Responsible Staff Member
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The Mi’kmaq Arts Program supports the development and continuation of Mi’kmaq art forms in the territory of Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia). Arts Nova Scotia recognizes the specific needs and practices of the Mi’kmaq arts community and acknowledges a new funding program is required. 

Arts Nova Scotia aspires for all Nova Scotians to have opportunities to engage with the art forms that derive from Mi’kmaq language, world views, practices, and protocols.   

Who can apply?

Nova Scotia-based Mi’kmaq artists, groups (including ad-hoc groups) or organizations are eligible to apply. It is important to be recognized as an artist in the Mi’kmaq community as Peer Assessment Committees consider community connections. Contact the Program Officer if you have questions. 

Individuals - the applicant is one person

Ad hoc groups - 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 Organizations – 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.

Applicants must be professional artists. "Professional" is defined 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

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

Applicants must be Canadian citizens 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

What can we ask money for?

  • Living expenses for individuals during the period of the project
  • Artist’s fees (for organizations or groups applications only)
  • Materials
  • Mentors / consultants / instructors / knowledge keepers / elders
  • Professional fees for design, production and technical personnel and other production expenses for presentation grants
  • Travel costs directly related to the project and outside of the applicant’s general area of residence
  • Royalties
  • Promotion and Publicity (for presentation grants only)
  • Venue rental
  • Rental of equipment essential to the project

Still not sure? Contact the program officer.

What accessibility supports are available?

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.

What can we 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,etc.)
  • Recurring events or core activities
  • Projects already funded through us or the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage (CCTH)
  • Work that happened before the deadline
  • Website development for promotional purposes
  • Professional fees for applicants (Applicants can claim living expenses only)

Still not sure? Contact the program officer.

What activities can we apply for and how much?

Create - $15,000 Maximum, $500 Minimum. 

  • Supports projects to develop or create new work.

Present - $12,000 Maximum, $500 Minimum

  • Supports the public presentation of artists' work.

Professional Development - $12,000 Maximum, $500 Minimum

  • Provides funding to strengthen artistic or administrative capacity through formal study programs, mentorship, workshops, apprenticeship, conferences and other professional development activities.

A visual arts materials grant can be awarded in the same 12-month period as a Creation, Presentation or Professional Development grant.

Visual Arts Materials Grants $750 maximum Supports artists working in the visual arts, crafts or traditional/customary art forms to create artwork. Grants of up to $750 are to help cover the cost of buying art materials and supplies.  This grant is intended for artists who need material support only. Please note, the Visual Arts Materials Grant application form is separate from the Creation, Presentation and Professional Development grant application form. 

How often can we apply?

You may make one application per category per deadline.

What should my application include?

Applications have both mandatory and optional components. Below is a summary:

Mandatory documents:

  • Signed and completed application form
  • Project description (Max. 2 pages)
  • Detailed schedule of work
  • Detailed budget (if applicable)
  • Two-page CV of the applicant (and all other artists involved in the project)
  • Support material demonstrating the applicant’s professional practice (e.g. images, video/audio, printed pages)
  • Group member statements if you are submitting on behalf of a group of artists and not an organization
  • Background information about the organization (if applicable)

Optional Documents:

  • Letters of intent from any person or organization involved in the project
  • 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 any of the above 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, video, or audio quality can detract from otherwise strong work. Assessors are asked only to consider the support material you provide, so put your best foot forward.

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

 

How will my application be assessed?

We use a multi-disciplinary Peer Assessment Committee (PAC) to make funding decisions. PACs in this program are made up of five Mi'kmaq who are professional practicing artists, knowledge keepers, and/or arts administrators who are familiar with the disciplines represented in the applications. Program officers work to ensure diversity of region, gender and age when inviting assessors. A different PAC is appointed for each deadline. You can sign up to be an assessor on our Peer Assessment Sign-up Page.

The program officer is available to help facilitate the decision-making process but does not participate in the discussion, 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 the 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 we are 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 this time and 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, peer assessors may recommend funding at a reduced amount.

What is a project?

When we talk about "projects", we mean the specific part or phase of the work that the funding is supporting. You may be able to apply for distinct parts of the same work over time. 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 tips can you give for applying?

We recommend you follow our guide on how to apply for Arts Nova Scotia Grants throughout the application process.

Also see our resources for artists page for more tips.

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 to the next business day.

How do I submit my application?

Send your application to artsnssubmissions@novascotia.ca 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 artsnssubmissions@novascotia.ca
  • 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 duplicate your application; do not send an additional hard copy

If you are unable to submit by email please 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.

Support4Culture

Arts Nova Scotia acknowledges Support4Culture for funding this program.

Past Recipients