Responsible Staff Member
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This program helps emerging and established professional artists from designated communities who have historically faced barriers to accessing funding support. Designed to support artistic growth, development, production and dissemination, the initiative is available to the following designated communities of artists:

  • Indigenous (Mi’kmaq as well as other First Nations, Metis and Inuit)
  • Culturally diverse (African Nova Scotian and other visible minorities of African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and mixed racial descents)
  • Artists who are deaf, have disabilities or are living with mental illness


The Arts Equity Progam is designed to help both emerging and established professional artists from designated communities that have historically faced barriers to accessing funding support.

The initiative will provide funds for Creation, Production/ Presentation, Professional Development, and Special Travel. The designated communities of artists include Indigenous (Mi’kmaq as well as other First Nations, Metis and Inuit), culturally diverse (African-Nova Scotian and other visible minorities of African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and mixed racial descents) and artists who are Deaf, have disabilities, or are living with mental illness.

Activities Assisted and Level of Funding

Applicants will be eligible to receive only one of the following grants in a 12 month period:

  • Creation Grants $15,000 Maximum, $500 Minimum
    • Assists with projects that involve the creation of new work of art in any form including cross-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary work
  • Presentation Grants $12,000 Maximum, $500 Minimum
    • Assists with projects that involve public presentation of artistic work(s)
  • Professional Development Grants $12,000 Maximum, $500 Minimum
    • Assists with projects that involve activities intended to strengthen artistic or administrative capacity through formal study programs, mentorship, workshops, apprenticeship, conference and other professional development activity

A special travel grant can be awarded in the same 12 month period as a Creation, Presentation or Professional Development grant.

  • Special Travel Grants $1,000 Maximum
    • Assists with travel costs that do not fit into one of the categories above but relates to the development of artistic activity or a significant artistic opportunity
    • Only artists who have previously obtained funding from Arts Nova Scotia are eligible to apply for a Special Travel Grant
    • It is not necessary to include support material when applying for a Special Travel Grant 


  • Applicants may be individual artists, professional arts organizations or ad-hoc groups from the designated communities
    • Individuals -  the applicant is one person
    • Ad hoc groups are applicants who are two or more individuals who are working collaboratively and are not registered in any manner. “Ad hoc group” refers to a group of artists formed for the specific purpose of creating a unique work”
    • Non-Profit Organization – the applicant is a non-profit society or non-profit co-operative registered in the Province of Nova Scotia, and is in good standing with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies
  • Applicants must complete a self-identification form to demonstrate eligibility. This form will not be shared with the Peer Assessment Committee. Its contents will be confidential and privacy of information will be protected.
  • Applicants must be professional artists. The determination of professional is determined by the Status of the Artist Act including but not limited to the following criteria:
    • To have peer recognition
    • To have a history of public presentation
    • To have training appropriate to the artist's chosen discipline (including mentorship and/or apprenticeship training)
    • To earn income, fully or in part, from artistic activity
    • To demonstrate serious intent and devotion of energy to practicing art
  • Applicants must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants who have maintained their primary residence in Nova Scotia for at least 12 months prior to applying to the program. Applicants who are out of the province temporarily and will be away for no more than 12 months may apply
  • Applicants who apply to this program are also eligible to apply for funding to other Arts Nova Scotia programs


The Arts Equity Funding Initiative does not provide financial support to the cultural industries (e.g. commercial film and video production, music videos, recording, television shows, publishing, commercial design, or production crafts)

Applicants who are students are not eligible for this program.  Students are encouraged to apply to the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Professional artists who undertake graduate studies may apply for Professional Development only.

There will be no retroactive funding to projects that start prior to the deadline.


Eligible project costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Living expenses for individuals during the period of the project
  • Artist’s fees (for organizations or groups applications only)
  • Mentor Fees and other expenses related to professional artistic development of the applicant
  • Fees for design, production and technical personnel and other production expenses
  • Travel costs outside of the applicant’s general area of residence
  • Royalties
  • Promotion and Publicity
  • Venue rental
  • Rental of equipment essential to the project
  • Contribution to the costs of access support such as transcribers, sign language, or attendants for artists who are Deaf or have disabilities are contributions Arts Nova Scotia makes above and beyond the grant received.  These costs may not total more than 25% of the expense budget or $2500, whichever is less

Ineligible expenses include:

  • The capital cost of purchase or long term rental of buildings or property, construction or renovation, as well as equipment, machinery, computers or anything that that can be repurposed for general use
  • The costs of activities of an ongoing nature (recurring events or core activities associated with operating funding)
  • The costs of projects or elements of projects already funded through another Arts Nova Scotia and/or the Government of Nova Scotia grant or award
  • Costs relating to permanent staff positions
  • Costs relating to the development or maintenance of promotional websites

Eligibility of expenses not listed above should be discussed with the program officer.

