1. Funding
  2. Grants
  3. Guide
  4. Apply to Programs

Apply to Programs

Before you apply

  • Create an account in the portal
  • Read the program component guidelines
  • Review our General List of Ineligible Activities
  • Review the Annual Application Limits
  • Contact the Canada Council if you need to learn more, or if you are a first-time applicant or are considering applying for a core (operating) grant for the first time. You can either use the “request a call” function in the portal or call 1-800-263-5588 ext. 5060.

Preparing your application

Grant applications consist of an online application process, supplementary forms such as appendices or budgets, and sometimes support material (examples of your artistic work or other information about your activities) that are shared with the assessment committee.

While you will complete your application in the portal it is a good idea to gather and update all the support materials you need beforehand. You can preview the application form to see what will be requested.


You may be eligible for Application Assistance to pay someone to help you with the application process if you are experiencing difficulty and self-identify as:

  • an artist who is Deaf, hard of hearing, has a disability or is living with a mental illness
  • a First Nations, Inuit or Métis artist facing language, geographic and/or cultural barriers.

Traveling abroad

If you are planning to travel abroad as part of your project, you can request a letter of introduction identifying you as a Canada Council grant holder. Presenting the letter to the cultural attaché at the Canadian embassy or high commission, to other officials, or to arts organizations may allow access to facilities not available to the general public. Contact your Program Officer to request the letter. Global Affairs Canada may also be able to help you present your project through official channels.

It is advisable to learn about any visa requirements from a consulate or the consular section of the embassy of the country concerned. Contact the host country’s embassy or consulate in Canada, and inform Global Affairs Canada. If you are traveling abroad to countries requiring visas, you should also communicate with individuals and institutions in the host country before traveling abroad.


Because Canada Council grants are considered taxable income, you may wish to receive the funds in the same year(s) that you have expenses related to your activities. You may also request to receive your project grant over multiple years. The Canada Council issues T4A slips to individuals at the appropriate time. If you have any tax-related questions, contact the Canada Revenue Agency or your provincial or territorial revenue department. Read more about income taxes and your grant.

Enhanced review

The Canada Council may randomly or selectively undertake a deep analysis of recipients’ activities after a grant has been awarded. This may include

  • Substantive review of application documentation
  • Site visit
  • External assessment of activities
  • Request for substantiation of financial information provided
  • Audit of an applicant or project

Grant amounts may be reviewed or revised if Enhanced Review has found serious misrepresentation or errors in a profile registration, a grant application or a report.

Tips for your application

  • Preview the application well in advance of any deadlines. For longer answers, you may wish to prepare your content in a word-processing program to help you revise your information and then cut and paste the content into the application form.
  • If you don’t think your project or activity plans will be ready by a deadline, it may be wise to wait until the next deadline. That way, you’ll have a stronger application and won’t use up one of your applications that count towards the Annual Application Limits.
  • Ask someone who has not read your application to read it and give you constructive criticism.
  • Test your support material before you submit it, to ensure that it is formatted correctly.

Application Dos

  • Keep in mind the assessment criteria as you develop your answers.
  • Include hard facts to demonstrate the potential impact of your proposed activities.
  • Check your application for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Provide relevant background information – don’t presume that the peer assessment committee is familiar with your work or the nature and terminology of your field of practice (discipline).
  • Show that your project is well thought-out and can be carried out as planned.
  • Be concise and to the point.

Application Don'ts

  • Don’t claim financial need, ill health or other personal misfortunes as reasons for requesting financial support – what is important is the positive impact of your activities.
  • Don’t write lengthy, vague or general statements about your project.
  • Don’t assume that the peer assessment committee can “read between the lines” or guess at what you’re trying to say.
  • Avoid criticizing others in your application

Submitting Your Application

The Canada Council will notify you through the portal and by e-mail that it has received your application. You may be contacted for further information or clarification, and will also hear back if your application is ineligible.


Your application will be assessed by a committee composed of either fellow artists and arts professionals, or program officers. They will use the assessment criteria established for each program component to make their recommendations. Every effort is made to ensure that applications are assessed fairly. The Canada Council’s funding decisions are final.

To learn more, read about our decision making process.

Hearing back from the Canada Council

After a decision is reached on your application, you will receive an email notification, as well as a notification in the portal. The Canada Council does not release results by phone. The guidelines for each program component indicate when you can expect to hear the results, which will include details about grant payment, including terms and conditions. For more information on how grants are awarded review our Granting Policy [PDF].