in Canada Grants

This component is for Canadian professional theatre companies (including collectives and ad hoc groups) and Canadian theatre festivals. Production Touring refers to tours of Canadian productions within Canada. These applicants must fill out the application form pages for Production Touring. Festival Hosting refers to Canadian theatre festivals presenting Canadian theatre works. These applicants must fill out the application form pages for Festival Hosting.

Special Initiatives Grants

This component provides assistance to Canadian professional theatre organizations for special initiatives that serve the theatre touring or presenting community at large.


1 December, 2016: (generally, for projects taking place after the following March)

Grant Amount

There are no minimum or maximum amounts that may be requested or received through this program. Funding is dependent on the volume and nature of the requests and the availability of funds. Applicants might not receive the full grant amount requested, depending on the number of requests submitted to the competition and the peer assessment committee’s evaluation.

Special Initiative Grants will not exceed 50 percent of the proposed project’s expenses.

These grants cannot be used to fund activities that occurred before this program deadline.


To be eligible to apply, applicants must be Canadian professional theatre companies (including collectives and ad hoc groups) or Canadian theatre festivals. Collectives and ad-hoc groups must be made up of professional artists who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be living in Canada when they apply.

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)
  • has a history of public presentation
  • is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if possible financially.

Please note that agents and managers are not eligible to apply to this program.

Specific Eligibility Criteria

Touring in Canada Grants component

At least one performance must be confirmed in writing before the application is submitted.

a) Production Touring

Non-profit professional theatre companies (including collectives and ad hoc groups) who have developed a tour are eligible.

First-run tours to a co-producing partner’s locality are not eligible. Tours where the presenter does not guarantee a fee are not eligible.

Tours within a 400-km radius within the province of origin of the company or groups are not eligible. However, Inter-provincial tours, regardless of distance, are eligible.

b) Festival Hosting

Canadian theatre festivals presenting professional Canadian theatre works are eligible to apply to this program on behalf of companies programmed by the festival. These applicants must fill out the application form pages for Festival Hosting. Companies touring to additional venues than the festival should apply to Production Touringand include the festival booking on their itinerary.

Special Initiatives Grants

Canadian theatre organizations (in general, companies and presenters etc.) are eligible to apply to this component. Both one-time-only and recurring initiatives are eligible. However, if the initiative is recurring, the applicant must justify this recurrence and reapply each year for funding.

Further Information

Nancy Guertin or Craig Holzschuh
Program Officers
Theatre Section

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 5484 or 6007

TTY: 1-866-585-5559