Important Update

The Youth Engagement Program has been suspended for 2021/22.  Organizations with activities previously eligible through this program are encouraged to explore the Arts Impact Grant program.

About the Youth Engagement Program

The BC Arts Council’s Youth Engagement Program (YEP) supports eligible organizations across the province taking innovative and inspiring approaches to actively engaging British Columbia’s young people with professional artists and arts and culture programming.

For the purposes of this program, following the example of UNESCO and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, this program supports projects serving children and youth under the age of 24.

Eligible projects include existing programs or new initiatives, including the research, development, implementation and/or presentation of pilot projects and new programs, as well as enhancements or expansion of existing programs. Projects can be up to two years in duration.

The program will support a range of activities; the areas of focus may overlap within any given project. Supported areas of activity may include:

  • New work – creation and commissioning: New artistic and curatorial projects for children and youth audiences.
  • Participation in artistic creation: Projects that directly engage children and youth, working with professional artists, as creative participants in the artistic process, through developing and/or producing new projects wherein the quality of the participants’ artistic experience is as important as the project’s artistic achievement.
  • Outreach and engagement: Projects and partnerships that actively reach out to engage and integrate new youth communities and young audiences into organizations’ core activities and programs.

Who Can Apply

An eligible applicant must:

Be based in British Columbia and conduct ongoing public programming activity in B.C.


Be an arts and cultural organization that has received at least one grant from the BC Arts Council since April 1, 2015 through the following eligible BC Arts Council programs:

  • Operating Assistance;
  • Project Assistance for Professional Performing Arts (Theatre, Music, Dance); Arts Periodicals; Literary Organizations; Arts Training; Book Publishers; Professional Arts Festivals; Media Arts Organizations; Museums, Indigenous Cultural Centres and Visual Arts Organizations;
  • Community Arts Projects;
  • Community Festivals;
  • Arts Based Community Development;


Be an incorporated non-profit arts and cultural organization that has received a grant through the BC Arts Council’s Shared Cost Arrangement programs at BC Touring Council (Community Presenters Assistance Awards OR Aspiring and Emerging Associates), First Peoples’ Cultural Council (Indigenous Arts Awards) or Creative BC (Interactive Fund) since April 1, 2018;


Be an incorporated non-profit arts and cultural organization that has not received support from the BC Arts Council or its partners (above) in the designated years but:

  • Has a specific mandate to provide quality arts experiences for children and/or youth; and,
  • Is eligible for support within the BC Arts Council programs listed above.
  • In this case, eligibility to apply to YEP must be confirmed in writing by the program officer prior to applying.


Be an Indigenous Government, Friendship Centre, or Métis Chartered Community.

All applicants are urged to determine the eligibility of their organization with the appropriate YEP program officer prior to submitting an application.

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

Please Note: We’ve recently been alerted to an error in the assessment criteria in our guidelines for the Youth Engagement Program. We have updated the assessment criteria accordingly and re-posted the guidelines below.

The earlier version of the guidelines stated that Cultural Competency and Agility was not a scored assessment criterion. Guidelines have been updated to reflect that Cultural Competency and Agility is in fact a scored criterion for this program, weighted at 10% of the jury’s assessment.

If you have already submitted your application and this correction prompts you to want to make revisions to your application, please let us know by Monday, January 13.

Program guidelines 2019/20 - PDF version

Preview of the online application form 2019/20 - PDF version

Program guidelines are revised annually.