From 2021 to 2026, the Council will invest $200+ million in an innovative rebuilding of the arts sector. Our Strategic Innovation Fund will offer you access to grants, partnerships, outreach events and resources. The aim is to build the capacity of artists, arts professionals, arts groups, collectives and organizations to try new ideas, share knowledge, find networks, create prototypes and scale up ambitious solutions.

The Fund reflects our commitment to propel meaningful change through grants and partnerships to rebuild a more resilient, sustainable, equitable, accessible, greener, healthier and connected arts sector and society.  

Seed, Cultivate or Grow: Where Do I Fit In?  

We realize that each person or organization that seeks to innovate will imagine, invent, operate, and express themselves differently. No matter the scope, stage or budget of your project, we have an entry point for you.  

The Strategic Innovation Fund invites you to SeedCultivate and Grow bold ideas to transform the arts sector.  

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Seed

The Seed component provides grants of up to $25,000 to fund innovative ideas. Experiment, partner and build capacity!

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Cultivate

The Cultivate component provides grants of up to $250,000 to implement, pilot and protype innovation projects that will strengthen the arts sector.

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Grow

The Grow component provides multi-year grants of up to $1 million for a limited number of collaborative, game-changing initiatives with the potential for broad impact.

Not sure where your project fits? The following table extracts key information from the application guidelines to help you understand the primary differences between the Seed, Cultivate and Grow components.


Seed 

Cultivate 

Grow 

What is it? 

A small-scale project grant to kickstart activities to explore, experiment, build capacity and prepare for innovation projects

A medium-scale project grant to implement, pilot and prototype innovation projects that will strengthen the arts sector 

Multi-year large-scale support for collaborative, game-changing initiatives with the potential for regional, national or international impact

Who can apply? 

Note: A validated Canada Council for the Arts applicant profile is required to apply under each component. 

Individuals, groups and organizations

You don’t need a partner to apply. 

Individuals, groups and organizations

You need a partner to apply. 

Organizations

You need a partner to apply. 

What is the grant amount? 

Up to $25,000 

Up to $250,000

Up to $1 million

What activities are eligible? 

Activities to explore and develop innovation projects such as research, network building, and project planning

Activities related to all phases of project development and implementation, but they must include a piloting, prototyping, testing and/or implementation phase 

Any activities needed to implement, optimize, scale up or expand an existing project for regional, national or international impact 

Application deadlines and results  

Applications are being accepted now through the Council’s funding portal. 

Apply any time before the start of your project for a decision within three months.  

Applications will be accepted as of February 2022 through the Council’s funding portal. 

Apply by May 11, 2022 for a decision by the end of September 2022. 

Apply by November 16, 2022 for a decision by the end of March 2023.  

The first part of a two-stage application process is now open.  

Submit your Expression of Interest form by April 13, 2022 for a decision by the end of June 2022. 

Assessment 

Applications are assessed by internal or external assessors. 

Evaluation criteria: 

Relevance and impact: 70% 

Feasibility: 30% 

Applications are assessed by external assessors. 

Evaluation criteria: 

Impact: 50% 

Relevance: 30% 

Feasibility: 20% 

Expressions of interest are assessed by a committee that includes Council staff and external experts.  

Evaluation criteria: 

Impact: 50% 

Relevance: 30% 

Feasibility: 20% 

Still not sure where to go? Contact a Program Officer.

Digital Transformation 

Looking to build digital capacity and address digital challenges? You can also apply to the Digital Generator or Digital Greenhouse components. These support components are short-term, responsive initiatives that complement our main grant components. 

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Digital Generator

The Digital Generator supports Canadian arts groups and organizations to build their digital capacity and transform their business models and operations.

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Digital Greenhouse

The Digital Greenhouse supports Canadian individuals, groups and organizations looking to leverage digital technology to address sectoral and digital challenges.

Not sure where your project fits? The following table extracts key information from the application guidelines to help you understand the primary differences between the Digital Generator and Digital Greenhouse components.


Digital Generator: Stream 1 

Digital Generator: Stream 2 

Digital Greenhouse 

What is it? 

A project grant to build your digital capacity and hire an external expert to transform your business model and operations  

A project grant to build your digital capacity and implement recommendations to transform your business model and operations. 

A project grant to leverage digital technology to address sectoral and digital challenges and support the digital transformation of the arts sector 

Who can apply? 

Note: A validated Canada Council for the arts applicant profile is required to apply under each component. 

Groups and organizations.  

You do not need a partner to apply. 

Groups and organizations.  

You do not need a partner to apply. 

You must have a completed digital assessment, audit or plan to apply. 

Individuals, groups and organizations.  

You do not need a partner to apply. 

What is the grant amount? 

Up to $40,000 

Up to $50,000 for projects that benefit a single group or organization

Up to $100,000 for collaborative projects that benefit multiple groups or organizations

Up to $50,000 

What activities are eligible? 

Hiring an external expert to measure digital readiness, identifying digital gaps and opportunities, planning your digital strategy, increasing the digital skills of your staff, and more

Implementing recommendations resulting from an external digital assessment, audit or plan including implementing tools, solutions and strategies

Researching, planning, developing, implementing, testing, evaluating and sharing knowledge to leverage digital technology to address sectoral and digital challenges

Application deadlines  

Applications are being accepted now through the Council’s funding portal.  

Apply any time before the start of your project.  

Decisions are usually rendered within three months of submitting your application. 

Applications are being accepted now through the Council’s funding portal.  

Apply any time before the start of your project.  

Decisions are usually rendered within four months of submitting your application. 

Applications are being accepted now through the Council’s funding portal.  

Apply any time before the start of your project.  

Decisions are usually rendered within three months of submitting your application. 

Assessment 

Applications are assessed by internal or external assessors. 

Evaluation criteria: 

Relevance and impact: 50% 

Feasibility: 50% 

Applications are assessed by internal or external assessors. 

Evaluation criteria: 

Relevance: 50% 

Impact: 30% 

Feasibility: 20% 

Applications are assessed by internal or external assessors. 

Evaluation criteria: 

Impact: 50% 

Relevance: 30% 

Feasibility: 20% 

Still not sure where to go? Contact a Program Officer.