Frequently Asked Questions
Individual or Organization:
: Section B1 and Section B2 of the application form require Personal Data and Organizational Data. Should my music band complete the Organizational Data section? We opened a business account at the bank last week.
A: Yes. On the application, it is advisable to complete the organizational data section, especially if you've opened up an account in the band's name. If an Arts Council contribution is awarded, the GNWT cheque will then be made out to the band. When completing the organizational data section, an individual member may still elect to be the main contact for the group.
The alternative is that an individual could accept funds on behalf of the band. He or she would be obligated to claim any contribution funding as personal income to the Canada Revenue Agency.
The band will not be considered a business enterprise for purposes of a creative developmental project (e.g. a demo recording). If the project is business-related (e.g. promotion or marketing), this of course is not eligible for Arts Council funding.
Do I have to give fixed dates for start and completion of my project, when I don’t know for certain if and when I will receive funding?
No. You should provide an estimate of how long you expect to work on the project, and the approximate dates for when you plan to start and finish.
Presentation to the Public:
I understand that projects must be completed by March 31st of the following year but can the actual public presentation occur after that date?
Once you have completed your project, the public presentation of your work does not have to occur within the fiscal year. This can happen later when you are ready.
Do I have to name a confirmed venue for my presentation?
You do not have to have a venue confirmed, but must state where you intend to do a public presentation (name the community and list possible examples like community hall, festival, library, schools, etc.).
I plan to submit my film to various local, national and international festivals. Getting a wide range of critiques would really help with my creative development as a video artist. Are the entry costs for these festivals something that the Arts Council will support? My intention isn't to market my film, but the costs are necessary in order for it to be screened and reviewed.
Arts Council supports the costs of presentation of NWT artists' works to the public within the NWT. Individual applicants may apply for showcase, touring or exhibit fees and expenses and organizations may apply for presentation fees and costs where NWT artists are directly involved. For presentation at festivals outside of the NWT, the Arts Council will consider supporting the applicant's entry fees, but not travel costs.
Assistance From Other Sources:
What kinds of assistance should I list in section G of the application?
Arts Council encourages applicants to match the project funds they are requesting with their own resources, financial support, and other types of in-kind assistance from the community.
This assistance could include donations of art materials, space to do the work, technical advice or services, and other funding. Please be sure to list assistance that is already confirmed separately from assistance that you have requested.
Budgets and Funding:
How detailed should my application budget be?
Applicants must provide realistic estimates of costs and contributions, including supporting budget documentation, like service provider quotes and confirmation of other donations or funding.
Are there guides to help me prepare my application budget and to choose the amount of support to ask for?
Typical project budget sample sheets are provided for reference at the Tool Box section of the Arts Council website.
This section also contains checklists, project outlines, sample proposals and letters of support and other working tools for use by artists and arts organizations in developing funding proposals.
Besides the Arts Council, is other GNWT funding available for the arts?
GNWT Education, Culture & Employment provides support for emerging, mid-career and established artists and for arts groups through funding programs under the Cultural Contributions Policy.
Contributions are typically made on a matched funding basis for eligible project costs. Applicants must provide written verification of community support for their projects. Detailed program guidelines are available online for the following programs:
- What kind of arts funding is available at the federal government level?
Samples of Work:
How many samples of work should I submit?
Three samples are usually enough. Requirements are specified on the SECTION F SUPPLEMENT, which is the last page of the application form for each discipline.
Arts Council needs to see or hear an adequate representation of your most recent technique and style. These samples should demonstrate your abilities and relate directly to the project you are proposing.
Remember that your work will be evaluated on artistic merit, so please submit the highest quality material you have available. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that any audio/video samples function properly.
Should I send original works as samples?
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL MATERIALS. The NWT Arts Council will not return samples, and cannot assume responsibility for damages or loss of original materials.
Letters of Support:
Must letters be sent to me, to be included in the application that I submit?
Letters can either be included with your application or sent directly to the Arts Council office (fax and e-mail are also acceptable).
Is it a conflict of interest if I ask a studio owner to write a letter of support and then end up recording at his studio.
Arts Council recognizes that because there are so few places to record in NWT, references from studio people are inevitable.
It may help to include a letter of support from a studio, if they are familiar with you and your work. This letter of support must be separate from the estimates that studios provide to you for your application.
I have read the definition of "emerging artist" and "established artist". I am not sure as to which one applies to me (and does it really matter in this application how I should define myself?).
