1. Funding
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  3. John Hobday Awards in Arts Management
  4. Guidelines John Hobday Awards in Arts Management

John Hobday Awards in Arts Management


The Canada Council is committed to equity and inclusion, and encourages applications and nominations from individuals, groups and organizations from culturally diverse, Deaf, disability and official language minority communities. The Canada Council is committed to reaffirming and revitalizing its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Measures are in place in all programs to support these commitments.

Established through a donation of $1 million from The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation to the Canada Council, the John Hobday Awards in Arts Management recognize outstanding established and mid-career arts managers in Canadian professional arts organizations.

There are two distinct awards:

  • The Professional Development and Renewal award allows an outstanding established or mid-career arts manager to take part in a short-term, recognized program, seminar or workshop for professional renewal and revitalization.
  • The Mentorship award allows an exceptional mid-career arts manager who is seeking to acquire different knowledge, experience and skills to be mentored by an outstanding established or mid-career arts manager.

John Hobday, CM, served for 20 years as executive director of The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation and for 3 years as director of the Canada Council. He made a major contribution to improving the quality and professionalism of Canadian arts managers, to providing opportunities for their formal education and ongoing professional development, and to demonstrating the importance of the arts management profession to the growth and sustainability of the arts.

The John Hobday Awards in Arts Management were created to:

  • recognize the arts management profession
  • recognize excellence and accomplishment in this profession
  • contribute to the professional development and revitalization of experienced managers
  • contribute to the transfer of knowledge and experience from established and mid-career managers to the next generation.

Deadline – 1 March 2024

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

Your completed application form and required documents must be submitted by email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time). Incomplete or late applications will not be assessed.

Application limits – you can apply once per year

You may apply for only 1 of the 2 awards each year. You may receive only 1 of each award during your career.

Notification of results – approximately 5 months after the deadline date

Prize amount – Two awards of $10,000 each

Eligibility – Who can apply?

Art management (also referred to as arts administration) applies business administration techniques and processes to the art world. It includes running the daily business operations of art institutions either private or public.

Arts Managers may be responsible for a portfolio of work such as marketing, audience development, education, production, fundraising, government relations, etc. They work in arts organizations of all kinds, such as producing, presenting and exhibiting organizations (theatres, opera companies, symphony orchestras, dance companies, galleries, museums, etc.), arts councils, arts service organizations, government, and many other related areas.

Arts managers from any artistic field of practice supported by the Canada Council may apply for the awards. They must also:

  • be currently employed by a Canadian professional arts organization. Your mentor must also be currently employed by a Canadian professional arts organization (if applicable).
  • have a minimum of 10 years of professional activities (but not necessarily in consecutive years)
  • have significant expertise in arts management in one or more of the fields of practice funded by the Canada Council (multidisciplinary activities, circus arts, dance, Deaf and disability arts, digital arts, traditional Indigenous arts/culture, inter-arts, literature, media arts, music and sound, theatre and visual arts)
  • be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.

Ineligible applicants

Arts organizations, talent managers, booking agents or those who represent artists as managers are not eligible (this does not include gallery representation).

Activities – What can I apply for?

You can apply for 1 of the following activities:

  • a short-term (less than a year), recognized program, seminar or workshop for professional renewal and revitalization
  • a mentorship with an outstanding established or mid-career arts manager who is currently employed by a Canadian professional arts organization.

You can’t apply for activities that occur before the deadline date, those that receive funding from another Canada Council program or those on the general list of ineligible activities.

Expenses – What is eligible?

For the Professional Development and Renewal award, eligible expenses include:

  • the cost of the short-term program of study (registration fees, etc.)
  • travel costs to and from the training site (based on economy fares)
  • subsistence costs
  • the cost of supplies related to the program of study (books, manuals, other materials).

For the Mentorship award, eligible expenses include:

  • your salary replacement costs during the mentorship project and, if this applies, salary replacement costs for your mentor
  • travel costs related to the mentorship project (based on economy fares)
  • subsistence for you and the mentor
  • the cost of supplies related to the mentorship project.

Application/Nomination Assistance and Access Support

Application/Nomination Assistance contributes to costs for services to help with a prize application or nomination for individuals who self-identify as: 

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

To submit a request, contact the Prizes Team 1 to 4 weeks prior to the deadline.

Access Support funds individual applicants who self-identify as Deaf, having disabilities or living with a mental illness, as well as groups and organizations that dedicate the majority of their resources towards supporting these communities. This supplementary grant provides a contribution towards costs for specific services and supports required to carry out a project funded through a Canada Council program.

