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. Pictured: Trillium Icosaflorum by Rob King. Photo by Andrew Williamson (2017)

Application deadlines: February 24 and September 15, 2020

Projects aligned with ArtworxTO (formerly Year of Public Art) are eligible to apply for TAC's Open Door program in the Big Ideas category: ambitious, timely projects with the potential to transform an artistic discipline, inspire a community of artists or elevate the arts sector as a whole.

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


Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door granting program supports projects that demonstrate innovation, provocation, creative collaboration & partnership, artistry, risk-taking, experimentation, and the sharing of knowledge and leadership. Open Door provides catalyst funding for ideas with the potential to create transformative change in the arts sector.


Applications will be accepted in the following Project Categories:

1.  Big Ideas: ambitious, timely projects with the potential to transform an artistic discipline, inspire a community of artists or elevate the arts sector as a whole. Projects aligned with the Year of Public Art in 2021 are eligible to apply. Visit our Year of Public Arts page to learn more about Toronto Arts Council’s role in this City of Toronto initiative.

2.  Market Development: projects designed to grow or develop new markets for Toronto arts work. Projects taking place outside Toronto must explain the impact on the City’s artists and/or arts sector.

3.  New Models (formerly New Models and Innovations): projects with the capacity to solve sector-wide challenges in new or innovative ways.

The following activity is 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, feasibility studies or training programs
  • projects previously funded through Open Door
  • print or online publishing.


All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be located in the City of Toronto[1];
  • be an incorporated non-profit arts organization or a non-profit arts collective
  • have a strong track record of arts activity;
  • have a viable administrative and financial plan for the proposed activities;
  • For requests over $30,000, applicants must submit audited financial statements for the previous fiscal year.

Applicants may receive a grant through the Open Door program 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 grant 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 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.)

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


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).

Discover more TAC grants