Access Support provides an additional contribution towards costs for specific accessibility services, rental equipment, and other supports required to carry out a project funded by the BC Arts Council (referred to as the “associated grant”).

Access Support Guidelines (PDF)

Access Support Guidelines (WORD)

Who Can Request Access Support

Access Support requests are limited to:

  • Individual artists or arts and culture practitioners who self-identify as Deaf or have a disability.


  • Collectives led by individual artists or arts and culture practitioners who self-identify as Deaf or have a disability.


  • Organizations with a primary purpose to support practitioners who are Deaf or have a disability, as specified in the organization’s constitution.

Applicants must also:

  • be eligible for the associated grant they are applying for
  • have registered for the online Grant Management System (GMS)

For support registering, please contact us about Application Assistance, information linked here.

At this time, Access Support requests are not accepted for Operating Assistance or Scholarship applications.

When to Request Access Support

Access Support requests can be submitted alongside an associated grant application, or up to 90 days after receiving the associated grant application results (if approved for funding).

Funding Amount

The expected maximum amount is $7500.00.

Larger requests will be considered based on available funding at the time of the request. Please contact the Accessibility Coordinator or your Program Advisor if your request exceeds the expected maximum. Support may be awarded for less than requested, however the BC Arts Council endeavours to fund at 100% of the request when possible.

How to Make a Request

  1. Contact the Program Advisor for the associated grant or the Accessibility Coordinator to discuss your request and any Access Support you may require.
  2. Submit a description of the barriers you are encountering, the supports and solutions needed to carry out your project, and a reasonable budget through the online Grant Management System (GMS).

What Can Be Funded

Some examples of eligible costs for Access Support include (but are not limited to):

  • Sign language interpretation
  • Captioning or CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services
  • Support workers or assistants
  • Transcribers or specialized editors
  • Project coordinator/assistant
  • Visual describers or assistants
  • Rental of specialized equipment
  • Travel for service providers
  • Accessibility software or app subscriptions
  • Other accessibility needs as discussed with program staff

Contact the Accessibility Coordinator to discuss your needs at any time. They can confirm if costs can be included in an Access Support request.

What Will Not Be Funded

Access Support is not available to fund:

  • Artist fees or production costs
  • Accessibility supports for audiences
  • Travel costs or Per Diems (Travel for service providers is eligible)
  • Supports and services not directly tied to the associated grant
  • Major capital costs or equipment purchases (e.g. purchase of computers, mobility devices, renovations, etc.)
  • Activities which have already received Access Support funding
  • Support for applying or submitting updates or final reports for a BC Arts Council grant, which can be funded through the Application Assistance program
  • Access Supports required for day-to-day living outside of the scope of the project (i.e.: hearing aids, medication, home care, regular therapy)
  • Costs associated with basic training and post-secondary education (consult your school and review supports provided by StudentAidBC)

What is a Reasonable Budget

Standard rates for disability-specific services and supports vary across rural and urban regions of our province and based on the activity and the experience of the provider. Applicants should compensate service providers at professional standards. To determine what a professional rate may be for your particular service provider, consider comparing to commonly used rate structures for professional artists in your discipline (i.e.: Canadian Artist Representation (CARFAC), Associated Designer of Canada (ADC), Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA), American Federation of Music (AFM), Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (CADA), Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMPAA) etc.).

BC Arts Council uses the following fees as a general guide for costs, understanding specific amounts vary widely. This list does not include all accessibility services eligible for Access Support.

  • General Support Worker | $25 – $35 / hour
  • Visual Guides, Assistants, Describers | $35- $65/ hour
  • Sign Language Interpretation | ASL: $100 – $150 / hour
  • Transcription Services | $50 – $70 / hour

Contact the Accessibility Coordinator for further guidance if needed.

How will Requests be Reviewed

Eligible requests will be reviewed by an internal committee of BC Arts Council staff led by the Accessibility Coordinator. Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • a reasonable budget
  • how directly the support is tied to carrying out the activities in the associated grant

Notification of Access Support Funding

Notification of the results of your request will be delivered after notification of funding for your associated grant. Notification is sent to the contact for the associated grant in the online Grant Management System (GMS). Ensure the email address is on your email program’s safe sender list.

Final Report

Recipients must submit a brief summary of their Access Support when completing the final report of the associated grant through the online Grant Management System (GMS). The summary should include:

  • Final cost breakdown of accessibility supports
  • Brief description on how the Access Support funds were used

Payment of Support

Access Support payments will be delivered within six weeks of notification of approval for Access Support funding. As an agency of Government, all payments from the BC Arts Council are subject to an authorizing appropriation under the Financial Administration Act.

The BC Arts Council reserves the right to redistribute, delay, or suspend payments if:

  • The recipient does not carry out its planned program of activities.
  • The project undergoes major changes in artistic or administrative direction.
  • The recipient does not meet its obligations, including legal obligations and submission of final reports.
  • The recipient fails to respect the commitment to provide a safe and respectful workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct.

Grants are taxable income and could impact eligibility for disability assistance programs. Individuals receiving grants are issued T4As for the year in which the grant payment is processed, which is often characterized as self-employed income. For questions related to disability assistance programs and how to report expenses such as access costs, review the Self-Employment Program, linked here, or contact the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction at 1-866-866-0800 to discuss.

Confidentiality of Information

The collection, use, and disclosure of personal information are subject to the privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Access Support applicant information will not be shared with members of the associated grant application’s assessment panel or shared publicly without explicit permission from the applicant. The names and locations of successful award recipients of the associated grant may be published, along with the amount of the award, in the Annual Report of the BC Arts Council as well as in various communications and promotional vehicles of the BC Arts Council and Government of British Columbia. Social Insurance Numbers are provided to Canada and Revenue Agency through the issuance of T4As.

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines (WORD)

Program Guidelines (PDF)

Contact Us – We are here to help!

Accessibility Coordinator:
Clayton Baraniuk | 250-978-9839 |

For general information, contact: 250-356-1718 |

A full list of program staff is available on our website.