Animating Toronto Parks

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to individual artists, arts collectives, and non-profit organizations to present arts programming in selected Toronto parks.

A dancer performing in a bright green Toronto park in the summer.
Little Pear Garden Dance Company presents The Colours of China in Chester Le Park. Photo by Josh Clavir (2017)

Application deadline: December 14, 2020 for projects taking place in 2021

For questions about this program, contact Erika Hennebury, Strategic Programs Manager.


WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAM SUPPORT?

The Animating Toronto Parks grants program provides funding to professional artists, arts organizations and artist collectives to create and present free arts programming in selected Toronto parks located in Etobicoke, East York, York, North York and Scarborough. For the purposes of this program, “arts programming” may include the presentation of dance, literary arts, music, theatre, visual and media arts, community-engaged arts, Indigenous arts, and other fields of artistic practice.

Grant recipients will be provided with:

  • funding toward artist fees and production elements
  • access to the park space (permit dates subject to approval by TAC and Parks, Forestry & Recreation)
  • coverage under the TAC’s liability insurance
  • support under Toronto Arts Foundation’s Arts in the Parks initiative, including marketing, promotion, inclusion on the artsintheparksto.org website, wayfinding signage, onsite volunteers, assistance with local community outreach, and other support. Participation in Arts in the Parks is a requirement of the program – see below to learn more about Arts in the Parks.

WHAT IS ARTS IN THE PARKS?

Arts in the Parks is a free city-wide initiative managed by Toronto Arts Foundation (TAF), in partnership with Toronto Arts Council (TAC), Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R), and community partner Park People. Arts in the Parks offers a wide range of in-kind supports to artists and arts organizations working in parks across the city, such as support with marketing, community engagement, on-site wayfinding signage, and volunteer coordination. Arts in the Parks is a core resource for Animating Toronto Parks grants recipients. To learn more about Arts in the Parks please visit https://artsintheparksto.org/.


TAC ACCESSIBILITY GRANT

Projects involving Deaf artists and artists with disabilities may apply for an additional TAC grant by completing the Accessibility Expenses section of the application and including the requisite information in their budget. A TAC Accessibility grant will provide up to a maximum of $5,000 towards accessibility costs for artists incurred during the project. Accessibility costs include but are not limited to: ASL interpretation, audio description, closed captioning, communications assistants, attendant care (including helpers for Elders), support workers and equipment rentals or other supports required to meet artists’ accessibility needs).


WHEN CAN THE PROJECT HAPPEN?

  • Applications submitted to the December 7, 2020 deadline should be for projects beginning after April 1, 2021. The Project Start Date must be no earlier than April 1, 2021.
  • All projects must be completed within two years of the date on the Notification Letter, sent to you by TAC.

WHO CAN APPLY?

If you are a first-time applicant or have questions about your application, please contact the Strategic Programs Manager, Erika Hennebury at erika[attorontoartscouncil[dot]org.

  • This grant program is open to professional artists, not-for-profit arts organizations or artist collectives operating on a not-for-profit basis.
  • A professional artist is someone who has developed their skills through training and/or practice; is recognized as such by artists working in the same artistic field; actively practices his or her art; seeks payment for her/his work; and has a history of public presentation or exhibition.
  • TAC recognizes that due to systemic barriers within the broader arts community (e.g. limited mainstream presentation opportunities for artists from equity-seeking communities) that some flexibility may be required in interpreting eligibility criteria to take into account equivalent professional experience and contexts. Potential applicants from equity-seeking communities are encouraged to discuss their eligibility with the Program Manager in advance of submitting an application.
  • TAC has two distinct funding envelopes:

1. Arts Discipline funding (e.g. discipline-specific project grants and operating grants) and
2. Strategic Programs funding (e.g. Artists in the Library, Open Door, etc.)

Applicants may receive only one Strategic Programs grant per calendar year and may not apply to other TAC Strategic Programs grants (i.e.: Animating Toronto Parks, Artists in the Library, Animating Historic Sites, Animating Toronto Streets, Open Door, Artreach). However, TAC offers other types of granting opportunities through its Arts Discipline envelope (i.e.: Dance, Theatre, Music, Visual and Media Arts, Indigenous Arts, Community Arts), and you may be eligible to apply to one of these programs for another project. Please consult TAC’s website for other granting opportunities.

For Individuals:

  • Individuals must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents or have an application pending for Permanent Resident Status or be a Protected Person (approved refugee claimant). If requested, you must be able to provide documentation to verify this.  (Grant recipients must have a Social Insurance Number.)
  • Individuals must have been a resident of the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline, and live and work in Toronto for at least 8 months a year. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.

For Organizations and Collectives:

  • Organizations and collectives must be incorporated non-profit organizations or unincorporated collectives which operate on a non-profit basis. A collective is defined as two or more artists working together under a group name, either on a single project (ad hoc) or on an ongoing basis. For collectives of two artists, both must be City of Toronto residents. For collectives of more than two artists, the majority of members must be City of Toronto residents.
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are not arts-based are eligible to apply to this grants program. Projects must include the collaborative involvement of professional artists with community members, as well as the payment of professional artist fees.
  • Organizations and collectives must be located in the City of Toronto. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet this requirement.

THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT FUND

  • Undergraduate students.
  • Permanent installations, such as permanent sculpture.
  • Commercial businesses and for-profit organizations.
  • Ongoing operating costs, such as permanent staff salaries and general administration of an organization. This program is not intended to support an organization or collective’s ongoing activities.


HOW DO I APPLY?

Applicants register and submit the application, including the required support material, on TAC Grants Online (https://tac.smartsimple.ca). Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline date. TAC does not accept applications by any other means of delivery. You will receive a confirmation email when your application is submitted.  Check your spam/junk mail folder if it doesn’t arrive in your in-box.

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


APPLICATION ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT FOR DEAF PERSONS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Applicants who are Deaf or have a disability and need support to complete their grant applications can apply for funds to cover the costs of assistance from Application Support Service Providers. Up to $500 is available per eligible applicant in each calendar year. Please contact your Grant Program Manager at least six weeks before the grant program deadline to determine eligibility, request application support funding, and to review the process for payment to be made to your Service Provider. Requests for application support require approval from the Grant Program Manager.


QUESTIONS?

For further information about this program, contact Strategic Programs Manager Erika Hennebury at erika[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org or 416-392-6802 x 219.


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