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ARTicipate Project Grant Update

Thank you for your interest and feedback in the ARTicipate Grant Program. Please check back over the coming weeks for a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, expanded information about the Project Grant program, Shenkman Arts Centre booking process, the Learning Labs and more! We appreciate all of the feedback received so far and are excited to be announcing a 4th application deadline on Friday, May 14 at 11:59 pm.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to speak with us at and a team member will get back to you as soon as possible.

Announcing new Project Grant guidelines for 2021

In 2021, ARTicipate Project Grants aim to spark artistic activity at the Shenkman Arts Centre by supporting creative projects of all disciplines through grants awarded to local artists and arts organizations to create and/or present their work at the Centre before Dec 31, 2021.

The 2021 Articipate Project Grant program will prioritize projects from artists and arts groups who self-identify as First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, New Canadians, Older Adults, People with Disabilities, Francophones and Rural Residents applying to the program.

This year, extraordinary support is available:
  • Applicants can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to create and/or present arts projects at the Shenkman Arts Centre and/or online, across the Centre’s digital platforms.
  • Projects can include existing ideas/work, adapted for the current conditions, or new ideas and approaches.
  • The Shenkman Arts Centre will provide access to the spaces, available equipment and fulltime staff support in-kind for up to 2 weeks per project.
  • Applicants can participate in Learning Labs. These sessions will convene ARTicipate Project Grant recipients and experts to discuss strategies and solutions related to project delivery during COVID-19.

ARTicipate Project Grants encourage all participants to find innovative ways to incorporate a digital approach to present their works, animate the spaces and digital platforms of the Shenkman Arts Centre and abide by COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing and safety.

ARTicipate Project Grants Support:
  • Creation and/or presentation of artistic work in the Shenkman Arts Centre and/or across digital platforms
  • Access to Shenkman Arts Centre spaces to local artists* and arts organizations of all levels and disciplines
  • Collaborative projects involving more than one artist and/or arts organization
  • The exploration and experimentation of digital strategies to present artistic works and interact with audiences online or through hybrid in-person/online events

*The lead applicant for the grant must be a local artist; however, the lead applicant may collaborate with artists and organizations from across Canada and Internationally.


Download a copy of the 2021 guidelines and terms:

Quick Links

About the ARTicipate Endowment Fund

The ARTicipate Endowment Fund was established in 2007 by Arts Network Ottawa in partnership with the City of Ottawa to support artistic activities at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Arts Network Ottawa is the steward of the Fund and is responsible for its promotion, administration and sustainability.

Each year, the interest earned on the ARTicipate Endowment Fund is distributed in the form of grants to Resident Arts Partners and as ARTicipate Project Grants to local artists and arts organizations that will present their work at the Centre.

For more information about applying for a grant, please visit the ARTicipate website,, For more information about the steward of the fund, please visit the Arts Network Ottawa website, and for more information about the venues at Shenkman Arts Centre, please visit

Available Resources

Spaces (pending availability):
  • LaLande + Doyle Exhibition Space
  • Richcraft Theatre (black box theatre)
  • Harold Shenkman Hall (500 seat auditorium)
  • Ottawa Citizen Dance Studio
  • Emmy and Victor Abboud Music Studio
  • Various other studios within the facility
  • Agora Minto-Orléans Outdoor Plaza

*Confirmations of booking will be required at the time of the application submission. Bookings will not require deposits or fees.

Please contact staff at: or telephone 613-580-2424 ext. 15930
For more information visit:


Eligible Applicants

Lead applicants must be based in the Ottawa/Gatineau Region, including Pikwàkanagàn and Kitigan Zibi First Nations, and have a mandate to present arts programming or have an arts practice. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Manager before to discuss their application before applying.

Applicants must be one or more of the following:
  • An incorporated, not-for-profit arts organization
  • A non-incorporated arts collective (a group of two or more artists who are active in their discipline)
  • An individual artist

Only one application is required for collaborative projects submitted by the lead applicant. Collaborators are not required to be based in the Ottawa/Gatineau region as long as the the lead applicant is a local artistIf the application is successful, the lead applicant will be responsible for the grant, budgeting, fulfilment and reporting requirements.

