The glossary below is meant help shed some light on terms you will find throughout our website. These definitions are not meant to be universal. Instead, they are definitions that Arts Nova Scotia uses in the context of our website and funding programs.

Have questions? Contact a program officer!


Accessibility means ensuring people of all abilities have opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. Accessibility refers to the ability to access and benefit from a system, service, product, or environment. Some of the barriers which might prevent people from accessing an opportunity include ability, age, culture, economy, gender, geography, sexual orientation.


An arrangement in which someone learns an art, skill, or trade.


Arts Nova Scotia is an arm’s-length government agency. Granting decisions are made independently of political influence.

Artistic Merit

A standard exhibited by creative work or artistic product or practice that is characterized by such qualities as experimentation, clarity, rigour, relevance, and cultural integrity.

Artists’ Fees

Compensation paid to artists for their work, or for the use of their work, following Canadian professional affiliation standards.

Arts-Based Inquiry

A collaborative approach to learning using one or more artistic disciplines as tools to engage students in mindful and creative cross-curricular investigation and experimentation. Knowledge and understanding is built through an active, open-minded exploration of a meaningful question, problem, or issue.

Arts/Cultural Professional

A professional in the arts, recognized by their peers and with a history of public presentation/participation   , whose work supports and facilitates the arts in an arts discipline (i.e., curators, administrators, producers, technicians, editors, cultural connectors, etc.).

Assessor/Peer Assessment Committee

A group of professional arts practitioners of the relevant discipline/background/community who did not apply to the specific competition and are available to assess applications submitted to a specific deadline. These groups are unique and different each time.
Peer assessment is the cornerstone of public arts funding in Canada. Peer assessors are qualified artists or arts/cultural professionals with experience and knowledge relevant to the applications under consideration. They are individuals capable of making an informed assessment of grant applications, and of awarding funds.

Barriers to Access

Barriers to access are conditions or obstacles that prevent individuals or groups from using or accessing knowledge and resources with the result of some people receiving unequal access or being excluded.

Capital Expenses

Capital expenses include the purchase of equipment and other permanent assets that have a lasting value of more than one year, and that can be repurposed.

Co-Learning and Co-Creation

Co-learning is the process of learning from one another, i.e. teachers learn from students just as students learn from teachers. Co-creation occurs when all parties (students, teachers, and artists) participate in the development of project goals, action plans, and outcomes. Placing students at the centre of co-learning and co-creation recognizes that students are active partners in their learning experiences.


A collaboration occurs when two or more parties participate equally in the conceptualization and development of a project or goal. Placing all participants as active partners in a creation process.

Community Arts Practice

A recognized field of artistic practice characterized by interaction between a professional artist(s) and a specific community (cultural, geographic, social, etc.).

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest is a situation in which a nominator or an assessor could benefit from an assessment decision, whether that decision is to award or decline. This benefit may be personal, professional, or financial.


The exclusive right to copy a creative work, or to license others to copy a creative work; may include the right to publish, produce, reproduce, perform, translate, rent, etc.


Interaction between artists and professionals from different sectors (i.e. fibre artist and neurologist.)

Cultural Appropriation

The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

Cultural Integrity

The practice of respecting and honouring the ownership of materials, traditions, and knowledge that originate from a particular culture or community. Cultural integrity can be demonstrated by following cultural protocols (rules); properly acknowledging and compensating contributors; and using materials in ethical and informed ways. Procedures may differ when representing one’s own culture versus another culture.

CV (Curriculum Vitae)

Documentation of education and/or professional development and professional activities including public presentation and publication, awards, professional affiliations, and peer recognition.


A severe to profound hearing loss, with little or no residual hearing. Many Deaf people identify as culturally Deaf, sharing distinct sign languages, traditions, histories, and values. Individuals may identify as having a disability rather than being culturally Deaf.


A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or interact with the world around them. These conditions may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or some combination of these.

Emerging Artist

Established Artist

Final Report

A narrative and/or financial report accounting for activities supported through a grant to an individual, group, or organization. This documentation is submitted after the activity is completed.


The system by which an organization makes and implements decisions in pursuit of its objectives, and the way in which it empowers its leadership to take accountability for those decisions.


A payment for services rendered wherein no industry standard exists.


