The British Columbia Arts Council is inviting applications to provide project assistance to visual arts organizations and arts-curatorial collectives in the development, expansion or enhancement, and creation of new or unique public programming, and community engagement initiatives in contemporary and traditional visual arts and craft.
BC Arts Council supports a wide variety of practices within the visual arts, including (but not limited to):
- Independent critical and curatorial practice
- Studio-based practices (ex. drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, etc.)
- Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and other visual arts practices (ex. installation, video art, performance art, public art, etc.)
- Contemporary and traditional craft practices (ex. beading, carving, ceramics, weaving, etc.)
- Community-engaged practices led by arts and culture professionals.
Grants are not available through this program to support projects that are solely or primarily focused on the creation of new works.
The BC Arts Council's designated priority groups include applicants and arts and cultural practitioners who are:
- Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit) Peoples;
- Deaf or experience disability;
- Black or people of colour; or
- Located in areas outside greater Vancouver or the capital region.
There is no maximum request amount, but project assistance grants typically range from $5,000 to $25,000.
What Types of Projects are Eligible?
Examples include (but are not limited to):
- exhibitions, including development and installation;
- publications, documentation and dissemination of artistic works and exhibitions;
- professional skills development for artists, including workshops, artists’ residencies, and activities that develop the arts sector;
- exploration of new artistic or curatorial practices, including practice-based research, collaboration, experimentation and creative development; or
- audience development, collaborations, exchanges, and activities that creatively engage communities.
Examples of activities that are not eligible for support in this program:
- projects with a sole focus on creation or commissioning of new work;
- ongoing multi-day festivals and projects embedded within ongoing multi-day festivals, and other activities eligible within the professional arts festivals program;
- general operating expenses and activities, ongoing expenses, or annual artistic programming plans;
- Equipment and capital asset purchases or maintenance expenses;
- projects or activities that do not involve or benefit artists or arts and culture practitioners and professionals; or
- projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts and culture focus.
Visual Arts Organization Applicants
Be a professional visual arts organization registered and in good standing as a non-profit society or community service co-op in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application with:
- The majority of key staff (paid or volunteer) and board members based in B.C. with creative control and decision making for programming and engagement primarily maintained within the organization and by leadership based in B.C.; and
- A purpose/mandate primarily dedicated to arts and culture programming and activities; or
- A purpose/mandate to provide services to the arts and culture sector in B.C.
- Be an Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) community organization or Indigenous government in B.C. that offers dedicated arts and culture activities.
Be a professional visual arts organization operated by a local government in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application, that:
- Maintains an ongoing arm’s length, community-based board of management or advisory structure that sets policy for the organization’s programs and services;
- Holds a dedicated programming space and has at least one dedicated staff person in an artistic, curatorial, or administrative leadership position who is responsible for programming and engagement;
- Offers ongoing public programming by professional arts and cultural practitioners; and
- Primarily operates with autonomy, holding creative control and decision making for programming and engagement within the organization, with separate financial records for operations
Organizations must also:
- Provide public arts and cultural programming or service to the arts and culture sector in B.C., as a primary activity, and have done so for a minimum of one year prior to the application deadline;
- Provide programs that benefit the community and not solely its members’ interests;
- Engage skilled artistic, curatorial, and administrative leadership (volunteer or paid) for project or service delivery;
- Fairly compensate artists, arts and cultural practitioners, technicians, Elders, and/or Knowledge Keepers. Compensation must align with project and community contexts and industry standards within the field of practice, including adhering to international intellectual property rights standards and cultural ownership protocols;
- Have completed and submitted any overdue final reports on previous BC Arts Council grants by the submission deadline for this program.
- Be a professional visual arts organization registered and in good standing as a non-profit society or community service co-op in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application with:
Arts or Curatorial Collective Applicants
Be established and readily identified as a collective of independent B.C. artists, curators, or arts and cultural practitioners, consisting of three or more individuals who are professionally active in their field of practice, each of whom must:
- Have a minimum of two years of professional practice in their field, within roles that hold creative control of projects, following basic training.
- Have a demonstrated body of previous work as an individual practitioner, including at least one instance of public presentation of a work for which an artist fee, or equivalent, was received.
- Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
Have a demonstrated history of creating or presenting work as a collective and have a clear commitment to a current practice. At a minimum, the collective must have:
- A demonstrated body of previous work by current members of the collective;
- At least one instance of public presentation of a work by the current collective, for which artist fees, or equivalent, were received; and
- Intention to continue working together as a collective with current members on future projects
- Be established and readily identified as a collective of independent B.C. artists, curators, or arts and cultural practitioners, consisting of three or more individuals who are professionally active in their field of practice, each of whom must:
Grants are not available to support:
- Operating expenses.
- Project phases or activities that have begun prior to the application submission deadline.
- Project or budget deficits or contingency funds.
- Capital expenses (construction, renovation, or purchase of property or equipment).
- Feasibility studies, start-up costs, or seed money.
- Projects or activities that are not based upon artistic or curatorial decision making, or where arts and culture is not the primary focus, including: pay-to-play activities; fundraising activities; competitions; conferences and conventions; family, religious, or community celebrations; or anniversaries.
- Podcasts and radio programming that are not embedded within established artistic practice or specifically dedicated to the dissemination of artistic works (activities based within journalism, broadcasting, creative industry, or for general interest or commercial purposes are not eligible for support).
- Subsistence to artists or arts and cultural practitioners.
- Costs of producing commercial recordings or demo reels.
- Private or for-profit entities (except in the case of for-profit book publishing companies).
- Member-funded societies.
- Industrial/archaeological/heritage sites or historic places or organizations dedicated to archives.
- Curriculum-based activities or projects related to continuing education or post-secondary programs.
- Projects that are primarily in support of or focused within creative industries or commercial sectors.
For more information, visit British Columbia Arts Council.