Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most frequently received questions by our Grants Program Managers.
























I just moved to Toronto. Can I apply?

  • No. You must be a resident of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline, and live and work in Toronto for at least eight months of the year. However, this rule does not apply to those applying to the Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship program. We do not accept post office box numbers as evidence of residency.

I was an artist in my home country. I’ve been in Toronto for four years and have an application pending for permanent residence as a refugee claimant. Am I eligible to apply?

  • Yes, Toronto Arts Council was the first funding body to accept applications from people seeking Permanent Resident status. Protected Persons (approved refugee claimants) are also eligible. You may be requested to provide documentation about your claim.

I was a Toronto resident for many years, but a year ago I moved outside of the City. Can I apply?

  • No. You must be a resident of Toronto when applying for a grant. You are eligible if you live and work in Toronto for at least 8 months a year.

With regards to collaborative projects and collectives; are all applicants required to be residents of Toronto?

  • Not all members of a collective or participants in a collaborative project have to be residents of Toronto.  The majority of the collective must be Toronto residents. For example, in a collective with two individuals, both members must be Toronto residents. In a group of three, one member may be a non-resident.

I have recently completed High School and I have no plans to continue my education. Can I apply?

  • Yes. Please see Eligibility & Guidelines for your specific discipline / program.

I am an undergraduate student. Can I apply?

  • No. Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply for a grant.

I’m currently doing my MFA / Masters Degree in Toronto. Can I apply?

  • Yes, professional artists pursuing graduate studies may apply but not for work related to your program of study.

For more information on Eligibility, visit the TAC Eligibility Checklist

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How does TAC define a “professional” artist?

  • A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in the field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized as such by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), who has a history of public presentation, publication and/or production and who is committed to devoting more time to their artistic activity if financially feasible. 
  • 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. 

For more information on Eligibility, visit the TAC Eligibility Checklist

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My company isn't based in Toronto but just opened a Toronto office. Can we apply?

  • No. Having a satellite office in Toronto does not automatically make an organization eligible for TAC funding. Organizations with a regional Toronto office must have operated in the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline. We do not accept post office box numbers as evidence of office location.

For more information on Eligibility, visit the TAC Eligibility Checklist

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Can City-funded Local Arts Service Organizations or Major Cultural Organizations apply for Toronto Arts Council Grants?

  • No. Organizations funded directly by the City of Toronto, through the Major Cultural Organizations program and City-funded Local Arts Services Organizations (LASOs) are not eligible to apply to grants at Toronto Arts Council.​

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Can I submit my application in French? Puis-je soumettre ma demande en français?

  • Yes. Toronto Arts Council accepts applications submitted in French. Note that assessment panels are held in English. When there are French-language applications, at least one assessor is bilingual and TAC engages a French speaking consulting panel to assess the application.

    Oui. Le Conseil des Arts de Toronto accepte les subventions présentées en français. Veuillez noter que les comités d'évaluation se tiennent en anglais. Lorsqu’une demande de subvention est présentée en français, le Conseil s’assure qu’au moins un évaluateur bilingue siège sur le comité. Veuillez communiquer avec le ou la responsable des subventions de votre programme pour plus d’informations. 

In which person should my application be written?

  • It is recommended that you write in the first person. It is your project you are writing about, so use your own voice to describe it.

Should my writing be formal?

  • It is not necessary to use a formal tone when writing your application. However, it is important to use clear language and simple words so that the grant review panel can understand your proposal / project.  

Are there specific things the grant review panel wants to hear?

  • Every grant review panel is different, and therefore there is no clear indication of what they are looking for. However, it is important to let the grant assessment panel know why it is essential to fund your project. If you are unclear about what to include in your proposal, ask a TAC Program Manager for advice. Our Program Mangers are here to help you, so don't hesitate to email or give them a call.

I have two great projects that I’m working on. Can I apply for both?

  • No, you can only apply for one project per deadline. If you are unsure which one might have a better chance, contact the Program Manager to discuss your application. In addition to your project grant, you may apply for one Strategic Initiative grant per calendar year. 

I have one great project that I'm working on. Can I apply to different TAC programs with the same project? 

  • No. You can’t request funding for one project through different programs.

How specific do I need to be when describing my project?

