Video description 

Thinking about applying to Cultivate? Have a future-oriented collaborative project that addresses systemic issues in the arts sector, and helps rebuild a more resilient, sustainable, equitable, accessible, greener, healthier, and connected arts sector? In this video, we’ll guide you through the program guidelines, eligibility, and evaluation criteria to help determine if the Cultivate grant is right for your organization, collective or group of artists.

To learn more about the Cultivate grant, check out the guidelines

If you’re looking for more information to get started on your Cultivate project, we have a booklet available to further assist you in your understanding of the Council’s new Strategic Innovation Fund and its Cultivate component.

Publication date 

December 20, 2022 

Slide 1: The Cultivate grant 

Welcome to the Cultivate grant. 

This short video presents the Cultivate component of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Strategic Innovation Fund. To get a better understanding of what the Cultivate grant is all about, let’s start with the Fund’s goals.

Slide 2: The Strategic Innovation Fund 

The Strategic Innovation Fund aims to build a more inclusive, resilient, sustainable arts sector. It supports activities related to capacity building, testing of new ideas, knowledge sharing, building new networks and the creation of prototypes that can turn innovative – potentially groundbreaking ideas – into reality.

But what do we mean by Innovation? For the Canada Council for the Arts, innovation is about creating change, trying new things and approaches, taking risks and changing models. 

The Strategic Innovation Fund is made up of 

  • three main components (Seed, Cultivate, Grow); and 
  • two support components (Digital Generator, which has two sub-components, and Digital Greenhouse). 

It is important to keep in mind that the Strategic Innovation Fund is not intended for artistic creation or projects focused on production, programming or the dissemination of artistic works. 

For more information on each of the Fund’s components, you can find resources on our website.    

Slide 3: Key strategic priorities of the Fund 

All projects submitted under one of the three main components must address one or more of the Fund’s key strategic areas, which reinforce our commitment to supporting positive and fundamental change in the arts sector. 

The strategic areas include resilience and sustainable development, social justice, accessibility, decolonization, climate change, health and well-being, strengthening the arts ecosystem and amplifying the benefits of the arts. 

You can also find this list in the Cultivate grant guidelines, which are available on our website. 

Slide 4: Cultivate – What you can do 

Now that you know what the Fund is about, let’s take a look at Cultivate. 

Cultivate provides up to $250, 000 for collaborative projects that pilot, prototype, test or implement innovative ideas to benefit the Canadian arts sector. 

Projects must address one or more of the Fund’s nine key strategic areas. 

While the Cultivate grant supports development, research and planning, your project must include a piloting, prototyping, testing and/or implementation phase. 

For example, you could submit a project to research, develop and test a new audiovisual interpretation device in American Sign Language to increase accessibility of live performing arts.

Such a project would address one of the nine key strategic areas, namely increasing the accessibility of arts and culture for people who are Deaf or have disabilities. 

In this example, the piloting phase meets the specific requirements of the Cultivate grant. 

Slide 5: Cultivate – For collaborative projects

Cultivate is specifically designed for collaborative projects with one or more partners. 

But what do we mean by “collaborative project”? 

It’s a project that you are undertaking in collaboration with partners that goes beyond your own needs or those of your group or organization and one that will benefit the arts sector.

Working with partners also means that they will be involved in the governance and decision-making process of your project. 

Unlike service providers, who are paid to provide expertise, the partners will assume risk and stand to benefit from the project’s outcomes along with you.

Collaborations and partnerships are not limited to those within the arts sector. You can also use the Cultivate grant to team up with partners from the technology, health, business, or other sectors to innovate. 

Slide 6: Cultivate – Details 

To apply, you must be an individual, a group, a collective or an organization with a validated profile on the Canada Council portal. 

You can also be an individual, a cultural facilitator, a First Nations, Inuit or Métis group, collective or organization with a validated profile on the Canada Council portal. 

There are two deadlines per year. Please see the Deadlines and Notification of Results page for the current year’s deadlines. 

Slide 7: Guidelines and resources 

If you’re still not sure whether your project is a good fit for this grant component, visit our website. You’ll find:   

Slide 8: Contact us 

If you still have questions, contact us! 

Email us at

Send us a brief description of your project and ask any questions you have. We will be there to guide you through the process. 

Follow us on social media and check our website regularly to discover all the possibilities offered by the Strategic Innovation Fund!