• Program Type
    Operating Assistance
  • Application Deadline
    September 30, 2021
  • Application Type
  • Disciplines


The Operating Assistance program for Visual Arts Organizations supports the public program activities of visual arts organizations that sustain an annual artistic and curatorial program that includes creation, development, presentation, collections, and dissemination activities.

2021 Operating Assistance Intake

For 2021, all current recipients of Operating Assistance will submit a simplified application for staff to review. Please ensure you review the 2021 Operating Assistance Overview document for further information.

New applicants to Operating Assistance will not be accepted at this time. Any new information regarding new applicants will be updated on this program page and in our news section.

These decisions were made as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 & the BC Arts Council

We remain committed to supporting B.C.’s artists and cultural organizations through this difficult time.

Funded activities may need to make adaptations to comply with relevant public health orders, including those regarding gatherings and travel.

The most up-to-date information will always be posted on our dedicated COVID-19 Update page and individual pages for programs open for intake. Updates will also be announced on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Who Can Apply

For 2021, only current recipients of Operating Assistance are eligible. To continue to receive funding through the Visual Arts Organizations - Operating program your organization must continue to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be registered as a non-profit society in good standing in the Province of British Columbia and have operated as a visual arts organization for two fiscal years prior to application,


  • Be a public visual arts organization operated by a local government for at least two fiscal years and with a community-based board of management that sets policy for the organization’s public programs and services,


  • Be a professional visual arts organization operated by a public post-secondary institution in B.C. that offers public programming by professional visual artists in a dedicated gallery facility with regular ongoing access to the non-academic community,


  • Provide public programming and have done so in the immediately preceding two years.
  • Compensate artists by paying fees at industry standards and adhere to international intellectual property rights standards.
    • Professional artists/curators must receive industry standard fees for work presented by visual arts organizations and public museums.
    • Community-based artists and curators whose work is programmed by visual arts organizations or public museums must receive payment through either exhibition fees or through other, mutually agreed-upon alternatives.
  • Have professional artistic/curatorial and administrative leadership.

At present, we are not accepting new applicants to 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.

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

For 2021, eligible applicants to Operating Assistance will be completing a shorter application than a typical full Operating application.

Please refer to the 2021 Operating Assistance Overview document for more information about this year’s intake.

The following guidelines are from the previous intake and provided for general information about the program. They are for reference only.

Program Guidelines

Preview of the online application form