Annual Operating

Application deadline October 7, 2021. In 2022 the application deadline will be March 14, 2022

For questions about this program, contact Timaj Garad, Outreach and Access Program Manager


The Black Arts Annual Operating Program is a new funding initiative created to support non-profit Toronto Black arts organizations seeking support with operating expenses. Qualifying organizations will be:

  • Black-led: majority of leadership at all levels identify as Black 
  • Black-focused: primary goal of the organization is to meaningfully support and engage Black communities 
  • Black-serving: a significant portion of program activities prioritize serving Black communities. For the purpose of this program, “Black” refers to African descendant people across the diaspora including but not limited to African Canadian, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, East African, West African, Southern and Central African, Afro-Arab, Afro-Indigenous, etc.

What does this program support?

TAC recognizes the need to respond to barriers that Black arts communities face due to anti-Black racism. The program seeks to address these barriers by providing pathways to sustainable support to Toronto’s Black-led arts organizations serving Black artists. This program also seeks to encourage the development and sustainability of Black arts communities by increasing availability of dedicated resources and support provided to Black artists and communities through Black arts organizations. This funding program is intended to support the development, continuation, and flourishing of Black arts organizations. 

Who can apply?

To be eligible for this Annual Operating funding, an applicant must:

  • be a non-profit professional arts organization;
  • be Black-led, Black-focused, and Black-serving
  • have professional artistic leadership and pay appropriate professional fees to artists;
  • be located in the City of Toronto and have a significant portion of its activities occurring within the City;
  • have a recent history of sustained arts activity of at least two years;
  • have a viable administrative structure;
  • demonstrate a range of revenue sources on an annual basis, which may include earned, government and private sector revenues;
  • provide unaudited financial statements or internally prepared including a balance sheet, statement of income and expenses (if audited financial statements or review engagement is unavailable)
  • be governed by a majority Black-led Board of Directors or other body responsible for the organization. 

Please note: organizations are not required to exclusively support Black artists to be eligible, rather must have a consistent history of meaningful engagement of Black artists and a focus on Black artists in a significant component of their planned programming

Please consult with the Outreach and Access Program Manager to discuss your organization’s eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions can be accessed here.

  • Schools, tuition-funded training programs and curriculum-based programs are not eligible to apply to this program.
  • Organizations must conduct their activities on an annual, ongoing basis either throughout the year or on a seasonal basis. Organizations, whose level of activity varies from season to season, in keeping with their mandate, must describe their production cycle.  
  • Organizations may receive only one grant per calendar year through the Black Arts program and may not apply to other TAC operating programs. However, organizations who receive a Black Arts Operating grant below $20,000 may still apply to other discipline programs as well as strategic initiatives programs that TAC offers. In this case, the organization may receive up to one project grant in each funding stream and two project grants total per calendar year. Organizations receiving a Black Arts Operating grant above $20,000 can only apply to grants in the strategic initiatives programs. In this case, the organization may receive up to one project grant in addition to their operating grant per calendar year. 

Please download the full Program Guidelines for complete program details and application specifics. 

Black Arts Program Development

Over the past year, TAC has been consulting with Black arts communities across Toronto to support the development of a community-driven funding program to support Black artists and Black arts organizations in Toronto. Over 300 Toronto-based artists and arts workers joined the conversation. Here is what came out of those conversations, which informed the development of this program:

Black Arts Funding for A Black Arts Future:
Recommendations for Toronto Arts Council

Black Arts Program Townhall – July 6, 2021


Community Co-Design

​Following the report 'Black Arts Funding for a Black Arts Future,' TAC implemented recommendations from Black arts communities through a community co-design process, and increased the overall budget for the first year from $300,000 to $500,000. During the co-design process Black artists and arts workers shared their feedback about the program design, program guidelines, and application process. While the first consultation focused on community needs, this process focused on how the program would best address those needs through the program design.

We will be releasing a follow-up report soon outlining how community recommendations were implemented into the program through the co-design process. 

We want to thank all the Black artists and arts workers across the city who participated in the consultation and co-design process for their contributions to the development of this program.

Questions? 

Please contact Outreach and Access Program Manager Timaj Garad
416-392-6802 x 209 or timaj@torontoartscouncil.org


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