Application Requirements

  • Signed and completed application form
  • Detailed project description (Max. 2 pages)
  • Detailed budget
  • Detailed schedule of work
  • Two-page CV of the applicant and all other artists involved, or a description of artistic practice and applicable training
  • Support material demonstrating the applicant’s professional practice (Images, video/audio, printed pages)

Note: Letters of intent from any person or organization involved in the project, and/or letters of support from professional, practicing artists in the relevant discipline(s) may be necessary to include. Contact the program officer when in doubt about these documents.

Support Material

Support material is included in each application to assess artistic merit and may include, but not be limited to: samples of previous work (e.g. digital images of visual art, script samples, music scores, poems), images, videos,and audio recordings.

General Information

  • Large video and audio files should be uploaded to a streaming service such as YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud.
  • Files must be labeled with the numbers 01, 02, 03, etc. at the start of each title
  • Files must be directly readable, requiring no extraction from another format, and cued to start
  • List of support material should be printed and submitted with application (page #4 of application form)
  • Ensure that electronic files are working before you submit your application
  • Video and Audio files must be edited to comply with the 15 min maximum.

Annotations that alert the Peer Assessment Committee to specific aspects of the support material are encouraged. 

Note: Assessors will not consider material that exceeds the specified limits or is not on the list of accepted formats. See application guidelines for complete list of eligible and ineligible support material and formats. 

Your name must appear on all support material. 


Technical requirements

  Maximum # Submitted Maximum Length/File Size Accepted Formats
Audio 3 samples 15 minutes for all material .cda, .mp3, .m4a and .m4
Video 3 samples 15 minutes for all material dvd format, .mp4, .mov, .mpg
Still Images 10 images 2MB each .jpg, .tiff, .tif, .png
Samples of written work or music   15 pages .pdf

These materials are not accepted:

  • Support material embedded in documents (PowerPoint presentations, etc.)
  • Material that requires third-party software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded and installed
  • Material accessed on websites – only artworks that are created specifically for the Internet to take advantage of one or more of its technologies may be submitted
  • Online documentation of any kind
  • Magnetic tape (cassettes, video tape), film, vinyl, slides
  • Original art work

Application Assessment

Applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility.  All eligible applications will be reviewed by a Peer Assessment Committee considering the following factors: 

  • the quality of the work as evidenced by the support material provided
  • the artistic merit of the project
  • the ability to carry out the project

Applications are ranked based on merit and funds are allocated based on the ranking.

The program officer facilitates the assessment process but does not participate in the ranking of applications and the funding decisions.

Contents of the applications and proceedings of the meetings are strictly confidential. The decisions of the PACs are final.

Policies and procedures are in place to ensure fairness, and to avoid conflict of interest in the assessment process.

Peer Assessment Committee (PAC)

  • PAC members are Equity seeking, professional, practicing artists of the relevant discipline.
  • The composition of the PAC is sensitive to regional, gender, age, and cultural differences
  • Different PACs are appointed for each competition

Notification of Results

The results of the PAC meetings are communicated to applicants via notification letters sent by Canada Post eight to ten weeks after the application submission date. 

Notification letters are sent to all applicants, without exception.

Unsuccessful applicants may resubmit eligible projects.

Application Submission


  • If a deadline falls on a statutory holiday or weekend, the deadline will be extended until the next working day 
  • Arts Nova Scotia does not accept faxed, late, or incomplete applications; or elements of applications 
  • All documents including text (e.g. project description, CV, letters of support) should be printed out and sent together with the application form single-sided with no staples 
  • binders, plastic sleeves, paperclips, or bound in folders 
  • Always contact the program officer with enough notice prior to a deadline to ask any questions about the application process 

Email Your Application

Send your application to according to the instructions below. You can watch our YouTube tutorial Submitting Your Application Over Email for more detailed instructions.

Before Sending Your Email

  • Include your name on all files
  • Number your files in the order they should be opened (application forms have a list of required documents in order)
  • Ensure your page limits and file sizes are in line with the program guidelines
  • Upload large audio and video files to a streaming service such as YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud

When Submitting

  • Address your email to
  • Send one application per email 
  • Subject line should be: “Your Name – Program Name – Category”
  • Keep attachments under 25MB
  • Do not attach large audio or video files; include a streaming link in the body of the email
  • Do not duplicate your application; do not send an additional hard copy

Only submissions will be accepted to this email address. Please direct all questions to the program officer. 

If you are unable to submit by email please contact the program officer.


Arts Nova Scotia acknowledges Support4Culture for funding this program.

Past Recipients

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