Open Door

Open Door is a funding opportunity designed to respond to timely and ambitious arts sector initiatives outside of the discipline-specific funding programs.

A futuristic art installation that looks like a silver 3D hexagon. The installation is situated outdoors.
in/future presented by Art Spin. Trillium Icosaflorum by Rob King photo by Andrew Williamson (2017)

Stage One Application deadline: September 6, 2018
Stage Two Application deadline: October 15, 2018

Applicants are required to speak to Rupal Shah, Strategic Programs Manager, before submitting a Stage One application. 


The Open Door funding process provides an opportunity for TAC to identify and examine the gaps and needs in Toronto’s arts ecology while testing a new model for funding arts initiatives in all disciplines. The purpose of the program is to empower arts organizations to find solutions for current and future challenges through working with collaborators, sharing learning and expanding their horizons. Through the Open Door process, TAC aims to provide catalyst funding for big ideas and initiatives that have the potential to create transformative change for artistic disciplines, communities of artists and arts organizations and the arts sector at large.


All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be located in the City of Toronto1;
  • be an incorporated non-profit arts organization or a non-profit arts collective (individuals are not eligible for this program);
  • have a strong track record of arts activity;
  • have a viable administrative and financial plan for achieving the goals of the proposed activities;
  • For requests over $15,000, applicants must submit audited financial statements for the previous fiscal year.

A post office box cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.

Applicants may receive a grant through the Open Door process only once every two years. If the project duration is more than one year, the recipient cannot reapply until one year after the project completion date.

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. 

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. Animating Historic Sites, Animating Toronto Parks, Artists in the Library, etc.). Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. Applications to the Strategic Initiatives – Open Door 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.)


Proposals will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. Exceptional Opportunities: one-time opportunities that are created in response to unique circumstances and events that have the potential to develop new audiences, impact an arts discipline, and elevate the sector as a whole. 
  2. Market Development: activities that will grow or develop new markets for Toronto arts work at either the local, national or international level and create new partnerships, networks and/or collaborative opportunities. Projects taking place outside Toronto must demonstrate the impact of the project on the ongoing work, growth and development of artists and/or arts organizations in the City.
  3. New Models and Innovation: activities, partnerships and/or collaborations that will address sector-wide issues and create new thinking or models for arts administration, practices, and sectoral growth.

The following activities are not eligible for funding through this program:

  • activities included in TAC operating grants
  • activities included in TAC project grants
  • capital projects or expenses
  • renovations or repairs
  • research or feasibility studies
  • projects previously funded through Open Door

***NEW IN 2018*** Projects involving Deaf artists and artists with disabilities may apply for an additional TAC grant by completing the Accessibility Expenses section of the Stage Two application. A TAC Accessibility grant will provide up to a maximum of $5,000 towards accessibility costs incurred during the project for artists involved with the project. Accessibility costs include but are not limited to: ASL interpretation, audio description, closed captioning, communications assistants, and attendant care.

Discover more TAC grants