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This program helps Nova Scotian professional arts organizations create and present artistic work as well as strengthen their artistic and administrative capacity.

Who can apply?

  • Non-profit professional arts organizations registered in Nova Scotia
  • Non-profit organizations registered in Nova Scotia employing professional artists for a project
  • University Art Galleries
  • A group of three or more professional artists (majority living in Nova Scotia) who are creating a new work together
    • Note: one group member will need to accept the funds and will receive a T4A slip
  • Nova Scotia-based publishers commissioning professional artists through the commissioning category

What can we ask for money for?

  • Fees for artists and arts workers
  • Venue and equipment rental
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Administration costs

Still not sure? Contact the program officer. 

What can we not ask for money for?

  • Creative Industries work (e.g., commercial film or music, production craft, publishing)
  • Educational activities
  • Fundraisers
  • Full festival programming
  • General operating funding 
  • Capital purchases (e.g., buildings, property, construction)
  • Projects already funded through us or the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (CCH)
  • Work that happened before the deadline 
  • Website development

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 and Present, $15,000 max per deadline

  • Supports your organization’s creation, development, production and/or presentation project
  • May be either a special one-time project or a series or recurring activity
  • For large, multi-faceted projects, it may be advisable to focus the application on a specific component

Commission, $5,000 max per deadline

  • Provides an artist fee, and materials if necessary, to commission a professional artist outside of your organization to create a new work
  • For publishers: commission fees are creation fees and cannot be used as an advance against royalties. You are not required to publish work created through this stream, though you may choose to do so.

Professional Development, $5,000 max per deadline

  • Provides funding to help strengthen to artistic or administrative capacity of your organization or artistic community at large

Note for organizations receiving operating assistance:

  • Organizations receiving Operating Assistance to Arts Organizations in Group 1 are eligible for up to $10,000 in project funding and $5,000 in professional development funding annually. Group 2 and 3 organizations are eligible for up $5,000 in professional development funding annually. 
  • Organizations receiving more than $10,000 in annual operating assistance from the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage are eligible for up to $10,000 in project funding and $5,000 in professional development funding annually.

How often can we apply?

You may make one application per category per deadline.   

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.

How can we make our project more accessible?

Access Support is a supplement to your project that helps you increase the accessibility of your project. It is a supplementary grant that provides a contribution towards costs for specific accessibility services and supports (e.g., ASL interpretation). 

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 our 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, the most detailed information is available on the application form: 

Mandatory Documents:

  • Application Form
  • Project Description 
  • Cultural Context Statement (for applicants engaging with cultures outside their own) 
  • Group member statements if you are submitting on behalf of a group of artists and not an organization
  • Schedule of Work
  • Background Information About the Organization
  • Detailed Budget (in addition to the Budget Summary on the application form)
  • Support Material  (may be optional for professional development applications)

Optional Documents

  • Letters of Support 
    • Letters of support or confirmation from any person or organization involved in the project may help strengthen your application. These letters do not count against your support material page limit.
  • Access Support application form (see above for more info)

What is support material?

Support material is samples of current work or activities relevant to your application from you or other key partners or artists. Make sure you obtain the permission of any other artists involved in the creation of the work. You must also cite the artists in collaborative projects, and those that appear or are heard in the samples provided.

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. 

Refer to the application form for the technical requirements and limits for support material. 

How will our 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 regional, 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 ability to carry out the project 

When will we know if were successful or not?

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

You will be able to request feedback from the PAC meeting at this 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 you need. In rare cases, if there are budget concerns  or ineligible expenses, peer assessors may recommend funding 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?

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  
  • 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.

Past Recipients

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