Community Arts Festivals program provides support to community-based arts and cultural organizations in British Columbia in the production of a local community arts festival.

Funding from this program is intended to assist with the fees to professional artists and technicians engaged for the festival.

Eligible projects may include presentation of original work, existing repertoire or exhibitions, or exploration of diverse forms.

Who Can Apply

In order to be eligible for support through this program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a B.C. based arts, cultural, community organization or First Nations Band Council that has previously produced at least one community arts festival at a high standard.
  • Demonstrate a clear commitment to enhance community access to and develop the arts in the community.
  • Be either:
    • an organization registered and in good standing as a non-profit society in the Province of British Columbia for at least one year; or,
    • a First Nations Band Council or Indigenous cultural organization.
  • Be based in British Columbia and working to develop audiences in B.C.
  • Demonstrate best efforts to compensate artists and technicians by paying fees to professionals at industry standard and adhering to international intellectual property rights standards.
  • Demonstrate best efforts to follow local Indigenous protocols to compensate Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers, and acknowledge traditional territories.
  • Have effective artistic and administrative leadership, but be organized primarily by volunteers.
  • Not be eligible for or receiving funding through other BC Arts Council programs for the same activity.
  • Provide Financial Statements for the most recently completed fiscal year.

The Festival itself 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 2020.

Please note: program guidelines are revised annually.

Preview of the online application form for 2020.

Please note:  Contact details for the program officer who will be running the next intake of this program will appear shortly. In the meantime, you can contact the BC Arts Council via:

Telephone: 250 356-1718


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