  • It is a good idea to provide a clear estimate of what your project is going to look like so that the grant review panel and the board knows what they are assessing and approving. Your estimate indicates what you expect will result with the completion of your project. The grant review panel understands that plans may change; an estimated 20-minute film may turn out to be 23 minutes. Individuals, organizations and collectives who have received funding for a project that has resulted in something very different from what was proposed will need to contact the Program Manager to discuss the implications this has for funding.

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The grant I’m applying for requires a budget. What happens if pending funds from other sources fall through?

  • If you do not receive expected funds from other sources, this does not affect your TAC grant application / TAC funding.

Is childcare an eligible expense for project applications?

  • Yes. Toronto Arts Council has accepted childcare expenses for project participants since as early as 2004, either as costs covered by in-kind services, by other project revenues, or paid by the TAC project grant. In all TAC project programs, project expenses can include: artists fees (the payment of artists fees is a requirement in TAC project programs), production and technical fees, marketing and outreach costs, administrative costs, and other expenses necessary to complete the project, including childcare costs during the project timeframe.  While there is not an additional grant or a fund specifically for childcare costs, such costs are eligible project expenses, and may be paid by TAC project grant funds, from other revenue sources, or from in-kind donation of service.

I’ve received a TAC grant. What can I spend the money on?

  • Depending on the funding program, grants are intended to cover the direct costs of creation, production, operations, and related expenses. Read the application carefully to understand what expenses are eligible.

Are TAC grants to individuals taxable?  Will I receive a T4A tax receipt for my income taxes?

  • Yes. TAC grants to individuals are considered earned income and recipients will receive a T4A tax receipt the following January or February after grants funds have been issued. 

  • A note on grants as earned income:  If CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) says your TAC grant does not qualify as income - please note this is incorrect.  While travel, education or research grants may not qualify, arts production grants do qualify.  ALL TAC individual grants therefore qualify as income. Please refer to CRA guide for Art Production Grant and Artists' Project Grants for additional information.

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When using TAC Grants Online, can I leave the application unfinished and return to it later?

  • Yes. Your application will remain in draft form until you hit submit. You can return to your draft application at any time.

What file size is required when uploading support material?

  • This varies with each discipline. It is advised that you check your program application guidelines for recommended file sizes. Note: large files could be shared by providing a link to a file sharing service, however for privacy reasons Google Drive links are not accepted.

I am trying to upload my CV, but TAC Grants Online is not accepting it. Why?

  • When uplading files, make sure your files are in the right format. For example, CVs must be uploaded in PDF format.

I am working on an application, and it requires a date range for my project. What is an appropriate date range?

  • For most programs, you have two years to complete your project. The start date may begin as soon as three months after the application deadline, and can end within two years after that. The dates of each granting period can be found on the Deadlines page.

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May I exhibit  / execute my Toronto Arts Council funded work outside of Toronto?

  • Different guidelines apply to each funding program. Presentation or dissemination projects require that the work must be shown in Toronto. Creation grants and grants to individuals allow for the work produced to be shown anywhere.

Are workshops applicable for project grants programs?

  • Yes. You may apply for a project grant if your project involves hosting workshops.

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How many TAC grants can I apply for?

  • You can apply for multiple grants, but there are limitations, explained below.

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.)

For a list of what programs fall into each funding envelope, see “Discipline-based programs” and “Strategic funding programs” here:

Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. For example, you may not apply to a strategic funding program if you have another strategic funding program grant application pending OR if you have a Final Report pending. With a few exceptions (TAC Leaders Lab, Newcomer & Refugee Artist Mentorship, TAC-CS Digital Solutions Incubator, Black Arts and Indigenous Arts), applicants can receive only one grant from each envelope per year. See the program guidelines for details.

If you have an application that is “active” in TAC Grants Online (for example, your application is in “Draft,” “Submitted,” or “Committee/Panel Review”), then you cannot open another application in the same funding envelope (e.g. Arts Discipline funding). You can, however, open another application in the other funding envelope (e.g. Strategic funding).

Applicants are not eligible to apply if they have an outstanding Final Report in any other program within the same funding envelope they are applying for.

Can I receive multiple project grants for the same project?

  • No. Applicants can receive ONLY ONE grant per project per year.

Can I receive multiple strategic funding program grants per year?

