Jean A. Chalmers Fund for the Crafts



1 March
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Prize Amount

$5,000 - $7,000

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Get Eligibility Information
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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, including people with disabilities.

Please refer to the complete Program Guidelines [PDF, 663.4 KB].

Program Description

Each year, an amount is available to the Canada Council for the Arts to support special initiatives in the Canadian crafts community. Awarded through the Jean A. Chalmers Fund for the Crafts, this sum represents the income from an endowment of $500,000 made to the Canada Council by the late Mrs. Chalmers in 1985.

The Chalmers Fund enables the Visual Arts Section to assist non-profit, Canadian visual arts organizations and fine crafts professionals to undertake projects that contribute to the advancement and understanding of the fine crafts in Canada. The program provides partial funding for one-time projects through three program components:

  • Research and Policy Development Assistance (this component is open to organizations and individuals)
  • Special Project Assistance (open to organizations)
  • Pre-publication Assistance (open to organizations).

Candidates may apply to only ONE of the above components per deadline.

Program Objectives

The objective of the program is to strengthen the discourse and knowledge of contemporary fine crafts in Canada.

Priority consideration will be given to projects designed to foster a climate of analysis, evaluation and dialogue.


1 March

If this date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.

Prize Amount

There are no minimum or maximum amounts that may be requested or received through this program. Generally, grants will vary between $5,000 and $7,000, according to the requests received and the peer assessment committee’s evaluations. Successful applicants may or may not be awarded the full amount requested.


Applicant Eligibility

Eligible organizations

Incorporated, non-profit Canadian visual arts and fine craft organizations, art museums, public art galleries, exhibition centres, artist-run centres, university art departments, art colleges, fine crafts colleges, service organizations and professional associations with a commitment to the professional fine crafts communities in Canada are eligible to apply.

Eligible arts professionals

Individual fine crafts professionals (for example, artists, curators, critics and writers) may apply to the Research and Policy Development Assistance component only. They must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Applicants do not need to be living in Canada when they apply.

They must also meet the Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, which is an artist who:

  • has completed his or her basic training (university or college graduation or the equivalent in specialized training, such as two or three years of self-directed study or apprenticeships)
  • is recognized as such by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic discipline)
  • is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if feasible financially.
  • at least three publications to their credit (critics)
  • have produced at least three exhibitions or publications (curators).

Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee that you will receive a grant.

To meet the definition of a professional contemporary fine craft artist or curator, you must also have:

  • produced an independent body of work
  • had at least three public presentations of work in a professional fine craft context over a three year period
  • maintained an independent professional practice for at least three years.


Project Eligibility

Research and Policy Development Assistance

Grants from this component contribute to the direct costs of investigating or documenting historical or contemporary developments in the fine crafts, as well as issues that arise from the practice of the art form. Institutions may also apply for funds to engage the services of short-term development consultant curators, to develop acquisition policies and exhibition programs for contemporary fine crafts.

Special Project Assistance

Special Project Assistance grants contribute to the direct costs of conferences, seminars, symposiums, lecture series and artists’ workshops designed to advance knowledge about and understanding of crafts in Canada.

Pre-publication Assistance

These grants contribute to the pre-printing costs of publications on the fine crafts. Project examples include anthologies, monographs or the results of research, which should be intended for national or international distribution. Assistance is also available for special issues of Canadian craft periodicals. Organizations may apply for support in collaboration with a publisher or independently. Proposals for the use of film, videos, audio, CD-ROMs or the Internet to address contemporary issues in the fine crafts may also be submitted.

Further Information

José Niaison, Program Officer
Visual Arts Section

1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 5269

TTY: 1-866-585-5559