You probably don’t have to define yourself. The categories for emerging and established artists are used by Council to assess levels of technical skill, training and experience, breadth of exposure in the community, etc. Arts Council policy is to emphasize its support for emerging artists, and if you have not applied for funding before, you will likely fall in this category.
How much detail is required in the artistic resume? Should I include as much relevant information as I can possibly think of or should I only include most important points?
It is a good idea to keep your main points in the artistic resume brief, but include enough about your background, training and creative work in the NWT to make it relevant.
This is not quite the same as a work resume, because it should give a picture of your overall experience as an artist. A document called How to Write an Artist Biography is available under Samples at the Funding Application Tools section of the Arts Council website.
Languages in the North:
Is there special funding available as part of the NWT Art Council that I could apply for as an artist working in a language other than English?
No. Arts Council encourages bilingual or multi-lingual works, but it does not have special funding for them. All applications are considered for artistic merit and community benefit with an appreciation of cultural background.
Applicants can request an application form in any of the 11 NWT Official Languages.
Do I have to pay taxes on my funding?
Yes. NWT Arts Council contributions are taxable and T4A slips are issued by the GNWT at the end of February each year. Applicants should direct any tax-related questions to their accountant, to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, or to the GNWT Financial Management Board Secretariat.
I am preparing a budget to accompany my application for NWT Arts Council funding. I was wondering if you could tell me what percentage the government claims as taxable income from the contribution?
In the case of individual arts projects, the GNWT issues a T-4A slip for the amount of the contribution. The Canada Revenue Agency will tax using the same formula as any insurable earnings. You can examine a chart for current EI premium rates.
On the first page of the application there is a heading concerning Personal Data and Organizational Data. I was wondering if the band should complete the Organizational Data section. We (the band) obtained a business license last week and opened a business account. Would this be the best route for our application?
Yes. Under this section, it is advisable that the band completes the organizational data section, especially if you've opened up an account in the band's name. If an Arts Council contribution is awarded, the GNWT cheque will then be made out to the band.
During the Arts Council review, interpretation of the guidelines is that the band will not be considered a business enterprise for purposes of a creative developmental project, i.e. a demo recording.
If the proposed project is business-related (e.g. promotion or marketing), this of course is not eligible for Arts Council funding.
The alternative is that an individual could accept funds on behalf of the band. The down side is that he/she would be obligated to claim any contribution funding as personal income to Revenue Canada.
When completing the organizational data section, an individual member may still elect to be the main contact for the group.
Where can I find recording studios in the NWT?
Norman Glowach, Spiritwalker Productions
5101 - 54 Street YELLOWKNIFE, NT X1A 1W6
Ph (867) 873-3912 or 765-8708 Fax (867) 873-3714
Norbert Poitras, Laundry Room Studio Productions
111 Banke Crescent YELLOWKNIFE, NT X1A 3M7
Ph (867) 669-8885 Cell (867) 444-6529
Travis Mercredi, Outland Sound Design
Box 11023 Yellowknife, NT X1A 3X7
Ph (867) 446-9099
Dana Cross, Cross Creative Media
105-31 Capital Drive HAY RIVER, NT
Ph (867) 875-8131 Fax (867) 874-2583
Glen McPhee, Glen McPhee Studio
54 Cranberry Crescent HAY RIVER, NT, X0E 0R5
Where can I find other financial support for sound recording?
The NWT Arts Council has put together a handy guide to organizations, agencies and government departments currently supporting sound recording and dissemination in Canada.
What is the Canada Council for the Arts?
The Canada Council for the Arts is a national arm’s length agency created in 1957 to "foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts." To fulfil this mandate, the Canada Council provides grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations in dance, media arts, music, theatre, writing and publishing, interdisciplinary work and performance art, and visual arts.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
Professional artists in one of the above artistic fields (e.g. published writers, visual artists, musicians) may apply. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The Canada Council defines a professional artist as someone who has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized as such by her or his peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), and who has a history of public presentation or publication. Artists who are awarded a Canada Council grant will be required to devote a substantial portion of their time to their program of work during the period of the grant.
Professional artists are divided into three categories: emerging, mid-career and established. The criteria for these categories differ from one artistic discipline to the next and are listed in each grant program document. Generally, emerging artists are those at an early stage in their career who have completed their basic training and have created a modest independent body of work, mid-career artists are those who have created an independent body of work for a number of years, and established artists are those at a mature stage in their careers who have created an extensive body of work and have reached an advanced level of achievement.
