Funding to support the activities of professional, non-profit arts training organizations that provide comprehensive programs of specialized training for professional artists and cultural workers or for those who are committed to pursuing professional careers in the arts.


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring 2020 intake of Operating Assistance, with an April 15 deadline, has been suspended until further notice.

In its place, existing clients in all spring Operating Assistance programs will receive the equivalent of 50% of their previous year grant amount immediately.

This payment will act as an advance on a client’s 2020 / 2021 operating grant. BC Arts Council staff will manage the online application process on behalf of each client organization, although clients will be required to be registered in the system. Staff will work with each organization to ensure all requirements are in place.

This advance will be issued automatically in early April.

Further information regarding this change will be communicated directly to affected clients.

Applicants not currently on Operating Assistance will not be able to apply to the programs at this time. This is an interim measure until we have a better understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on the arts and culture sector in the province. We will make an announcement when these programs are ready again to accept new applicants.

These changes to Operating Assistance are among a series of program changes that the BC Arts Council has made in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The BC Arts Council remains committed to supporting B.C.’s artists and cultural organizations through this difficult time. The most up-to-date information will always be posted on our dedicated COVID 19 FAQ page and individual program pages. Updates will also be announced on our Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

Who Can Apply

Please Note: This program is not receiving new applications for this intake. Only organizations that received Operating Assistance in 2019/20 are eligible to apply. The next application deadline for Arts Training Organizations not currently receiving support through the Operating Assistance Program will be in March 2021.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a professional arts organization registered and in good standing as a non-profit society in the Province of British Columbia for at least two fiscal years prior to application.
  • Have operated as a professional arts training organization for two fiscal years prior to application.
  • Provide public programming and have done so in the immediately preceding two years.
  • Compensate artists and arts professionals by paying fees at industry standards and adhere to international intellectual property rights standards.
  • Have professional artistic/training and administrative leadership.

All interested applicants should review the program guidelines for further information about what is eligible for funding.

How to Apply

Please note: Last year, existing operating clients filled in a paper-based report. This year, all Arts Training Organizations currently receiving Operating Assistance must submit their interim application through our new online grant application system, using the fields provided.

Before you can use the online system, you must be registered. 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

Preview of the online application form

Program guidelines are revised annually.