The Professional Development program assists professional artists, cultural practitioners, production and technical personnel, and arts administrators with specific learning opportunities and/or activities to advance their practice or career.

Awards are not intended to support the creation of new work(s) or full-time studies.

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 a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident and have been a resident of British Columbia for at least 12 months immediately prior to the application deadline, and ordinarily reside in B.C. For more information, review our Determining B.C. Residency
  • Demonstrate professional status by meeting the following criteria:
    • have completed appropriate and relevant training in their discipline at a level that would be recognized as professional by other practitioners working in similar disciplines. Training may be through post-secondary institutions, traditional knowledge transfer, and/or apprenticeship with a qualified practitioner.
    • have a minimum two years of professional practice in their field following basic training.
    • meet the minimum requirements for BC Arts Council’s Professional Artist award in their practice (check relevant guidelines) and have received industry-standard payment for their work (e.g., CARFAC, IMAA, etc.).
  • Have submitted any overdue final reports on previous BC Arts Council grants as of the deadline date for this program.


  • Have received at least one grant through the First Peoples’ Cultural Council ‘s Indigenous Arts Program and have submitted any outstanding final reports for that grant.

Eligible artists and arts or cultural practitioners may include but are not limited to:

  • arts administrator, producer, or artistic support staff (dramaturg, editor, etc.)
  • community-engaged arts practitioner
  • creative writer (fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry) or spoken word artist
  • Deaf, disability, and/or Mad arts practitioner
  • media artist
  • multi- and interdisciplinary artist
  • museum or Indigenous cultural centre professional
  • performing artist (dance, music, theatre, etc.)
  • production and technical staff (not including those working in the commercial sector, e.g. film or television for theatrical release or prime-time broadcast)
  • visual, craft, or contemporary applied artist, or independent curator or critic
  • artists whose practice includes training professional arts practitioners

Ineligible applications will not be forwarded for assessment.

Emerging artists and early career practitioners with less than two years of professional practice may be eligible for support through the BC Arts Council’s Early Career Development Program.

How to Apply

All applicants must be registered in the BCAC Online Grant Application System. It is recommended you 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 a 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 program officers.

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. Please ensure that you download and review the most recent version, which is posted below.

Program guidelines (PDF)

Program application preview (PDF)

Program application preview (Word)