Priority will be given to projects:
  • From underrepresented artists and groups who self-identify as First Nations, Inuit, Metis, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, New Canadians, Older Adults, People with Disabilities, Francophones, and Rural Residents
  • Incorporating digital tools or strategies to create and/or present work
  • Works and/or performances that can be made available to the general public through digital platforms
  • Original works and/or performances
  • Projects that can engage participants and community by sharing knowledge through Learning Labs

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects include:
  • Artistic research, exploration and experimentation
  • Creation and development of new work
  • Productions, exhibitions and performances
  • Festivals, presentations and series

Ineligible Projects

Ineligible projects/applicants include:
  • Artists and/or arts organizations whose reports for previous ARTicipate Grants are overdue or incomplete
  • Non-arts organizations (organizations whose primary mandate is not arts related), non-arts events, and non-arts activities
  • For-profit organizations and businesses
  • Private events and functions
  • Political parties
  • Government bodies or crown corporations
  • Fundraising projects or initiatives
  • Operating or ongoing expenses
  • Resident Arts Partners of Shenkman Arts Centre

Eligible Expenses

Only expenses directly related to the project are eligible. A full list of eligible and ineligible expenses can be found in the application Budget Form.

Application Requirements

Application Deadline

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with the following submission deadlines:
  • April 9, 2021 (with a project start date no earlier than April 30, 2021)
  • May 14, 2021 (with a project start date no later than June 7, 2021)
  • June 7, 2021 (with a project start date no earlier than June 28, 2021)
  • August 6, 2021 (with a project start date no earlier than August 27, 2021)

All projects must be completed by December 31, 2021 without exception.

Application Form

All applicants must complete an ARTicipate Project Grant application form:
  • The completed Application Form and support materials can be sent through WeTransfer to
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. It is up to the applicant to ensure that all pertinent information is included in the WeTransfer.
  • Applicants may be contacted during the evaluation process to provide clarity on specific portions of their application.

Recorded (audio/video) applications are also accepted and we encourage applicants to contact the Program Manager for any additional accessibility arrangements. More details can be found on the Application Form.

Support Material

Along with a written application, applicants are to submit support material that will be reviewed by the jury.  Support material gives the jury an indication of the applicant’s previous work. This can include photos, video, links, or other documentation of past or proposed activities.  It is important that all materials are labelled with a description of the contents.


Reporting forms will be available on the ARTicipate website and must be fully completed. Successful applicants are encouraged to review the report forms at the beginning of the project to ensure that they are prepared to collect and report on all required components.

Application Assessment

Assessment Criteria

The criteria used in the assessment process include: (1) artistic merit of the project, (2) viability of the project under current COVID-19 protocols, and (3) the overall impact of the project. Both the application form and support material will be evaluated.

  • Distinctive and compelling project
  • Clear vision and artistic goals that reflect the applicant’s mandate and/or artistic practice
  • Choice of artistic collaborators relevant to project, if relevant
  • Demonstrated skills and means to successfully deliver project
  • Effective budgeting, including an appropriate breakdown of expenses
  • Ability to deliver the project safely, using physical distancing and other COVID-19 protocols
  • Appropriate and feasible plan to adapt project in the event of future COVID-19 lockdowns
  • Effective in enhancing artistic programming in the Shenkman Arts Centre and/or across digital platforms
  • Impact on the development of the artist or artistic project during COVID-19
  • Opportunities for knowledge-sharing with the community and exploring digital strategies for art presentation

Assessment Principles

Applications to the ARTicipate Project Grant will be assessed by a jury. Jury members are chosen based on their knowledge and awareness of a broad range of artistic activity and will be selected from the underrepresented communities prioritized in this program, including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, New Canadians, Older Adults, People with Disabilities, Francophones and Rural Residents.

Jury review is based on consensus and collective decision-making. Jury members are required to treat the contents of applications and all deliberations of the jury as confidential. The names of advisors and jurors will be made public in the ARTicipate Endowment Fund Annual Report.

Individual jury members will first review the applications independently. Jurors will meet to review support material, discuss and assess the applications. The jury ranks each application based on the assessment criteria. Any successful funding is then awarded based on the application’s status (ranking order) and the availability of funds.

