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Ontario Arts Council
Exhibition Assistance Programme


What is the Exhibition Assistance program?
The Exhibition Assistance program provides grants of $500 to $1,500 to assist individual artists with costs related to presenting their work in confirmed, upcoming exhibitions. Artists apply to third-party recommender organizations located throughout the province. The recommenders are public galleries, artist-run centres and other visual and media arts organizations that administer the Exhibition Assistance program and make grant recommendations to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC).

The program aims to reflect the range of artistic practices in the visual arts, media arts and craft communities and to support excellence, regional activity, linguistic and cultural diversity and Aboriginal and Franco-Ontarian identity.

What kind of exhibitions and expenses does this program fund?

Eligible exhibitions must be confirmed and scheduled to take place in locations that are open to the public. Your exhibition does not necessarily have to take place in a gallery that is a recommender. The following types of exhibitions are eligible:

  • Exhibitions taking place in Ontario, other provinces and international locations
  • Exhibitions in public art galleries, artist-run centres and commercial art galleries
  • Solo and group shows
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) or self-presented public exhibitions
  • Exhibitions in alternative locations such as community centres, restaurants, rented space, on-line, etc.
  • Art or craft exhibitions, art fairs, collective studio tours

Exhibition Assistance grants can be used towards the following exhibition expenses, if they are your responsibility and not covered by the gallery:

  • Materials to prepare and install your work, including framing, hardware for mounting and installation, construction of structural elements specific to an installation, etc. NOTE: The purchase of materials to create the work is not eligible.
  • Audio-visual equipment to present your work, including rental or purchase of monitors, projectors, cables, synchronizers, computers, etc. Purchase of audio-visual presentation equipment is eligible where rental is not feasible. A detailed explanation must be provided to support purchase requests. Purchased equipment remains the property of the artist, not the gallery.
  • Crating and transportation of works of art
  • Fees for assistance in installation of the exhibition, including technical assistance
  • Exhibition promotional expenses, e.g. design, printing and mailing of invitations; web-site posting; paid advertising (in print or on-line)
  • Fees and rental costs, e.g. rental of exhibition space, booth fees
  • Insurance, e.g. for transportation of work, for the exhibition venue

The following are not eligible for Exhibition Assistance funding:

  • Exhibitions that have opened before you submit your application to a recommender
  • The cost of materials and other expenses related to creation of your work
  • Studio rental costs
  • Your travel costs (eligible only in exceptional circumstances, e.g. performance art, installation of site-specific art work)
  • Capital expenses, e.g. purchase of capital equipment
  • Catalogues
  • Opening hospitality expenses
  • Photographic or audio-visual documentation of your work

The grants cannot be used to cover costs that the gallery is responsible for and do not replace exhibition fees that a gallery may pay you to exhibit your work.

Who can apply?
The program is open to individual visual artists, craft artists and media artists who have confirmed, upcoming exhibitions. Visual and media artists working in a range of media and practices are eligible, including: drawing, electronic media, installation (film/video, audio, sculptural), painting, performance, photography or photo-based work, printmaking and sculpture. Artists working in a range of craft-based practices and media are eligible, including beadwork, book arts, ceramics, fibre arts, furniture, metal-work, glass and wood.

For more information visit the OAC’s website