Canadian non-profit arts organizations - such as theatre companies, art museums, public galleries, artist-run centres, dance companies, orchestras and film co-operatives - that are staffed by arts professionals who create artistic works, or present them to the Canadian public, are also eligible, as are professional publishing houses.
How do I apply for a grant?
If you require information on a specific grant program, request the program information sheet (or, if you have already decided to apply, request an application form and guidelines for that program). If you need a listing of all grants available in your particular discipline, request the summary of grants available for that discipline. Note that all Canada Council grant information is also available on the CCA's website.
350 Albert Street,
P.O. Box 1047,
1-800 263-5588 or (613) 566-4414
Does "not eligible" mean "not good"?
No. The Canada Council has very precise guidelines and eligibility criteria for each program. If a project does not meet the requirements of a specific program, it does not mean that the project isn’t worthwhile. Try contacting other organizations or government departments; they may have programs that could support your project.
I want to start an art business. Can I get a grant from the Canada Council?
No. While the Canada Council supports individual professional artists in the creation and presentation of their work, an organization must be incorporated as non-profit to be eligible for assistance (except in the case of a professional publishing house). The Council does not give grants to support a commercial production line of art.
Can I get a grant to go to university or college in my artistic field?
It depends. Some of the Canada Council’s grants to individuals cover costs related to a period of advanced study or professional development training (for example, in theatre, music, dance). However, these grants are intended for recognized professional artists who are pursuing further studies to build on their existing skills or to study with a mentor. The Canada Council will not cover the costs of basic training at a university or college.
Are Aboriginal artists restricted to Aboriginal programs at the Canada Council, or can they apply for grants from other programs?
Aboriginal artists can apply to any Canada Council program for which they are eligible. All programs are accessible to Aboriginal artists or arts organizations and artists or arts organizations from diverse cultural and regional communities of Canada.
How do I determine whether my project belongs in Media Arts, Inter-Arts or another section?
Artists in many disciplines are now incorporating media technologies into their work. Read the program guidelines and application form carefully, and be sure to discuss your project with a Program Officer in Media Arts or with the Inter-Arts Coordinator before applying. The Program Officers will be able to direct you to the right program for your project.
How can I tell the difference between a disciplinary art form (such as theatre) and an inter-arts practice (such as interdisciplinary work or a new artistic practice)?
Consult the information sheet for the discipline closest to your project and compare it with the Inter-Arts Program. If your project is eligible under an existing grant program of the Canada Council, it is not eligible under the Inter-Arts Program (with the exception of performance art, which is also eligible under certain programs in the Visual Arts Section). Note that interdisciplinary work projects, by definition, integrate distinct art forms (not just juxtapose them) and transform them into a new form of disciplinary practice.
You may also consult the Searchable Grants Listing of previously successful Canada Council applicants.
If you still have questions, send a one-page summary of your project (maximum of 300 words) to the Inter-Arts Coordinator well before the competition deadline. Include the following information: a summary of the artistic intentions and activities of the project; the names of the project participants, with a short description of each one’s role; the intended audience and venue for presentation of the work; project cost; and specific questions concerning eligibility.
Grants to individuals cover "subsistence" costs. What does this mean?
Subsistence costs are essentially the costs of living, like rent and food. Grants can cover a maximum of $2,000 per month for living expenses.
How do I describe my "program of work"?
Describe what you want to do. Present your plan in such a way that someone who has never heard of you can understand your vision. Outline how you intend to organize your time to carry out the project. State what you will accomplish with the grant.
Present your plan clearly and succinctly, allowing the peer assessment committee to grasp the nature, intention and relevance of your project in relation to your artistic approach. Remember, you are writing for artists and arts professionals who work in your artistic discipline.
Can I submit extra support material?
Submit only the material requested in the application form and be judicious about the material you include. Peer assessment committees have a limited time in which to study each grant application. This ensures that all applicants are assessed on the same basis.
Can I fax or e-mail my application?
No. The Canada Council does not accept applications that are sent by fax or e-mail. You may, however, send your application on the day of the deadline, as long as it carries the postmark of the deadline date (a postmark is the Canada Post or courier company's date stamp). If this date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day. Note that photocopies of application forms are acceptable, but all signatures must be original (not photocopied).
Can I submit my application after the deadline, or send the form by the deadline and the support material later on?