Indigenous is the collective name for the original peoples of Turtle Island (North America), who are comprised of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and non-status peoples.

Indigenous Knowledge Keeper

An individual whose role within Indigenous communities supports the preservation, retention, maintenance, and knowledge transfer of specific Indigenous worldviews, cultural practices, and traditions through art and creative practice.

In-kind Donation

Materials or services donated to an individual, group, organization or project that has an assigned value. This can include materials or services that the applicant contributes to their own project. See our In-kind Reporting Policy (for organizations only) for more information.


A characteristic of artistic activity that integrates and transforms distinct art forms into a new work outside the usual framework of the contributing art forms.

Living Expenses

Living expenses are a $2000 per-month amount to help artists meet their personal commitments, (including mortgage/rent, child/parent care, food, local transportation, utilities, etc.). This amount should not be broken down or explained in any way in your budget.


A directive or official instruction given to an organization that establishes the parameters of its existence.


An individual with extensive knowledge and experience in a particular art form or practice who transmits this knowledge to another (usually less experienced) person.


The essential activity of an organization that constitutes its primary purpose.

Operating Grant

A grant awarded to an arts organization to help pay ongoing costs of maintaining the activities, programming, governance, and administration of the organization.

Organizational Capacity Building

Organizational capacity building seeks to strengthen the ability of an organization to achieve a desired outcome. This may be defined as: “Supporting organizations to build and maintain the skills, infrastructure, and resources to achieve their mission."

Professional Artist

An artist who:

  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition);
  • has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions);
  • shows significant commitment to their artistic practice;
  • has a history of professional public presentation, publication, or being engaged with a practice in a public context;
  • may be at an emerging or established stage in their career.

Emerging Artist:

An emerging artist has specialized training in their field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution), who has done more than simply aspire to create work in a given discipline. An emerging artist has some professional credits, awards or grants, at least one public presentation in professional venues in a solo capacity, or within a group of professional artists, and has created a modest independent body of work. An artist may be considered emerging for multiple years. Age is not a factor in determining an emerging artist.

Established Artist:

  • is mid-career or beyond in their professional career;
  • has more than five years of professional activity and a minimum of three professional presentation or publications for which they have been compensated as a professional artist.

Professional Arts Group

  • a group, ensemble or collective made up of two or more members working in an artistic practice;
  • has an artistic practice;
  • engages and pays professional fees to artists;
  • must be able to receive a grant payable to a group member's name.

Professional Arts Organization

  • supports professional artistic work in any discipline;
  • is led by paid, qualified professional personnel;
  • is governed by a board of directors or an advisory body responsible for the organization;
  • engages or supports professional artists and pays professional fees to artists;
  • is based in Nova Scotia and has been active in the province for at least one year prior to applying;
  • is incorporated;
  • operates as a not-for-profit;
  • operates as a for-profit (publishers only).

Professional Arts Service Organization

A not-for-profit arts organization that:

  • has a professional membership that is representative of an artistic discipline;
  • supports the development of professional artists and the art form;
  • is governed by a board of directors or advisory body;
  • is led by paid, qualified professional personnel;
  • is incorporated.


Professional Development

The increase of knowledge or skill through study, travel, research, workshops, apprenticeships, mentorships, residencies, etc.

Professional Fee

Compensation paid to artists or arts/cultural professionals for their work or for the use of their work. Standardized rates are established by service organizations in each field of practice.


A program that places an artist in a community or organization for an extended period of time to do one or a combination of the following: produce new work; engage in mentorship or gain new skills to build one’s artistic practice; broaden the network for one’s professional artistic practice; and/or community engagement beyond one’s established circles.

Royalty Fee

Royalties are considered payments received as compensation for using or allowing the use of copyrighted material. This can include payments in regard to literary works, plays, screenplays, film works, and The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) fees to composers.

Safe Working Conditions

In Canada, every workplace is regulated by either the Federal or Provincial government, and is required by law to meet applicable occupational health legislation.

Traditional Art Form

An art form, which has been transmitted from generation to generation and pertains to a particular people or territory; may include knowledge systems, creations, and/or cultural expressions.

Visible Minority

Persons, other than Indigenous people, who, because of their race or colour, are a visible minority.