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 discipline to undertake community-engaged artist residencies in selected branches of the Toronto Public Library

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, 2021 for residencies taking place in 2022.


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


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, North York and Scarborough. 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 in selected branches of the Toronto Public Library. Resident artists will deliver free public arts programming, such as performance creation programs, community-engaged arts programs, visual and media arts installations and exhibitions, workshops, artist-talks, open studio sessions, arts education programs, mentorship opportunities, performances and other public arts activities. Funding for this program is provided by the City of Toronto.


Applicants must be professional artists or professional not-for-profit arts organizations or collectives. Experience working with communities or children and youth is an asset.

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


The grant amount is $10,000. It includes artist fees for both offsite preparation time and onsite program delivery time, travel expenses, all materials, and any other project expenses incurred by the applicant.


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).


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 Application Accessibility Support.


New applicants to the program are encouraged to speak with the Program Manager prior to submitting an application. Please contact the Program Manager at least two weeks in advance of the deadline. 

Toronto Arts Council will host an Artists in the Library information session on Thursday, October 1, at 5pm via Zoom. Please register via Eventbrite. ASL interpretation will be provided.

Please read the full grant guidelines and application, then contact the Program Manager with any questions.

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

  • Full Program Guidelines for 2021 will be added 3 months prior to the application deadline

  • View past recipients

Discover more TAC grants