Project Assistance: Professional Arts Festivals supports the development, enrichment and creation of new or unique public programming through a specific project, component or programming initiative within their existing festival.

Awards under this program are intended to encourage specific art forms or practices, increase the availability of professional arts to the community, and build the artistic programming of festivals. Awards are not available to support a festival in its entirety.

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

Assistance through this program is available to arts and cultural organizations that meet the following criteria:

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


  • Be a professional festival organization led by a local government, Indigenous Government, Indigenous Community Organization, or Métis Chartered Community in the Province of British Columbia for at least one fiscal year prior to application, with a community-based board of management that sets policy for the organization’s public programs and services.


  • Provide public programming in British Columbia and have done so for a minimum of one year.
  • Compensate artists, and arts, museums and cultural practitioners 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.
  • Adhere to the Criminal Record Review Act, which requires that people who work with or may potentially have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults must undergo a criminal record check by the Criminal Records Review Program.
  • Not currently receiving Operating Assistance from the BC Arts Council.
  • Have 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 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 are revised annually.

Program guidelines 2021

Preview of the online application form (PDF)