  • No. Applicants can receive ONLY ONE strategic funding program grant per year.

Can I receive one Arts Discipline funding grant and one Strategic funding program grant per year?

  • Yes. However, you may not have more than two outstanding Final Reports – one from each funding envelope – at any one time. Note: you can’t request funding for one project through different programs.

If my application isn't successful, can I re-apply for the same project again in the same year?

  • It depends on the program: please refer to the guidelines for each program.

I’m an individual artist and I’m also a part of an organization or ad-hoc group. Does applying to a TAC grant as an individual prevent me from applying as part of an organization or ad-hoc group, or vice-versa?

  • No. An individual that applies to a TAC grant can also be a part of an organization or ad-hoc group that applies to a TAC grant. 

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I have recieved a TAC grant, and I will also apply to CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit). Do grants count as self-employment income?

  • Yes. Arts grants are considered self-employment income and all individual grant recipients will receive a T4A for the grant amount at the end of the year.
  • Grant payments also count as employment income for CERB applications. You can control the timing of your grant payment to best suit your CERB eligibility by delaying submission of your Notification Letter Requirements. For questions or more information, please call your grant program manager.

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Our project involves artists who are Deaf or have a disability – can we apply for additional funds to help cover accessibility costs for these artists?

  • Yes.  Projects involving Deaf artists, artists with disabilities or artists living with mental illness may apply for an additional TAC grant by completing the Accessibility Expenses section of the application and including the requisite information in their budget. TAC Accessibility grants are available in applications to TAC Arts Discipline and Strategic project programs, including programs for individual artists.

Are there supports for submitting an application for artists who are Deaf, have a disability or are living with mental illness?

  • Yes, you may be eligible for Application Accessibility Support to apply. Please visit our Application Accessibility Support page, or contact your Grant Program Manager for more information

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Do I need to send TAC a hard copy of my application?

  • No. TAC no longer requires that you send us hard copies of your application. Everything is submitted and reviewed electronically via TAC Grants Online.

Will I be notified that TAC has received my application once it is submitted?

  • Yes. TAC’s online grants application server TAC Grants Online will send you a confirmation email once you have submitted your application. The email will be sent to the email address you used when registering for TAC Grants Online.

When will I get the results?

  • Applicants will be notified when the results are ready via email approximately three months after the closing date. Applicants will be required to log into TAC Grants Online to view their results. Results are not released over the telephone.

Does Toronto Arts Council own my work if I get a grant?

  • No. TAC does not own any part of the work it funds through its grants programs.

My application did not get accepted. Is there somewhere where I can get feedback?

  • The Program Manager for your discipline is available to discuss your application. Keep in mind that grant review panel deliberations are confidential and comments made during the proceedings will not be released. However, the Program Manager can explain the process and let you know if your grant was complete and clear. Note: for the following grant programs to individual artists - Writers, Playwrights, Music Creation & Audio Recording, Visual Artists and Media Artists - we cannot provide feedback due to the high volume applications.

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I received a grant a few years ago and am not sure if I sent in a report. Does it matter? I did complete the project.

  • Yes, it matters. As part of the conditions of receiving public money, you are requested to send in a final report. You will not be able to apply for another grant until we receive all outstanding final reports. Final reporting is an important tool for TAC to evaluate our programs and advocate for increased funding.

The activities in my TAC funded project have been cancelled, postponed or changed due to COVID-19. What should I do about my Final Report?

  • We understand that grant recipients may need to postpone, change or cancel their activities, targets and dates. Contact your Grant Program Manager if you need more time to complete your project and to request a final report due date extension along with approval of project changes. Project grant recipients may postpone, adjust or cancel projects affected by the COVID-19 outbreak without penalty from TAC.
  • ​If you are not sure when you will complete the project, it’s okay for the final report to become overdue, however you will be unable to submit a new application to TAC until you have submitted the report.
  • ​You must request approval for significant changes to the project, including presentation format, key collaborators, budget, programming, duration, timing and location of funded activities. The Program Manager will review your proposed changes to confirm that your modified project is still eligible, and that it retains enough of the original elements that influenced the recommendation of the grant review panel.
  • ​If your project is cancelled, use your grant as intended for non-refundable expenses already incurred, and to pay any financial commitments to artists, collaborators, venues or other contractual partners. You can also allocate some of your grant to lost income if the projected income was listed in your budget. If you are faced with cancellation fees or penalties, grant funds can also be used to pay these unexpected costs. If you can demonstrate that all of your grant was spent on costs that are non-refundable, state this in your final report.​
  • ​If you are unsure about how to move forward, your Grant Program Manager will work with you to advise on what is possible. Do not submit a final report for an incomplete project unless you have been instructed to do so by your Grant Program Manager.

