Jordan Bennett

Opening the Door to New and Early Career Artists

March 01, 2019

Artist Jordan Bennett in front of his mural on Queen’s Road in St-John’s, Newfoundland as part of the Identify: A Celebration of Indigenous Arts and Culture Festival, held in April 2018.

The Canada Council for the Arts is making it easier for artists to apply for their first grant—we’ve launched a profile for new and early career artists. It’s part of a two-year pilot project to reach the next wave of artists in Canada and renew our support to the arts sector.

With a validated new and early career artist profile, artists at the start of their careers—including those who are new to Canada—can access grants they weren’t previously eligible for. In particular, they’re now eligible to apply for grants from one of three components in the Explore and Create program:

  • Professional Development for Artists – Project grants to support career advancement activities for artists and artistic groups—including mentorships, internships, apprenticeships, specialized training and workshops.
  • Research and Creation – Project grants to support creative research, development and the creation of new works, including residencies.
  • Concept to Realization – Project grants to support activities that will result in completed works that are shown to the public—including public presentations, exhibitions, media arts and digital arts production ready for dissemination.

Am I eligible for Council funding?

To be considered a new or early career artist, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • not have an approved applicant profile with the Canada Council
  • not have previously received a grant from the Canada Council
  • have some training, experience or accomplishment in one or more recognized fields of practice.
    Past training could include mentorship, self-study, workshops, etc.  Training in an institutional setting is not mandatory.  Training, experience or accomplishments that took place outside of Canada are recognized.
  • be committed to the ongoing development of your skills and practice

I fit the criteria and want to apply—now what?

Your first step is to create an account on the portal and then select the new and early career artist profile. We recommend you get started with your profile well ahead of the competition you’re working towards because your profile will need to be validated before you can apply for a grant.

We also recommend you check out these resources to guide you through the application process:

  • Our Guide to Getting a Grant gives you tips and advice for submitting the application.
  • Our Frequently Asked Questions page gives you answers to some of the most common questions we receive from applicants. Check the page regularly, as we’ll be updating it with additional questions we receive from new and early career artists.

You’ll also want to consult the Deadlines and Notification of Results page for the component of the Explore and Create program in which you’re interested.

Still need help? You can also contact us with your questions about the early and new career artist profile by email, at, or by telephone, at 1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414, extension 4031.

Help us spread the word—share the news about this new profile with your networks and anybody who you think could benefit.