Community Arts Festivals elevates the artistic standards of local, community-based arts festivals by supporting fees paid to B.C. or Canadian professional artists, technicians, Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers engaged in the festival.

The festival must be presented by local Indigenous or community-based arts and cultural organizations, have an arts focus, be more than one day in duration, and may feature a combination of local and touring artists.

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

Program Impacts and Changes Due to  COVID-19 

The BC Arts Council recognizes the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the B.C. arts and culture sector. While every effort is made to minimize revisions, program guidelines may be updated to align with current provincial and federal orders and public health directives. Please:

  • Ensure you have the latest version of the program guidelines as posted on the BC Arts Council website. Any changes to the guidelines made after the original posting will be clearly highlighted.
  • Find up-to-date information posted on our COVID-19 update page.

Who Can Apply

To be eligible, an applicant must:


  • Be an Indigenous Government, Indigenous Community Organization, or Métis Chartered Community in B.C. offering dedicated arts and culture activities.

Applicants must also:

  • Provide arts and cultural programming and/or service to the arts and culture sector in B.C. and have done so for a minimum of one year.
  • Have artistic and/or administrative leadership in place.
  • Demonstrate a focus on providing access to and development of the arts in community.
  • Fairly compensate professional 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 Record 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.

How to Apply

All applicants must be registered in the BC Arts Council (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 four 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 (PDF)

Program application preview (Word)