Assessment – How are decisions made?

Peer evaluation is fundamental to the Canada Council’s decision-making process. A peer assessment committee, composed of experienced professionals selected by the Canada Council for their expertise in their field of practice, will assess the eligible applications. Committee members will also be selected with consideration to fair representation of artistic specializations, Canada’s 2 official languages, First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, Deaf and disability communities, gender, age and the cultural and regional diversity of Canada.

The peer assessment committee may decide not to award one or both prizes in a given competition. The committee may also choose 2 recipients for a Professional Development and Renewal award OR 2 recipients for a Mentorship award.

All peer assessment committee decisions are final.

Assessment criteria

Your application will be evaluated based the following weighted criteria:

Impact (40%)

The potential of the project:

  • to generate future opportunities for professional growth
  • to contribute to the renewal and support of the arts towards a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society.

Relevance (40%)

  • The project rationale, including timeliness and suitability of the activity
  • The suitability of mentors involved, if applicable

Feasibility (20%)

  • The capacity and experience you and/or your mentor have to undertake the project
  • A reasonable budget

Required documents – What you need to submit

Please refer to the application form for detailed instructions.

  • Detailed project description (1500 words maximum)
  • A biography (1 page maximum)
  • Your current professional curriculum vitae (10 pages maximum)
  • Profile and mandate of your arts organization (1 page maximum)
  • Detailed budget or financial analysis
  • Schedule or time frame for the project
  • Letters of support (3 letters maximum)

For the Professional Development and Renewal award, you will also need to provide:

  • An official letter confirming your acceptance and/or a copy of the official registration documents

For the Mentorship award, you will also need to provide:

  • Your mentor’s current curriculum vitae (10 pages maximum)
  • Profile and mandate of the mentor’s organization (10 pages maximum)
  • Letter from the mentor’s organization confirming the mentorship

Application preparation

  • The Canada Council will make decisions about your eligibility based on the information you provide.
  • You are responsible for providing all the information and documents requested.
  • Submit only the material requested. Extra material will not be shown to the peer assessment
  • Carefully choose your material as committee members have limited time in which to review each application.
  • In addition to filling out your contact information in the application form, if you have an account on the Canada Council’s portal, please ensure that the information is up to date.

Personal information

Personal information collected in this application shall be used for purposes related directly to the program, service or activity of the Canada Council. For this award, the Canada Council requests that you indicate your year of birth on the application form; it will not be shared with the peer assessors.

The Canada Council may share personal information from applications and nominations for awards with officials in other arts and cultural industry funding agencies and government institutions on a confidential basis. Shared information is limited to your name, contact information, field of practice and project description, and is provided to assist with research, reporting, program planning and evaluation, to present networking or economic opportunities, or to respond to federal reviews. For more information on how your personal information is protected, see our Privacy Notice.

Prize terms and conditions

If your application is successful, the terms and conditions will be outlined in a notification letter.

Prize payment

The Canada Council will send you the prize money after it has received your acknowledgement form. Winners cannot receive the prize money until all overdue final reports for Canada Council grants and prizes have been submitted and approved. No posthumous awards will be given; successful applicants must still be living for the duration of the project.

Tax status

This prize is taxable and a T4A slip will be issued, at the appropriate time, for grants and awards paid to individuals. When determining your project start date, individuals should be aware that according to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), expenses incurred in the year immediately before a prize is received are only deductible from the prize if they are incurred after the artist has received notification that the prize will be paid. For more information about income taxes and your prize, please refer to our website. If you have any tax-related questions, please contact the CRA or your provincial or territorial revenue department.

Participation in promotional activities

The winners (and mentors, if applicable) must agree to allow their photographs and public information to be used for promotion of the prize and in other Canada Council promotional initiatives.

Acknowledgement of Canada Council support

You must acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts in all promotional material associated with the prize. Details will be included in your notification letter.

Final report

You will be required to submit a final report by the date identified in your notification letter.

Previous winners

Visit the John Hobday Awards in Arts Management web page to download a list of past winners.

Instructions – How to submit an application

Send your completed application form and required documents as 1 email with attachments to johnhobday-prizes@canadacouncil.ca on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time). The maximum file size including attachments is 25 MB. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 3 business days, please contact us to make sure we received your application.

Contact information


1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 6004



Download the application form (DOCX 149.3 KB)