Operating Assistance: Arts & Cultural Service Organizations provides funding to assist the general operations of established professional non-profit arts and cultural organizations that provide quality services to an established membership base and demonstrate ongoing local, regional, provincial or national activity with provincial impact.

The Operating Assistance program supports organizations’ operations over a funding cycle of two years. All applicants must meet the specific eligibility requirements within these guidelines.

Who Can Apply

If your organization does not meet the eligibility criteria, your application will not be forwarded for assessment. To be eligible, an organization must:

  • Be an arts and culture 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 culture purpose.
  • Provide service to the arts and culture sector in B.C. and have done so for a minimum of one year.
  • Engage professionals in artistic, curatorial, administrative or project leadership.
  • Fairly compensate artists, arts and cultural practitioners, technicians, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers. Compensation must align with 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 received at least one Project Assistance grant from the BC Arts Council within the past seven years. Grant programs that fulfill this eligibility criteria include Professional Project Assistance; Arts-Based Community Development; and Arts Impact Grants. Grant programs that do not fulfill this eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to: Pivot Program; Arts Infrastructure; Resilience Supplements; Community Arts Festivals; Project Assistance: Community Arts Organizations; Touring; Early Career Development; Youth Engagement; or Co-op Placement.
  • Demonstrate a range of membership that is representative of its constituency (local, regional, provincial or national). If membership or activity is local, regional, or national in scope, the organization must clearly demonstrate provincial impact.

In addition to the above eligibility criteria, organizations should have stability in current operations, both administratively and financially. Stability would be demonstrated through:

  • Having at least one staff person (part-time or full-time) that maintains consistency in operations and programming;
  • Ongoing and diverse sources of revenues outside of BC Arts Council programs;
  • Ability to plan programming and activities up to two years into the future; and
  • The capacity to compile annual financial and statistical information.

Confirmation of eligibility and intention to apply should be established with a Program Advisor prior to submitting an application. Ineligible applications will not be forwarded for assessment.

How to Apply

The submission deadline is September 15, 2022, no later than 11:59 p.m. The BC Arts Council office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Submit your application through the Grant Management System. Ensure that all information (including address verification) and documentation in your organization’s online profile is up to date before submitting an application.

New applicants must register and create a profile in the online system. Once the registration request is submitted, it may take up to four business days to process your request. BC Arts Council will email you once your registration is processed and you are able to access grant applications.

Ensure the email address is on your safe senders list and check your spam folders.

Applicants can submit a portion of their application by way of an audio or video recording. See instructions within the application on this option.

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines (PDF)

Application Preview (Word)

Program FAQ (PDF)