Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement

Application deadline: May 3, 2021

For questions about the program, contact Rupal Shah, Strategic Programs Manager


Toronto Arts Council’s Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement program was created to:

  • provide targeted support to organizations and collectives engaging newcomers and refugees through the arts
  • support the integration and inclusion of newcomers and refugees to Toronto through the arts.

We define a newcomer as: an immigrant or refugee who has lived in Canada for less than 7 years; a refugee is a person who was forced to leave their home country and is now located in Canada.



The set grant amount is $20,000. This grant may cover up to 100% of project costs.

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 must be an incorporated non-profit organization or a collective operating on a not-for-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.
  • Applicants must be located in the City of Toronto. A post office box address cannot be used to meet this requirement. 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.
  • The activities for which the grant is requested must occur within the City of Toronto.
  • The activities for which the grant is requested must include the collaborative involvement of professional* artists and newcomer and/or refugee community members.
  • Applicants must have a strong track record of engagement with newcomer and/or refugee communities and demonstrate a viable administrative and financial plan for achieving the goals of the proposed activities.
  • Grant amount is $20,000. This includes artist fees, travel expenses, preparation time, materials and any other project expenses incurred. Payment of artist fees is mandatory. Funding cannot be used to support salaries for an organization’s ongoing staff or faculty.
  • Applicants may not receive funds from both this program

*A professional artist is someone who has developed their artistic skills through training and/or practice; is recognized as a professional by other 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.

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.

Toronto Arts Council 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, Open Door, etc.). Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. Applications to the Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement program fall within the Strategic funding envelope.

Applicants are not eligible if they have an outstanding final report in any other program within the Strategic funding envelope (e.g. Animating Historic Sites, Animating Toronto Parks, Artists in the Library, etc.)


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

  • Apply

Return to Newcomer and Refugee programs