• Program Type
    Operating Assistance
  • Application Deadline
  • Application Type
  • Disciplines


Professional Theatre Organizations: Operating Assistance contributes to the support of professional, non-profit performing arts organizations working in  theatre that sustain an annual artistic program encompassing creation, development, production, and public presentation.


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

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a professional performing arts organization registered and in good standing as a non-profit society in the Province of British Columbia;
  • Have operated as a professional performing arts organization for two fiscal years prior to application providing public programming for a minimum of two fiscal years prior to application.
  • Compensate artists and arts professionals 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.

For organizations currently receiving Operating Assistance:

  • In order to continue receiving funding, you must continue to fulfill the above criteria and operate in good standing.

For organizations that are not currently receiving Operating Assistance:

  • You must establish your eligibility and intention to apply for Operating Assistance with the Program Officer a minimum of four weeks before the deadline.
  • You must have received at least two Project Assistance grants from eligible programs at the BC Arts Council within the past five years, including at least one creation, programming or production grant from a discipline-specific program. Please confirm eligibility of past funding with the Program Officer.

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

Preview of the online application form

Program guidelines are revised annually.