Project Assistance: Community Arts Festivals supports the production of a local community arts festival by community-based arts and cultural organizations or by First Nations Band Councils, Indigenous community organizations, Friendship Centres and Métis Chartered Communities that offer arts programming.

Awards are intended to subsidize the fees paid to B.C. or Canadian professional artists, technicians, Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers engaged for the proposed festival. Festivals must be more than one day in duration and may feature a combination of local and touring artists.

Awards will provide up to a maximum of $5,000.

COVID-19 & the BC Arts Council

We remain committed to supporting B.C.’s artists and cultural organizations through this difficult time.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of individual grant programs could be affected, and in certain cases, programs may be suspended or deferred. Changes could also be made to the eligibility of activities within programs and successfully funded projects may need to make adaptations to comply with relevant public health orders, including those regarding gatherings and travel.

The most up-to-date information will always be posted on our dedicated COVID-19 Update page and individual pages for programs open for intake. Updates will also be announced on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Who Can Apply

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a community arts and cultural organization registered and in good standing, as a non-profit society or a community service co-op, in the Province of British Columbia for at least one year.


  • Be a First Nations Band Council, Indigenous community organization, Friendship Centre or Métis Chartered Community, in the Province of British Columbia, that offers arts programming and sets policy for their organization’s public programs and services.


  • Be based in British Columbia and have successfully produced at least one community arts festival.
  • Demonstrate a clear commitment to enhance access to and development of the arts in community.
  • Have effective artistic and administrative leadership but the festival must be organized primarily by volunteers.
  • Demonstrate outreach has taken place to ensure local indigenous protocols are followed, compensate Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers fairly in accordance with local protocols, and acknowledge traditional territories.
  • Compensate professional arts and cultural practitioners and technicians fairly in keeping with community contexts and industry standards within the field of practice, including adhering to international intellectual property rights standards and cultural ownership protocols.
  • Not be eligible for or receiving funding through other BC Arts Council programs (with the exceptions of: Project Assistance - Pivot Program and Expanded Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement, this year only) for the same activity.
  • Have submitted all required final reports on previous BC Arts Council grants as of the deadline date for this program.

Activities must:

  • Be concentrated in time and place and be longer than one day in duration.
  • Facilitate the exchange of local ideas, narratives, or issues that engage community participation.
  • Have demonstrable community involvement, including the support of local government, volunteers, business, and arts and cultural organizations.

How to Apply

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

Registration requests, once completed in the online system, can take up to 4 business days to be approved by BCAC staff.

Once an applicant has an organization 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 the program officer.

Please note that program staff are typically available during regular business hours Monday - Friday. If a deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, staff will be unavailable on that day.

You can access the main log in page of the BCAC Online Grant Application System by clicking the Apply Now button at the bottom of this webpage.

Program Guidelines

Program guidelines for 2021

Please note: program guidelines are revised annually

Preview of the online application form for 2021