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 an existing festival. A festival is an event that includes related arts and cultural activities and programming presented over a continuous period of more than one day. Awards through this program are intended to encourage specific art forms or practices, increase the availability of professional arts in the community, and support the artistic programming of festivals. Awards are not available to support a festival in its entirety.

Who Can Apply

Submissions from applicants who do not meet eligibility criteria will not be forwarded for assessment. To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Provide arts and cultural programming or 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 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 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.
  • Not currently receive Operating Assistance from the BC Arts Council.
  • Have completed and submitted any overdue final reports on previous BC Arts Council grants by the submission deadline for this program.

Organizational applicants must also:

  • Be 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 cultural purpose.


  • Be an Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) community organization or Indigenous government in B.C., offering dedicated arts and culture activities.


  • Be operated by a local government or public post-secondary institution in B.C. for at least one fiscal year prior to application, with a community-based board of management that sets policy for the organization’s programs and services, and that offers public programming by professional arts and cultural practitioners.

An Arts or Curatorial Collective applicant must also:

  • Be established and readily identified as a collective of independent B.C. artists, curators, museum or cultural practitioners, consisting of three or more individuals who are professionally active in their field of practice, each of whom must:
    • have a minimum of two years of professional practice in their field, following basic training.
    • have a demonstrated body of previous work as an individual practitioner.
    • be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
    • have been a resident of B.C. for at least 12 months immediately prior to the application deadline, and ordinarily reside in B.C. See Determining B.C. Residency.
  • Have a demonstrated history of creating or presenting work as a collective and have a clear commitment to a current practice.
  • Apply under the name of an individual member of the collective who acts as the key contact person and be listed as the submitting representative within the online grant system. If the application is successful, this person receives payment of the award on behalf of the group, be issued a T4A, and be responsible for submitting the final report.
  • Note: Collectives are encouraged to confirm their eligibility with program staff prior to submitting an application.

How to Apply

The deadlines for submission are May 31, 2022 and October 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.

Applications must be submitted via the online grant system. Applicants must ensure that all information (including address verification) and documentation in their 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. New registrants will be notified once their registration is processed and they are able to access grant applications.

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

Program Guidelines

Program guidelines are revised annually. Please ensure that you download and review the most recent version, which is posted below.

Program Guidelines (PDF)

Application Preview (PDF)