Artists In The Library

Toronto Arts Council’s Artists in the Library grants program provides grants of $20,000 to professional artists, arts organizations and collectives working in any artistic discipline to undertake community-engaged artist residencies at selected Toronto Public Library branches in the Fall of 2023.

A woman stands with her ear to a speaker at a Toronto library.
Christopher Willes presents Quiet Concerts Performance by Jason Doell and Xuan Ye. Photo by Claire Harvie (2017)

Application deadline: October 2 2023

  • Program Guidelines wil be available by August 2023

  • Past information session: A recording can be found on TAC's YouTube and Instagram channels

For questions about this program, contact Lena Golubtsova, Strategic Programs Manager: lena[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org


Created in 2014 as a partnership between Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Public Library, the Artists in the Library program provides funding to professional artists, arts organizations and collectives working in any artistic discipline to undertake community-engaged artist residencies at one of the listed branches of the Toronto Public Library (see below for a list of eligible branches). Resident artists will have the opportunity to create and deliver free public arts programming, explore their art practice in a community setting, engage with the branch and its surrounding community, undertake collaborative artistic research or creation, and present work to the local community. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to: artistic research, participatory programs, community-engaged projects, visual and media arts installations, screenings and exhibitions, workshops, artist talks, open studios, arts education and mentorship programs, performances, and other arts activities pen to the public. Permanent artwork is not eligible for funding through this residency program.

The grant amount is $20,000.

Budget: Your budget should include all artist fees, materials, equipment rental, insurance, and any other project expenses associated with the project. Payment of professional artist fees is a requirement of this program.

Timing of residency: Artist residencies will take place between September and December 2023.

Insurance and VSC: All grant recipients will be required to hold Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance for onsite programming. Grant recipients may be required to complete Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC).

Registration/ ticketing: All activities can include drop-in and/or pre-registration. All tickets must be free of charge.

Access plan: Please include a detailed explanation of your access plan. This should include any costs associated with access supports for participants/audiences. For TAC Accessibility Grants information and Application Access support please see below.

Public health restrictions: Grant recipients must abide by the public health restrictions that may be in place when they conduct their project. The libraries also have COVID protocols in place: it is the responsibility of the applicant to conform to the protocols and safety measures.

Participating Branches:
1.         Albion (Etobicoke)
2.         Albert Campbell (Scarborough)
3.         Barbara Frum (North York)
4.         Cedarbrae (Scarborough)
5.         Downsview (North York)
6.         Maria A. Shchuka (North York)
7.         Maryvale (Scarborough)
8.         New Toronto (Etobicoke)
9.         Oakwood (North York/Midtown)
10.       Richview (North York)
11.       York Woods (North York)


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).


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 tradition; actively practices their art; seeks payment for their work; and has a history of public presentation.

You may not apply as an individual and be part of an organization or collective applying in the same competition.

TAC has two distinct funding envelopes. Applicants may be eligible to apply for one grant in each category per year, so long as they have no incomplete projects or outstanding final reports. The two funding envelopes include:

1.     Arts Discipline: project and operating grants in dance, visual arts, theatre, etc.

2.     Strategic Programs: Animating Historic Sites, Open Door, etc.

With a few exceptions (TAC Leaders Lab, Newcomer & Refugee Artist Mentorship, and TAC-CS Digital Solutions Incubator, Black Arts, Indigenous Arts), applicants can receive only one grant from each funding envelope per year. The Artists in the Library program falls within the Strategic Funding envelope. Any other Strategic Program grants must be completed with a final report filed and approved to meet eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria specific to Individuals:

If the applicant is an individual artist, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply to this program.
  • 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.

Eligibility criteria specific to Organizations and Collectives:

If the applicant is an organization or a collective, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Organizations and collectives must be incorporated non-profit arts organizations or unincorporated arts 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.
  • Organizations and collectives must be located in the City of Toronto. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet this requirement.
  • Collectives must be prepared to submit bank account information (in the name of the collective as listed in the application) if the application is successful.



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. For additional information please visit the TAC website > Grant Programs > Application Accessibility Support.


Applicants register and submit the application, including the required support material, on TAC Grants Online ( 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.

New applicants to the program are encouraged to attend the information session (or watch the recording) and speak with the Program Manager prior to submitting an application.



Contact Lena Golubtsova, Strategic Programs Manager: lena[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org

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