Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement

Application deadline: April 22, 2024

For questions about the program, please contact:  Liza Mattimore, Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives


The Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement program provides targeted funding to Toronto non-profit organizations and artist collectives engaging newcomers and refugees through the arts, supporting the integration and inclusion of newcomer communities to Toronto. 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).


  • If you are a first-time applicant to the Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement program or if you have any questions about your project’s eligibility, please contact the Program Manager.
  • To apply to this program, applicants must be either an incorporated non-profit organization or an unincorporated 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 or on an ongoing basis. 
  • Organizations and collectives must be located in the City of Toronto. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet this requirement. Organizations with a regional Toronto office must have operated in the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline.
  • 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.
  • Artists must be professional. 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 her/his/their art; seeks payment for her/his/their work; and has a history of public presentation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The project for which the funding is requested must take place in the City of Toronto.

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, Open Door, etc.) 

Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. For example, you may not apply to a Strategic Program if you have another Strategic Program grant application pending OR Final Report pending.  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.).


  • Funding cannot be used to support an organization’s ongoing staff or faculty salaries. Where a portion of permanent staff or administrative resources are dedicated to the project, you may estimate the value of these resources and include a detailed breakdown in the budget as in-kind revenue.
  • Applicants may not receive funds from both this program and any other Toronto Arts Council program for the same activities and timelines.
  • Organizations receiving operating funding directly from the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division are not eligible to apply to this program.
  • This program does not support schools, tuition-funded training programs, curriculum-based programs, or research projects. Projects with a school as the venue cannot take place during school hours.
  • Educational and religious institutions, unless there is a clear separation at both the program and budget level between their regular activities (i.e. religious/congregation activities or educational/student body activities) and their arts activities;
  • Schools that are part of Ontario’s public or private education system;
  • Individual artists;
  • Costs related to equipment purchase, capital projects (e.g. building purchases, renovations, etc.), film/video production, archiving, publishing, awards and award ceremonies, art therapy, fundraising events/projects and deficit reduction are not covered by these grants. Costs related to activities occurring outside of the City of Toronto are also not covered (e.g. touring, travel, etc.);
  • Arts-based research initiatives or arts enrichment programs for students.


Applicants register and submit the application through TAC Grants Online ( Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline dates. 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. 


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 Program Manager. 


Liza Mattimore, Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives
416-392-6802 x 231

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