No. The Canada Council’s deadlines are firm, and any applications that are incomplete or postmarked after the deadline will be returned to you unassessed (unless you have confirmed otherwise with a Program Officer).
How will I know whether the Canada Council has received my application?
Upon receiving the application, the Canada Council will send, by mail, an immediate acknowledgement.
How do Program Officers decide which applications will get a grant?
Program Officers do not have the authority to decide who gets a grant, except in the case of Travel Grants. Their job is to determine your eligibility to apply to the program and to oversee the peer assessment process. Applications are reviewed by peer assessment committees, composed of other practising artists or arts professionals who are specialists in a particular field. New peer assessment committees of three to seven members are selected for each competition.
What should I do if there is a major change to my project after it has been submitted?
If major changes are made to your project after the application has been submitted, contact the appropriate Program Officer. The changes should be discussed with the officer and documented in your file.
How do I find out whether I got a grant? Can I telephone to find out my results?
The Canada Council will not release the results by telephone. Results are sent by mail only, three to five months after the deadline. Support material is returned at the same time (sometimes under separate cover), unless other treatment of support material has been indicated in the application guidelines.
How will I receive payment of my grant?
Grant payments are made in one or two instalments, in Canadian funds only. You will receive a letter notifying you that your application was successful and describing any special conditions. In some cases, you have to fill out, sign and return a grant acknowledgement form before a cheque can be issued. Note that the amount received may be less than the amount you requested in your application.
Can I find out who got a grant and who was on the peer assessment committee?
Yes. The Searchable Grants Listing, a database of successful grant applicants, is accessible through our Web site.
The names of the peer assessment committee members are posted in the CCA's Annual Reports. You can also write to us to request the list of peer assessors, and we will send it to you by mail.
I didn’t get a grant. Can I get feedback about my application from the peer assessment committee?
In some cases, feedback will be included in the letter of notification. If it isn’t, you are welcome to call the appropriate Program Officer to discuss your application, and he or she will transmit the committee’s feedback. Remember, though, that any feedback given by the peer assessment committee is in the context of the particular competition. That is, you will find out how your application fared compared with the others that were assessed in the competition.
Canadian Public Arts Funders
Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) is a network that unites and serves the federal, provincial and territorial arts councils and equivalent public arts funders. There is a CPAF member organization in each province and territory in Canada, and the member at the federal level is the Canada Council for the Arts.
Provincial and Territorial Arts Councils
Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) is a crown agency of the Government of Alberta which provides funding to individual artists and arts organizations in the visual, performing and literary arts, and cultural industries.
British Columbia Arts Council is committed to ensuring that all British Columbians are able to participate in a healthy arts and cultural community recognized for its excellence. Program Areas include Arts Festivals, Arts Training Resources, Community Arts Development, Dance, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.
Manitoba Arts Council's mandate is to promote the study, enjoyment, production and performance of work in the arts.
New Brunswick Arts Board is an arm's length arts funding agency with a legislated mandate to facilitate and promote the creation of art; facilitate the enjoyment, awareness, and understanding of the arts; advise the government on arts policy; unify and speak for the arts community; and administer funding programs for professional artists.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council is a non-profit organization created to foster and promote the arts of the province through financial assistance programs, and by working with government and the community for development of the arts.
The Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council plays an important role in leading Nova Scotia’s cultural strategy and providing insight and vision to grow the province’s creative economy. Arts Nova Scotia is a newly constituted independent body that oversees government funding that goes directly to artists. The creation of Arts Nova Scotia was part of the province's five-point plan on arts and culture released in February 2011.
Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association is a non-profit incorporated society that promotes the growth and appreciation of Nunavut artists, and the production of their arts and crafts.
Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is an independent agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation that supports artists and organizations involved in the arts in Ontario through grants, awards and services.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts mandate is to support, assist, encourage and represent the professional arts community in the Province in the pusuit and development of its activities.
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec is a government corporation dedicated to the development and diffusion of the arts. The Québec government, through the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, grants assistance, as a partner, to professional artists and non-profit cultural organizations.
Saskatchewan Arts Board was the first arms-length government arts funding agency in North America (1948). The Arts Board supports creative expression through the arts and links Saskatchewan in an integrated network which reaches all people in all parts of the province.
Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture works with the Yukon's diverse arts and cultural communities to foster creativity and quality of life. The Arts Section acts as the principle liaison in support of the arts sector and oversees co-ordination, consultation and funding activities for artists and organizations in the performing, visual and literary artists and arts and cultural industries organizations.