I have compiled a short list of sources that provide funds, grants and awards to Canadian artists and photographers. This is by no means a definitive list, but will be a good place to start your research.
Photography is most often placed under the umbrella of visual art. If the grant information does not specifically state photography, it pays to check with the granting organization to see if photography is included.
If you have a photography/art business be sure to check out grants for small businesses. You may be able to get free money, loan guarantees or even employees that will help grow your business.
The following granting organizations give out money for individuals, projects, travel, workshop expenses, equipment and more.
The fun part (yech) is writing the grant proposal. Proposals range from short 2-3 page documents to fully developed documents that include project plans, budgets and other assorted details. Learn more about writing Grant Proposals here.
Canada Council for the Arts
This is a great place to start your research. The Canada Council for the Arts offers a range of grants for artists and photographers. There are over a dozen grant categories with deadlines throughout the year. There are also cross-over grants so be sure to check out the other grant categories such as inter-arts, media-arts and visual-arts. Check and see who has won previous awards to get an idea of the types of projects that are funded.
Canadian Heritage Financial Support Programs
There are a wide range of programs available to not-for-profit organizations, established businesses and municipal/government groups. Programs include money for publishers, magazines, arts groups and aboriginal groups. There is no funding available for individuals.
PROVINCIAL GRANTS AND FUNDS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS
Many of Canada’s Provinces are actively encouraging writers and the literary arts though various funding programs. The challenge is in discovering the right departments to query!
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Each year, $19 M from lottery revenues is distributed by the AFA to individual artists and arts organizations in the visual, performing and literary arts, and cultural industries. Grants are awarded to individuals and non-profits, businesses.
British Columbia Arts Council
Money is available for professional development, travel, projects and more for individuals and organizations.
Vancouver Foundation oversees a variety of arts and cultural funding.
Manitoba Arts Council
A variety of individual, residency, travel and organization grants.
New Brunswick Arts Board
Scholarships, Awards, Foundation prizes.
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Project grants, travel assistance, awards.
Nova Scotia Tourism and Culture
Grants and funding for individuals, groups, non-profits, organizations and businesses. Of interest is their grants to individuals program which supports the creation of new works by professional artists in all disciplines.
Nunavut’s Department of Culture, Language, Elders, and Youth
Grants and funding programs.
Ontario Arts Council
Project and operating funds for individuals and organizations.
Toronto Arts Council
Groups supported include: individuals, presenters, festivals, and service organizations.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Ministry of Culture that receives annually $100 million of government funding generated through Ontario’s charity casino initiative. They’ve got some interesting tools on the website to help you develop a proposal and application. Grants are for organizations only they do not fund individuals.
Saskatchewan Arts Board
Individual Assistance Grant Program grants are available in the literary, media, multidisciplinary, performing or visual arts.