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Note: The application form is currently closed for responses. It will reopen one month before the next deadline (April 15, 2024).

This program supports Nova Scotia’s professional, practicing artists in the creation and dissemination of their own work. The program also supports professional artists by helping them to develop their practice and skills in all disciplines including fine crafts, music, literary, visual, media, and performing arts. 

Who can apply?

Professional artists.

The definition 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 self-taught 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

Still not sure if you fit the criteria? Take our "Am I a Professional Artist?" quiz.

Applicants must also be:

  • Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.
  • Residents of Nova Scotia for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline.
  • Outside the province temporarily and not away for more than 12 months.

What can I ask money for?

  • Living expenses for individuals during the period of the project
  • Materials
  • Mentors /instructors / consultants 
  • Professional fees for design, production, and technical personnel and other production expenses for presentations 
  • Travel costs directly related to the project and outside of the applicant’s general area of residence
  • Royalties
  • Promotion and publicity (for Present Grants only) 
  • Venue rental
  • Rental of equipment essential to the project

Still not sure? Contact the program officer. 

What can I not ask money for?

  • Creative Industries work (e.g. commercial film and video production, music videos, recording, television/episode work, publishing, commercial design, architecture, or production/line crafts) 
  • Capital purchases (e.g., buildings, property, construction, equipment, etc.)
  • Projects already funded through us or the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (CCH)
  • Work that happened before the deadline 
  • Website development (promotional purposes)
  • Professional fees for applicants (living expenses only)

Still not sure? Contact the program officer. 

What activities can we apply for and for how much?

This funding program is divided into the following categories:

  • Create - $15,000 Maximum
    • Supports artists working independently or collaboratively (with one other artist living in NS) to develop or create new work.
  • Present - $5,000 Maximum
    • Supports the public presentation of an artist's own work.
  • Professional Development - $5,000 Maximum
    • Provides funding to artists, curators and independent arts administrators to strengthen artistic practice and/or capacity.

How often can I apply?

You may make one application per category per deadline.

You can only receive one Create Grant in a 12-month period.

What is a project?

When we talk about “projects,” we mean the specific part of a larger project. You may be able to apply for distinct parts of the same work overtime. For example, you could apply to workshop a play in one deadline and apply in the next deadline to present the play publicly. Knowing exactly what you want the money for will help you write a stronger application.

What accessiblity supports are available?

Access Support is a supplement to a project grant that funds individual applicants who self-identify as Deaf, having disabilities or living with mental illness, as well as groups and organizations who want to increase the accessibility to their presentation/production for audience and/or participants. This supplementary grant provides a contribution towards costs for specific services and supports required to carry out a project funded by Arts NS.

Your Access Support request must be submitted at the time of your original application. If your project is successful, a program officer will assess your Access Support request. 

Further information and an application form can be found here

What should my application include?

Applications have both mandatory and optional components. If mandatory components are missing from your application, it can be deemed ineligible. We cannot accept materials after the deadline.  Below is a summary:

Mandatory documents:

  • Online application form
  • Project description
  • Schedule of work
  • Artist CV(s)
  • Financial template
  • Support material
  • Support material annotations

Optional documents:

  • Voluntary self-identification form
  • Letters of intent or confirmation from any person or organization involved in the project
  • Letters of support from professional practicing artists in the relevant discipline(s)

Contact the program officer when in doubt about any of the above documents. Also, check out the Application Checklist at the top of this page for more information about each of these documents.

What is support material?

Support material is samples of current work or activities relevant to your application.

Support material is included to assess artistic merit. It may include but not be limited to digital images of visual art, script samples, music scores, poems, videos, and audio recordings. 

Choose your support material carefully. Poor image or video quality can detract from otherwise strong work. Assessors are asked only to consider the support material you provide so put your best foot forward. 

Support Material Guidelines


  • Maximum of three (3) samples
  • Maximum 15 minutes total for all three (3) samples
  • Accepted formats: streaming links to YouTube, Soundcloud, or similar


  • Maximum of three (3) samples
  • Maximum 15 minutes total for all three (3) samples
  • Accepted formats: Streaming links to Vimeo, YouTube, or similar


  • Maximum 10 images
  • Maximum file size 2MB per photo
  • Accepted formats: .jpg, .tiff, .tif


  • Maximum 15 pages
  • Accepted formats: .pdf

Note: Under no circumstances can any files be accepted via cloud-based file transfer services such as Dropbox, WeTransfer, Google Drive, OneDrive, or similar. Also avoid the use of URL shorteners as these can cause issues as well.

For more information of support material, check out our guide to support material page.

How will my application be assessed?

We use discipline-specific Peer Assessment Committees (PACs) to make funding decisions. PACs in this program are made up of three assessors who are professional practicing artists and/or arts administrators who are familiar with the discipline. Program officers work to ensure diversity of region, gender, age, race, and culture when inviting assessors. You can sign up to be an assessor here.

The program officer is available to help facilitate the decision-making process but does not participate in the scoring or ranking of applications. They apply our policies and procedures to ensure fairness, and to avoid conflict of interest throughout the process.

Contents of the applications and proceedings of the meetings are strictly confidential. The decisions of the PAC are final. We publish the names of all peer assessors in the previous year in our final report. However, we do not provide a breakdown of individual committee makeup.

 Assessors score and rank applications based on the following criteria:

  • the quality of the work as evidenced by the support material provided
  • the artistic merit of the project
  • the feasibility of the project 

If you would like to know more about the life cycle of a grant application, check out our Life Cycle of a Grant Application page. See what happens with your grant application from the time you hit send to the time your get your notification letter.

When will I know if I am successful or not?

You will receive an email notifying you of the results twelve to fourteen weeks after the deadline regardless of the outcome.

You will be able to request notes from the PAC meeting at that time as you may resubmit your unsuccessful project to the next deadline.

Do you award partial funding?

No. We encourage applicants to ask for what they need. In rare cases, if there are budget concerns or ineligible expenses, funding may be provided at a reduced amount.

What tips can you give for applying?

We recommend you follow our guide How to Apply for Arts Nova Scotia Grants throughout the application process.

We also encourage you to reach out to the Program officer with any questions you have.

What if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday?

If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is moved until the next business day. 

How do I submit my application?

Fill out and submit the online application form.

The rest of your application files (project description, schedule of work, CV, support material, etc.) should be sent 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 audio and video files to a streaming service such as YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud

When Submitting

  • Address your email to  
  • Submit by 11:59pm the day of the deadline
  • 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 send cloud-based attachments (WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  • Do not use URL shorteners (TinyURL, Bitly, etc.)
  • Do not duplicate your application; do not send an additional hard copy

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

All applications sent to ArtsNS Submissions should receive an auto-reply confirmation. If you do not receive confirmation within one week, please contact a program officer. You must contact the program officer within two weeks of the deadline for us to consider your application. Applications will only be considered if there is proof of email being sent by the deadline.

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