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How many grants are awarded?

  • The number of grants awarded varies depending on TAC’s budget, and the amount of applications received every term.

Can I access a list of all grants awarded over the past year?

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What is the role of the Program Manager?

  • TAC Program Managers facilitate the application process. This includes advising individuals or organizations about how to apply, ensuring that applications meet the funding criteria, and facilitating the assessment process. Program Managers attend arts events and participate in outreach initiatives to publicize grant programs. 

Do Program Managers sit on the Board of Directors or the grant review panels?

  • No. The role of the Program Manager is to assist applicants, and to aid the grant review panels during the adjudication process. Program Managers do not sit on the grant review panels, and therefore do not participate in adjudications. Similarly, Program Managers do not sit on the Board of Directors, and therefore are not responsible for approving grant recommendations.

Read more about TAC’s Program Managers by visiting Our Team

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How does the assessment process work?

  • Depending on the program, TAC grants are assessed by either a grant review panel or committee of independent practicing artists and arts professionals. After reading all grant applications within each program deadline, each grant review panel and committee meets as a group to discuss, score and award grant applications in a rigorous process facilitated by the Program Manager. The discussions that occur during assessments are kept confidential. Grant recommendations are then made to the Board of Directors.

Does TAC take into account equity related factors when making funding decisions?

  • Yes, TAC granting is guided by an Equity Framework, which includes representation requirements for grant review panels and committees, as well as an Equity Priority Policy that informs the funding and allocations process.

How are peer assessors chosen?

  • No two grant review panels are ever the same. Grant review panels are made up of artists and professionals that have a variety of expertise in their discipline, and are chosen to reflect the variety of applications received in each granting term. Peer assessors are selected to reflect a balance of gender, cultural diversity, and stage of career. When selecting peer assessors, TAC ensures that issues of conflict of interest are avoided. 

How many individuals sit on the grant review panel?

  • The number of individuals that sit on a grant review panel or committee varies by discipline and program. The number of applications submitted varies with each program, and the size of the grant review panel reflects this. Grant review panels can have as few as four individuals, and as many as ten.

I am interested in becoming a member of the grant review panel. How can I be considered for the position?

  • If you are interested in becoming a peer assessor, contact the Program Manager of your discipline of expertise. It is not guaranteed that you will be invited to sit on a grant review panel after you have expressed interest.

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Who is on the Board of Directors?

  • Toronto Arts Council’s volunteer board and committees are made up of artists, other arts professionals and arts supporters. To guarantee accountability, City Council appoints five of its members to Toronto Arts Council’s 29 member Board of Directors. To view a list of current board members, visit Our Board of Directors.

I would like to be on the Board of Directors. How often does TAC accept new board members?

  • New board members are accepted once a year. TAC puts out a call for Board Directors in the Fall. Nominations are approved at the Annual General Meeting.

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Is there any connection between Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts?

  • All three funding councils share CADAC, but apart from this they share no connection. Toronto Arts Council is funded by the City of Toronto, whereas the Ontario Arts Council is provincially funded, and the Canada Council for the Arts is federally funded. Everything from the staff, Board, the application processes and more are all independent to each council.

Can I apply to different funding arts councils at the same time?

  • Yes. There are no restrictions preventing you from applying to various arts councils at the same time.

Is there a hierarchy with regards to receiving grants from the three arts councils? Should I apply to a TAC grant first before applying to Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts?

  • No. You may apply to any arts council at any time in your career.

Are there resources available that can assist me in preparing my application?

  • Yes. Our Program Managers are available to discuss your ideas and projects and can assist you in determining what grant program you should apply for. However, there are other Ontario and Toronto-based organizations that can further assist you in such things as preparing your application, administrative, or capacity-building initiatives. Visit our External Resources page for a list to get you started.

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Do you have any questions not mentioned here about our programs? Please contact our Program Managers.