Visual Artists Program

Rolling Deadline: Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, with notification of results released approximately 3-4 months after submission date.

For questions about this program, contact Peter Kingstone, Visual/Media Arts Program Manager


Toronto Arts Council’s Visual Artists program provides support to visual artists who have a professional independent art practice for the creation/production of new work or the completion of works in progress. Funds are intended to cover direct costs of creation/production, subsistence and materials. Visual Arts includes drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, printmaking, bookworks, performance art, installation and fine crafts.


You may submit an application anytime, and may submit only one application during the year. You will be notified  with the application results approximately 3-4 months after the submission date. The first notification will be made in April. Applications submitted after November 4, 2019 are for the 2020 Program.  

LEVEL ONE: $5,000 – for emerging artists in the early stages of their professional career who have produced a small body of work and achieved some local recognition and/or have limited public exhibition experience. Generally, they have had between 2 and 7 years of professional arts practice.

LEVEL TWO: $10,000 – for mid-career and established artists.
Mid-career artists are past the early stages of their careers, have produced a reasonable body of work and have received recognition outside the local community. Generally, they have had between 8 and 14 years of professional arts practice.
Established artists have produced an extensive body of work and have achieved national or international recognition. Generally they have had at least 15 years of professional arts practice.

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 professional artists and meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be Canadian Citizens, or Permanent Residents (Landed Immigrants), or have an application pending for Permanent Resident status, or be a Protected Person (approved refugee claimant) and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.
  • Applicants must be residents of the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the application deadline. Temporary absences of up to 12 months may be considered, subject to written explanation and special permission; please contact the Grant Program Manager. Neither a Post Office Box address nor a studio address can be used to meet the residency requirement.
  • Applicants must have completed basic training (not necessarily in a formal educational institution).
  • Applicants must have spent a minimum of one year working on and developing an independent art practice after completing full-time studies.
  • Undergraduate students are not eligible.
  • Professional artists pursuing graduate studies may not apply for work related to their program of study. A letter from the graduate program director specifying that the project is not related to the graduate student’s program of studies must be submitted with the application.
  • 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.
  • Applicants must retain full copyright, financial and creative control.
  • Applicants to TAC’s 2020 Visual Artists Program may not apply to TAC’s 2020 Media Artists Program.
  • Collaborative proposals are eligible. Co-applicants are subject to the same eligibility criteria as primary applicants. If the application is successful, the grant cheque will be payable to the principal applicant, as listed in the application. Similarly, a T4A slip will be issued to the principal applicant.


The following are not eligible:

  • Projects that have been completed prior to the announcement of results. Toronto Arts Council does not fund retroactively.
  • Project funding solely for the purpose of travel or exhibition of work, including the cost of framing.
  • Capital purchases, such as tools, equipment, etc.
  • Commissioned, instructional or promotional projects.

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