About the Event

Arts Nova Scotia has a long-running Operating Assistance to Arts Organizations program, which was designed to enhance stability within established arts organizations that develop and sustain Nova Scotia’s arts community.

We are currently reviewing the program and are seeking input from members of the professional arts community in Nova Scotia.

Arts Nova Scotia board and staff will be in attendance and the sessions will be facilitated by Eryn Foster. There are three opportunities to participate.

Where and when?

Who should come?

This session is meant for organizations and artists who have accessed Operating Assistance to Arts Organizations in the past or wish to in the future. Including:

  • Staff, board, or volunteers from professional arts organizations
  • Artists who work as part of a collective or ad-hoc groups

About the Facilitator

Eryn Foster is an interdisciplinary artist who also works as a filmmaker, educator, curator, community arts organizer and arts consultant. For the past three years, she has been working in close collaboration with ISANS (Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia) and the arts organization Nocturne, to offer free programming to members of the newcomer community in Halifax. In previous years, Foster has worked as the program Director/Administrator for the Yukon School of Visual Arts, and the Director of the artist-run centre, Eyelevel Gallery.


The 2023-2024 provincial budget included a $1.4 million increase to Arts Nova Scotia’s budget for operating grants. With this increase, Arts Nova Scotia committed to reviewing the Operating Assistance to Arts Organizations fund to ensure it remains responsive to community needs and supports the long-term sustainability of the sector. Previously, the structure of the operating assistance program did not allow for meaningful changes in funding levels for established organizations or the welcoming of new and emerging organizations.

The review of this program takes into account the learnings from the Building Back Better Report as well as the Arts Nova Scotia’s 2023-2025 Strategic Priorities established by the Arts Nova Scotia board that were outlined in the 2022-23 annual report.

The review is divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Board and Staff Planning (completed)

  • Jurisdictional scan of operating programs across Canada
  • Informational interviews
  • Establishing board priorities

Phase 2: Community Engagement (October – December 2023)

  • Sector-wide survey
  • Drafting of new guidelines
  • Targeted in-person and online engagement sessions with professional arts organizations

Phase 3: Implementation (January – March 2024)

  • New guidelines to be available in early January 2024
  • Application intake for all organizations March 1, 2024