About the Council
The BC Arts Council was created in 1995 as an agency of the Province of British Columbia under the Arts Council Act. Using an independent, peer review adjudication process, the BCAC provides grant funding for arts and culture in British Columbia and ensures art and cultural programming is accessible to individuals and communities across the Province.
The BC Arts Council uses a peer-review adjudication process to meet its obligation to the Government of B.C. to provide an open, accountable and neutrally administered process for managing public funds for British Columbia arts and culture. These peer-review adjudication panels, commonly called juries, consist of three to five working artists and arts administrators from across B.C. These are the peers of applicants requesting funding and they decide what merits support. Each grant program has a jury and the members of each jury change for every grant competition. Juries evaluate how each request meets the assessment criteria for a specific grant program. Grant program guidelines with their assessment criteria are published for each grant on the BC Arts Council public website. Every year the BC Arts Council publishes the names of all peer-review panellists as well as the names and locations of all grant recipients in its annual report. The BC Arts Council needs new members of juries all the time, and welcomes new registrations of interest from arts and culture professionals across B.C. as prospective jurors. Please contact us at BCArtsCouncil@gov.bc.ca if you’re interested in becoming a peer assessor. Soon you will be able to sign up directly through our online grant system – stay tuned!
If you are an existing arts organization or artist in B.C., then there is most likely a funding program that you are eligible to apply to for funding through a competitive assessment process.
Arts organizations wanting BC Arts Council support need to be not-for-profit entities that have been doing their work already for some time. Similarly, individual artists who want funding to create new bodies of creative work in theatre, dance, writing, music, visual arts, publishing, media art and curating, need to already be recognized as working artists before they can request funding in the professional arts streams. We also fund training in the arts – see below.
There are application forms and deadlines to submit requests to each of the 40 or so grant programs at the BC Arts Council. Feel free to search through them using the filter tools to see what you are eligible for, and then get in touch with one of the program officers to find out if what you want to do can be considered for funding.
With nearly 40 programs, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out which you might be eligible for. We have tried to make this easier by adding filter and search tools to the Grant Program page. You can view a complete list of the grant programs when you first access the page, where you can sort by deadline or program name. You can also use the filter tools in the search bar at the top of the page to filter programs by Applicant Type, Discipline or Program type. You can use keywords to search programs as well.
As always, our staff is ready to help walk you through the programs and application process, and to discuss eligibility. You can find the program staff list on the directory, or you can send an email to BCArtsCouncil@gov.bc.ca or phone 250-356-1718 if you’re not sure who to contact.
YES! There are four grant programs for B.C. residents who are at various stages of arts training in the arts. The first two grants are for people in full-time post-secondary or informal arts training: the Scholarship and the Co-op Education grants programs.
The BC Arts Council also funds B.C. citizens who have recently completed, or are just about to finish, their arts training in a grant program called Early Career Development.
Finally, there are in-service Professional Development Assistance short-term training grants for working artists to upgrade or transition their artistic practice from one medium to another.
Yes! We offer a number of programs through our delivery partners, listed on our Funding page.
In addition, there are many municipalities, foundations, not-for-profit organizations and private companies, as well as the federal government, that provide a wide range of grant programs. The BC Alliance for Arts and Culture has a great list and calendar of many of these opportunities.
Applying for Funding
That’s a great question as we transition from paper-based applications to an online grant system. Each of the forms, guidelines and program pages will have instructions on how to submit your application. See the Grant Programs list for all of our programs and their deadlines. Application forms (or a link to the online system when available) will only be accessible during the intake window, which starts six weeks before the deadline day. Be sure to track when the deadlines are for the programs you’re interested in, and check back within that six week period for application forms and instructions. The program guidelines are available for every program throughout the year, and they contain all sorts of helpful information about eligibility, the application requirements and how the program is adjudicated.
After the intake closes, a comprehensive review process begins that culminates in a peer assessment panel meeting to consider all of the applications within a program. All applicants will be notified of the results of the adjudication by 16 weeks post-deadline date.
Yes, most programs require a final or interim report. The program guidelines and your grant letter will specify the requirements.
For paper based applications (that is not through our online grant system), you can access the appropriate template on our website, please download the appropriate template and email your completed report to BCArtsCouncil@gov.bc.ca
For applications submitted via the online application system, you can access the report from your online account in the system. To locate the report from your Home page: scroll down to the Requires Attention section and click Pending Reports. Once submitted, the report will move to Submitted Activities.