I have compiled a list of sources that provide funds, grants and awards to Canadian writers. This is by no means a definitive list, but will be a good place to start your research.
You will find money for individuals, projects, writers residencies, travel, workshop expenses 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 proposals here.
This is a great place to start your research. The Canada Council for the Arts offers a range of grants for professional Canadian writers, collectives and publishers. 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.
This is a non-profit organization that supports and administers over a dozen programs for individual writers and publishers. Here is a sampling of the many awards offered:
McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
Winner: $10,000; Winning publisher: $2,000
Awarded annually to a new and developing writer of distinction for a short story published in a Canadian literary publication.
The Marian Engel Award
The award is presented once a year to a female Canadian writer, not for a single book, but for a body of work and in anticipation of her future contribution to Canadian literature.
Matt Cohen Prize
Recognizes a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer, working in either poetry or prose in either French or English. Valued at $20,000, it is one of the richest literary awards in the country.
The Pearson Writers Trust Non-Fiction Prize
Winner $15,000; Finalists $2,000
This award is for a work of non-fiction that, in the opinion of the judges, shows the highest literary merit.
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 WRITERS
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.
Grant MacEwen Literary Awards
Grant MacEwan Author’s Award: Annual author’s award of $25,000 will be presented to an Alberta writer.
Grant MacEwan Young Writer’s Scholarship: Scholarships of $2,500 each will be presented to four young Albertans (aged 16-25) for an essay or short story of between 1,000 and 5,000 words in length that meets the same criteria as the Author’s award.
British Columbia Arts Council
Money is available for professional development, literary programs, travel, projects and more for individuals and organizations.
Vancouver Foundation oversees a variety of arts and cultural funding.
Manitoba Arts Council
Provides assistance to professional book and periodical publishers, to writers in a range of genres, and to arts service organizations that contribute to public education about the literary arts. They have 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 and literary prize.
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.
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