The Project Assistance: Arts-Based Community Development program supports community organizations to engage professional artists in the development and delivery of projects providing arts-based community development impacts and benefits to a specified community. Through collaborative, community-based, arts-centred activities, these projects provide a tangible and active understanding of arts and culture as a path to health, well-being, human dignity, and social transformation.

This program provides support in two categories:

New Work, which:

  • Supports one-time projects that create new artistic work through collaborative, community-based arts and cultural activity with a specified community. These projects must have a specified public outcome.
  • Recognizes the long-term commitment required of community-engaged practice by allowing projects with a phased approach over a maximum of three years.

A-BCD Skills Development and Knowledge Transfer, which:

  • Supports projects which assist in developing skills for artists to initiate and conduct arts-based community development activities.
  • Creates opportunities for experienced arts-based community development practitioners to realize new ways of knowledge sharing, including training or mentoring artists and social service practitioners in safe and effective approaches to arts-based community development.
  • Enhances the capacity of artists to provide leadership by offering them an opportunity to develop their practice as a means of community transformation or social change.




Established in 1955, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation has provided over ten million dollars in grants to arts and social service organizations throughout B.C. and the Yukon. In 2015, the Foundation transitioned from sixty years of continuous grant making to an endowment that supports the Leon and Thea Koerner Award (LTK Award), now administered through the BC Arts Council.

The LTK Award sustains a legacy through annual awards to registered charities and other qualified donees in B.C. that are creating social benefit using professional arts-based activity in collaboration with community and social service agencies.

The LTK Award is aimed at achieving social benefit and recognizing excellence and innovation, leading to social change or transformation; this aligns with the principles of arts-based community development. More information about the objectives of the LTK Award can be found here: LTK Award Objectives.

Who Can Apply

To be eligible to apply for both programs, the applicant must:

  • Be a professional or community arts organization, registered and in good standing as a non-profit society or community service co-op in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application, with a dedicated arts and cultural purpose, and working in collaboration with a specified community.


  • Be a community organization whose focus is not arts and culture, registered and in good standing as a non-profit society or community service co-op in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application, and working in collaboration with professional artist/s.


  • Be an Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) community organization or Indigenous  government in B.C., offering dedicated arts and culture activities, and working in collaboration with professional artist/s.


  • Provide arts and cultural or community programming in B.C. and have done so for a minimum of one year.
  • Engage competent artistic, curatorial, administrative or project leadership.
  • Fairly compensate artists, arts and cultural practitioners, technicians, Elders, and/or Knowledge Keepers. Compensation must align with project and community contexts and industry standards within the field of practice, including adhering to international intellectual property rights standards and cultural ownership protocols.
  • Adhere to the Criminal Records Review Act which requires that people who work with or may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults must undergo a criminal record check by the Criminal Records Review Program.
  • Have completed and submitted any overdue final reports on previous BC Arts Council grants by the submission deadline for this program.

Leon and Thea Koerner Award

In addition, to be eligible for the LTK Award the:

  • Applicant must also be a registered charity or other qualified donee as defined by the Income Tax Act (Canada), including First Nations that are registered as such with the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Project must use professional arts-based activity in collaboration with a confirmed social-service agency.

How to Apply

All applicants must be registered in the BCAC Online Grant Application System. It is recommended you read the entire How to Apply Online before starting this process.

Registration requests, once completed in the online system, can take up to four business days to be approved by BCAC staff.

Once an applicant has a profile in the system, then an online application form needs to be filled in and submitted.

All applicants, especially those who are new to the program, are urged to discuss their request with program officers.

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines

Program guidelines are revised annually

Form for Professional Artist Information Form

Form for Professional Social Service Lead

Application Preview (PDF)