Animating Toronto Streets

Toronto Arts Council has partnered with the City of Toronto on a multidisciplinary program that will fund public art projects that take place in the public right of way during Nuit Blanche Toronto 2020 and Year of Public Art 2021.

Application Deadline: January 14, 2020


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


CONTEXT:  Animating Toronto Streets is a partnership between Toronto Arts Council and City Cultural Events, Economic Development & Culture Division of the City of Toronto. Nuit Blanche and Year of Public Art are produced by City Cultural Events. Nuit Blanche Toronto is a free, 12-hour, all-night contemporary art event that has a mandate to connect contemporary art to the broadest possible public and create opportunities for audiences to explore and engage with contemporary art in public space. Year of Public Art will spotlight art work in any medium by one or more artists, created for a publicly-accessible space, free for the public to experience; and is significant in terms of duration, scale and potential for public engagement.

PURPOSE:  The Animating Toronto Streets grants program provides funding to professional artists, arts organizations and artist collectives to create and present free public art projects that take place in the public right-of-way (ROW) during Nuit Blanche Toronto and for Year of Public Art. Projects must take place in the public ROW (i.e.: roads, laneways and sidewalks), and/or be directly experienced from the public ROW. For the purposes of this program, “public art” may include art in any media that takes place in public space, including contemporary visual and media arts, performance, and other artistic disciplines. 


Applicants must be professional artists or not-for-profit arts organizations or collectives operating on a not-for-profit basis. The payment of artists’ fees is a requirement of this program.

Projects involving any artistic discipline(s), including Community Arts, Dance, Literary Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual/Media Arts are eligible for consideration. Proposed projects must take place in the public right of way. The definition of public right of way is public property. Eligible sites are those under the responsibility of the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Department, including roads, laneways, and sidewalks.

Big Ideas: ambitious, timely projects with the potential to transform an artistic discipline, inspire a community of artists or elevate the arts sector as a whole. Projects aligned with the Year of Public Art in 2021 are eligible to apply. Visit the Year of Public Art page for more information about Toronto Arts Council’s role in this City of Toronto initiative.


Maximum grants available vary according to category.

• Nuit Blanche projects – maximum grant is $20,000.

• Year of Public Art projects – maximum grant is $50,000.


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).


Erika Hennebury, Strategic Programs Manager | 416-392-6802 x 219 | erika[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org

Full Program Guidelines for 2020 (PDF)

Discover more TAC grants