Grant Writing

Canada Council for the Arts

  • Canada Council for the Arts - Website
  • Two deadlines per year: April (Spring) and September/October (Fall)
  • First step: create a portal (takes 2-3 weeks for approval)
    • Select if you are an individual artist or group/organization
    • Select field of practice: inter-arts vs. multidisciplinary
      • Inter-arts: integrates disciplines, an individual arts body that holds intersecting forms
      • Multidisciplinary: theatre, dance and music as distinct disciplines
      • Have your CV meet all the boxes in eligible criteria (note: you will need to share/upload your CV)
      • Call if you have any questions about where you sit as an artist. Call literally anytime, they're there for you to call them!
    • You can add multiple artist profiles. For example you can be a Musician and Multi disciplinary
    • Different jury members in each category, so consider which jury would be best for your project when deciding which discipline to apply under
    • Indigenous applications will have more options for field of practice (example: Cultural carrier)

Specific Grants from Canada Council
  • Explore and Create
    • Professional Development for Artists
      • Developing as an artist
      • May use this to train somewhere
      • Up to $10,000
    • Research and Creation
      • For research portion of a project
      • $25,000 maximum
    • Concept to Realization
      • To complete the project
      • Up to $60,000
  • Creating, Knowing and Sharing (grants for Indigenous artists)
    • More application dates—four times a year
    • Short term and long term project (long term may need to receive two other grants before)
    • Small-scale activities
    • Opportunities for travel
  • Travel Grants or Career Development Grants
    • Opportunities to travel is possible for all artists

  • Other things to note:
    • Turn around time is approximately 3-4 months. Do not schedule activities until after the result is in
    • Concept to Realization is most common for first application
    • If you're Indigenous or disabled, the Canada Council will pay for grant writing support

BC Arts Council

  • BC Arts Council - Website
  • Shifting priorities to equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Create a profile—approval doesn't take as long as Canada Council
  • Grants include:
    • Professional development
    • Project assistance
    • Has categories for discipline
    • Smaller grants, approximately $10,000
    • 1 deadline: April/May
    • Can apply for Canada Council and BC Arts Council at the same time

First Peoples Cultural Council

Film & Music

Facilitating Grants

General Notes

  • Recommendation letters: ask for them 3 weeks prior. Send a description of the project, or even the beginning of the letter—this ensures you will get the letter
  • Story of the budget should match story of writing 
  • Be specific with your application and how it supports your community
  • Have an editor, even if it is just your friend
  • Sometimes it’s hard to express your projects and talk about how great you are as an artist. A few ideas are discuss the project with a friend, ask them to send a few notes about why they think you are great 
  • Mental health breaks and care
  • Tone: try and imagine who is reading it and write for them
    • Also should match the tone of the work
    • Touches both heart centered jury members and intellect/logistic minded jury members


  • Grant Deadlines (source: Little Dog Creative Consulting)
    • This is written by a professional grant writer. You can backtrack and see what the grant calendar looked like last year and assume it will be similar.