Artists In The Library

Toronto Arts Council’s Artists in the Library grants program provides grants of $10,000 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: September 15, 2022 for residencies taking place in the Fall of 2023.

  • Program guidelines, branch descriptions, and the program application will be available approximately three months in advance of the deadline.

  • A recording of the Artists in the Library grants information session 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


This initiative was created in 2014, as a partnership between Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Public Library. Artists in the Library is an artist residency program intended to create new collaborative opportunities for Toronto artists and increase arts access in underserved communities by animating libraries in Etobicoke, York, North York, East York and Scarborough. Funding for this program is provided by the City of Toronto.


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) in the Fall of 2023. Resident artists will have the opportunity to create and deliver free public arts programming, explore their art practice in a community setting, explore the branch and engage with its surrounding community, undertake collaborative artistic research or creation, and present work to the local community. Grant recipients may undertake artistic research, participatory programs, community-engaged projects, visual and media arts installations, screenings and exhibitions, workshops, artist-talks, open studio sessions, arts education programs, mentorship opportunities, performances, and other public arts activities. Permanent artwork is not eligible for funding through this residency program.

The grant amount is $10,000.

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 General Commercial Liability (GCL) insurance for onsite programming. All grant recipients will be required to complete Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC).

Registration/Ticketing: All activities can include drop-in and/or pre-registration. Where reservations are required due to capacity limitations, all tickets must be free of charge. In-branch activities may be limited, depending on public health restrictions.

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 Contingency plan: Please provide a contingency plan for any in-branch programming, in the event or public health restrictions on indoor gatherings.


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 his or her art; seeks payment for her/his 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: 1) Arts Discipline funding (e.g. discipline-specific project grants and operating grants) and 2) Strategic funding (e.g. Artists in the Library, Animating Historic Sites, Open Door, etc.). Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. The Artists in the Library program falls within the Strategic Funding envelope. Any other Strategic Program grants must be complete with a final report filed and approved to meet eligibility criteria. (*Please note: individuals that receive a grant in each envelope may still be eligible to be a mentor for the Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship program and/or participate in the TAC Leaders’ Lab program. Please check with the program manager for eligibility)

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

  • Program guidelines will be added approximately 3 months before the deadline date

  • View past recipients

Discover more TAC grants