Release of Funds

Successful applicants will receive an email and a letter from the stewards of the ARTicipate Endowment Fund declaring the award amount along with a cheque. Funds are disbursed to successful applicants as per the conditions outlined in the Terms and Conditions.

If You are Not Awarded Funding

Applicants will receive an email to indicate that they have not received funding. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to speak with the Program Manager to receive Jury feedback. Unsuccessful applications may be revised and resubmitted at a later deadline should funding still be available.


Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Manager with any questions they may have regarding the ARTicipate Project Grant guidelines or their application during regular office hours, 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Alex Maltby, Program Manager
613-580-2767 x 2006*

ARTicipate Endowment Fund
c/o Arts Network Ottawa
245 Centrum Blvd, Suite 260
Ottawa, ON K1E 0A1 /

*Due to COVID-19, Arts Network Ottawa staff are working remotely. When calling, please leave a voicemail including a call-back number. Your call will be returned as soon as we are able.

Terms and Conditions

Recipients of an ARTicipate Project Grant agree to the Terms and Conditions as outlined below. The ARTicipate Endowment Fund and Arts Network Ottawa reserve the right to change or alter the Terms and Conditions. Failure to adhere to the Terms and Conditions may result in the revocation of ARTicipate Funds and/or the applicant being ineligible for subsequent funding from the ARTicipate Endowment Fund.

Use of Funds

Funds shall be used only for the purposes outlined in the original ARTicipate Project Grant application. Changes to the scale and activities, including changes in budget, leadership structure and programming, must be reported in writing to, and receive approval from, Arts Network Ottawa staff.

Unused Funds

Any portion of the funding that is unused and/or was designated or committed for activities that were not executed shall be returned to the ARTicipate Endowment Fund.

Repayment of Funding

The recipient shall repay the ARTicipate Endowment Fund the whole or any portion of funding:
  • That is unused and/or was designated or committed for activities that were not executed for reason beyond COVID-19 restrictions (see Adaptation, Suspension, and Termination of Project due to COVID-19)
  • If the recipient organization ceases operation, is wound-up or dissolved
  • Should there be a change in its purpose or objectives (for example, from not-for-profit to for-profit entity), without prior written notification to the stewards of the ARTicipate Endowment Fund
  • Has knowingly provided false information in the application or any attachments
  • Breaches any of the terms and conditions of the ARTicipate Project Grant


The recipient is required to keep and maintain records, invoices, and other documents that relate to the manner in which the ARTicipate Project Funds were used.


All successful applicants are required to maintain liability insurance coverage to a minimum limit of $2,000,000. Successful applicants will be required to provide proof of insurance. The certificate must include the following information adding the City of Ottawa as an additional insured: City of Ottawa, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1.

The City of Ottawa also has an insurance program for renters that do not already have their own coverage. The Shenkman Arts Centre, Rental Services can confirm rates and if an activity is covered under the program.


All successful applicants are required to submit a Report Form detailing how they used the funding awarded to them. Successful applicants must submit images or other documentation of their activities for use in future ARTicipate publications, reporting, and promotion. This report must be submitted either following completion of funded activities, 12 months after receipt of the grant, or at the time of subsequent application to for an ARTicipate Project Grant, whichever is sooner.

Acknowledgement of Financial Support

The recipient is required to publicly acknowledge the support of the ARTicipate Endowment Fund. Logos and guidelines will be provided to successful applicants.

Adaptation, Suspension and Termination of Project Due to COVID-19

In the event that COVID-19 protocols change between when a grant is awarded and when the project is completed, as a first resort, staff of Arts Network Ottawa and the Shenkman Arts Centre commit to supporting the recipient to adapt their project activities to meet these new requirements.

Should new guidelines and restrictions make it impossible to adapt project activities, the project may be suspended and shall proceed once all parties have agreed it is safe to do so, in accordance with future protocols. In the event that the project is not able to move forward due to a prolonged resurgence of COVID-19, as a last resort, the project may be terminated. In this case, the artist will return any portion of the grant not already spent and/or committed, in writing, by contract or other form of confirmation which must be approved by Arts Network Ottawa.