General eligibility

Professional Artists

Many grant programs are for individual artists. The most common types of grants for individuals are:

  • creation/production
  • professional development
  • residency
  • travel

Generally you must be a professional artist and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada (as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada) to apply.

A professional artist is someone who:

  • has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions),
  • is recognized as such by peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), and
  • has a history of public presentation or publication.

If you receive a grant, you will be required to devote a substantial portion of your time to your program of work or activity, as outlined in your application.

Arts Collectives, Companies and other Canadian, Non-Profit Arts Organizations

Grants offered include:

  • operating funds
  • organizational development assistance
  • project assistance
  • presenting and dissemination assistance

An applicant organization must be staffed by arts professionals who create artistic works, or present them to the Canadian public. Each program has its own eligibility criteria, but examples of eligible organizations are:

  • theatre companies,
  • art museums
  • public galleries
  • artist-run centres
  • dance companies
  • orchestras and
  • film co-operatives.  

Professional publishing houses are also eligible for grant support, through the Writing and Publishing Section

Policy for Established Multidisciplinary Artists

Effective 1 April 2000

An established professional artist who works in more than one discipline, and meets the eligibility criteria as an established artist in both disciplines, may apply to two different Grants to Professional Artists programs (for creation) per fiscal year (1 April to 31 March). The artist must, however, accept or refuse the first grant offered by the Canada Council within two weeks of the date of the grant notification. If the first grant offered is accepted, the artist’s other application will be withdrawn from any subsequent competition in that fiscal year.

The criteria for the status of established artists is determined by each disciplinary section. Generally, an established artist is someone who is recognized as such by his or her peers, has made a sustained and progressive contribution to the discipline, is nationally or internationally recognized, and is still active in the profession.