Music Annual Operating

Application deadline March 4, 2024

For questions about this program, contact Rudrapriya Rathore, Program Manager, Literary Arts & Music Operating: rudrapriya[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org

Toronto Arts Council provides funding support to outstanding artists and arts organizations that contribute to the cultural life of the City of Toronto. TAC is committed to artistic excellence, innovation, and accessibility, and supports a wide spectrum of artistic endeavour and a range of activity that makes the City of Toronto one of the leading cultural centres in Canada. Through its support, TAC cultivates a richer engagement between artists and audiences and reflects the City of Toronto through the diversity of artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves.

What does this program support?

The Music Program provides Annual Operating support to professional1, non-profit music organizations engaged in the creation, production and presentation of music, and other activities that contribute to the development of music, music artists, and music audiences in Toronto. Funding through this program supports both operations and programming. The City of Toronto supports this program through a funding allocation approved annually by Toronto City Council. The Music Program supports a diverse range of musical forms with a high priority given to organizations that demonstrate a consistent commitment to the development and performance of original works by Canadian composers.

Who can apply?                                                            

To be eligible for Annual Operating funding, an applicant must:

  • be non-profit;
  • have professional1 artistic leadership;
  • be located in the City of Toronto and have a significant portion of its activities occurring within the City;
  • have a history of sustained music activity over the two years prior to this application, with a demonstrated record of regular, ongoing programming;
  • have received a minimum of two project grants through TAC’s Arts Discipline or Strategic programs;
  • have a viable administrative structure;
  • have sound financial management;
  • submit verification of financial results of the last completed fiscal year:
    • for requests over $30,000, audited financial statements are required;
    • for requests of $30,000 or less, if annual operating revenues are $100,000 or more, a review engagement is required, (or, if available, audited financial statements);
    • for requests of $30,000 or less, if annual operating revenues are under $100,000, unaudited financial statements that include a balance sheet and a statement of income and expenses is required, (or, if available, audited financial statements or a review engagement);
  • demonstrate a range of revenue sources on an annual basis, including earned, government and private sector revenues.
  • be governed by a Board of Directors or other body responsible for the organization.

Organizations must conduct their music activities on an annual, ongoing basis either throughout the year or on a seasonal basis.  A single project does not constitute annual or seasonal activity.

Organizations, whose level of activity varies from season to season, in keeping with their mandate, must describe their multi-year creation and production cycle.  Annual and biennial festivals that have completed a minimum of two editions are also eligible. 

Program-Specific Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the General Eligibility Requirements listed above, in order to apply for annual operating support,

Choral Organizations must:

  • produce a minimum of three self-presented concerts with different repertoire in each season (self-presented means that the choral organization takes responsibility for planning, production and ticket selling).

Opera/Music Theatre organizations must:

  • produce a minimum of two operas per season, for companies mandated to present standard repertoire, or undertake workshops, for companies dedicated to new work development.

Orchestras, Bands, Ensembles must:

  • have a minimum of three self-presented concerts in each season (self-presented means that the orchestra takes responsibility for planning, production and ticket selling).

Presenter/Producers & Festivals must:

  • present professional, curated music programming that reflects a defined artistic mandate.
  • Series presenters must demonstrate a track record of self-presented, ongoing performances (self-presented means the organization takes responsibility for planning, production and ticket selling).

First-time Applicants

First-time applicants are organizations that did not receive an operating grant last year.

  • First-time applicants must consult with the Music Program Manager before submitting an operating grant application.
  • Additional eligibility requirement. First-time applicants must have minimum total revenues of at least $100,000 for the last completed year, and projected revenues for the current and request years.
  • First-time applicants to the Annual Operating program may only apply in the first year of a multi-year cycle. The next year first-time applicants may apply is:
    • Service Organizations: 2024
    • Choirs and Opera Organizations: 2025
    • Orchestras, Ensembles, Presenters/Producers & Festivals: 2026

Can I Apply to Other TAC Grants?

Organizations may receive only one grant per calendar year through the Music program and may not apply to other TAC discipline programs. However, TAC offers other types of granting opportunities through its Strategic Initiatives envelope, and operating grant recipients may be eligible to apply to one of these programs. Please consult TAC’s website for other granting opportunities. Operating grant recipients may receive a maximum of one additional grant per calendar year and must submit a final report on that project before applying to another program in the Strategic Initiatives envelope.

[1] “Professional” describes music organizations with paid administrative personnel, led by paid professional artistic personnel, and comprised of paid professional or semi-professional musicians (or have a core of the same).  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.

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