Ontario Supporting Indigenous and Emerging Artists

New investment helping arts organizations and artists safely reconnect with their audiences during COVID-19

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is increasing support for the province’s arts sector with a $5-million grant program administered through the Ontario Arts Council. The funding will create more opportunities for Indigenous artists and arts organizations to reconnect with their audiences and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and help new emerging artists across all disciplines during a pivotal stage in their careers.

“Ontario’s arts sector contributes significantly to our province, providing thousands of jobs for musicians, writers, painters, actors, dancers, stagehands and the many others working behind the scenes,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “By supporting Indigenous artists, Indigenous arts organizations and emerging artists through these new grant programs, our government is helping to broaden the cultural landscape by providing more opportunities for dynamic new artists whose extraordinary and unique work strengthens the social fabric of our province, making it an incredible place to live.”

This investment will provide funding through the following project-based grant programs:

  • Indigenous Arts Support Program – $4 million in project grants will be available to Indigenous artists and arts organizations involved in a variety of disciplines including dance, literature, media arts, multi and inter-arts, music, theatre and visual arts, as they research, develop and create new work and engage with their communities.
  • Career Catalyst: Project Grants for New Generation Artists – $1-million grant program for professional artists, between 18 and 30 years old in any artistic discipline funded by the Ontario Arts Council. These $2,000 grants will support 500 individual artists with activities to help build career momentum as they recover from COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges.

The Career Catalyst: Project Grants for New Generation Artists program is now open. The application deadline for this program is December 16, 2021. Intake for the Indigenous Arts Support Program will begin in November 2021 and close in January 2022. More information about both granting streams is available on the OAC website.

This funding builds on the government’s 2020-21 emergency investment of $25 million to help artists and arts organizations overcome the pandemic, remain solvent and prepare for re-opening their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back their visitors and audiences.


Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries that provides grants to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations. Grants support a range of arts activities and disciplines.
  • Prior to the pandemic, the culture sector contributed more than $27.5 billion to Ontario’s economy and more than 288,000 jobs.