Ontario Arts Council announces $1.6 million in COVID-19 grants for artists and arts organizations

Grants from $4,000 to $30,000 to help individual artists, arts organizations, and organizational partnerships adapt to the pandemic

Caroline Yergeau performs in Et si un soir, produced by Théâtre Rouge Écarlate in partnership with Théâtre du Trillium at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins in Ottawa. (Photo: Jonathan Lorange via Ontario Arts Council)
Caroline Yergeau performs in Et si un soir, produced by Théâtre Rouge Écarlate in partnership with Théâtre du Trillium at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins in Ottawa. (Photo: Jonathan Lorange via Ontario Arts Council)

A total of $1.6 million is now available to help Ontario artists and arts organizations to respond to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most Ontario businesses and organizations have now reopened to the public, the arts and culture sector is continuing to struggle with the impacts of the pandemic. For example, individual artists continue to have limited opportunities to display their work to the public, and many performance venues remain closed as public health requirements affect the financial viability of reopening.

Last Tuesday (August 11), the Ontario Arts Council launched the new Arts Response Initiative. The one-time initiative will support activities and expenses focused on research, training, and planning for ways to adapt artistic practices and activities during the pandemic.

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A $4,000 grant is available for individual artists, with up to $15,000 for arts collectives and professional arts organizations, and up to $30,000 for organizational partnerships. The grants must be used for projects that respond to the challenges resulting from COVID-19.

Eligible activities include research and planning, documenting artistic work (for example, by photographing visual arts pieces), upgrading technology, website development, marketing artistic work to presenters and to audiences, creating and adapting work spaces, and developing knowledge and skills in administration, technology, and digital platforms and artistic practice.

For arts collectives, professional arts organizations, and organizational partnerships, eligible activities also include services to Ontario artists and arts organizations.

The deadline for applications for individual artists is 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20th. For arts collectives, professional arts organizations, and organizational partnerships, the application deadline is 1 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Successful grant applicants will be notified within four months of the application deadline.

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Priority will be given to applications from artists of colour, deaf artists and artists with disabilities, francophone artists, indigenous artists, new generation artists (18-30 year olds), and artists living in regions outside of Toronto.

For more information including how to apply, visit www.arts.on.ca/grants/activity/arts-response-initiative.

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