The Winnipeg Arts Council distributes information every Thursday via email. The Winnipeg Billboard includes information about WAC programs, application deadline reminders, local arts events and news listings; calls for artist submissions; and professional opportunities for artists and cultural workers. If you would like to sign-up for the weekly email use the Arts e-Billboard sign-up form found at the bottom-right of every page.
Application deadlines vary from program to program are published in the program guidelines and in with the program descriptions on this web site. Deadlines vary from year to year and are generally scheduled on Tuesdays.
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who are currently and have lived in the City of Winnipeg for at least one year immediately prior to applying. Some programs require that arts organizations be operating in Winnipeg for a longer period. Applicants must be recognized by their peers as professionals in an artistic discipline. This means they are beyond the level of basic training and have had work published, produced, or shown in a professionally recognized venue. Specific programs have other eligibility criteria that must be met by applicants.
There are restrictions about the number of times applicants may receive a grant within a certain time period, and the number of programs to which applicants may apply. The program guidelines provide basic information regarding eligibility. Even if applicants have met all the criteria to apply for a program, they are not automatically entitled to a grant. Grants are allocated on the basis of artistic merit, Council priorities and available budget.
The Winnipeg Arts Council is an arm's-length agency of the City of Winnipeg. The Council receives an annual allocation from the City's Operating Budget, and sets priorities for the funds in the context of Council policies.
Successful applicants are required to agree to the terms of the grant by signing a Funding Agreement and to report on the progress of their projects. Reporting requirements vary from program to program. Some grants are released in instalments, which are tied to specific requirements. Upon project completion all grant recipients are required to submit a Final Report, which usually includes a narrative description of the project undertaken, a financial statement, samples of printed materials related to the project and images for Winnipeg Arts Council public relations uses. Specific guidelines are available here on this website.
How much are the grants? How many are awarded in a year? Who has received them?
The amount of the grants for each program, and the number awarded in a year, vary according to the type of program and the available budget in that program. Both individual artists and arts organizations receive grants. The Winnipeg Arts Council publishes the names of award recipients, and the amount of the awards, here and in its Annual Report.
Do I need to talk to the Program Officer before applying?
First time applicants are advised to carefully review the program guidelines, which include the program goals, eligibility and evaluation criteria and then consult with the Program Officer well in advance of the deadline. The Officer can assist you by clarifying the information required, and assess if you and your project are eligible and if you are applying to the appropriate program.
Applications requirements vary from program to program but usually include a written project proposal and corresponding budget, background information on your artistic practice (including your arts resume and statement of recent artistic activities) and examples of the your work.
To be considered for a grant, you must complete and submit the appropriate, signed, original registration form, and all the required materials listed in the program guidelines. The granting process is competitive and you should submit an application that has sufficient information, is clear, concise and easy to handle.
Please note that only one application may be submitted to each grant program at a time.
The Officer cannot help you complete your application or define your project, but can clarify the information required; respond to your questions; let you know if you and your project are eligible and applying to the appropriate program; and if you have included all of the required materials. It is also recommended that you seek feedback from colleagues on your project proposal.
Applications are assessed by an independent panel of qualified artistic professionals selected on the basis of their familiarity with and expertise in a broad spectrum of artistic practices, and to reflect the range of applicants at any one deadline. Panels make assessments based on the published program criteria and the applicant's past and proposed work within the context of each competition.
If my application is not successful, can I find out why?
Assessment panel comments are not provided. Only feedback on technical aspects of your application will be provided as necessary (if, for example, your images are out of focus, or the text of your application is unclear).
Winnipeg Arts Council programs are competitive, and sometimes applications are unsuccessful because of the high number of excellent projects submitted and the limited funds available at a particular deadline. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply. Please note however that same proposal may not be submitted for consideration more than twice.
There are many reasons why a grant application might be successful or unsuccessful. While it is impossible to determine in advance whether or not a particular assessment panel will recommend a grant be awarded to support your project, there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure you submit the best possible application:
1) Contact the Program Officer well in advance of the deadline. Since Officers do not make the decision about awarding grants, they can assist you by clarifying the information required, and assessing if you and your project are eligible and if you are applying to the appropriate program.
2) Read the guidelines carefully. Before making an application to the Winnipeg Arts Council, please make sure you have the most up-to-date guidelines, which include all of the application requirements, program goals, and eligibility and evaluation criteria.
3) Make a clear presentation. The "look" of the application is important when assessment panels have many applications to review. Your application should be clean, concise, and easy to read. It must be submitted on white, 8 1/2 x 11 paper, in a simple 12 pt font, in the order indicated in the program guidelines.
4) Tell the panel what they need to know. Your grant information should be properly organized (as detailed in the program guidelines) and easy to understand. Whether you are a senior artist with a long list of credits, or an emerging artist with little experience, don't assume the panel is familiar with your artistic practice. Follow the guidelines and be sure to provide the following information: Who are you? What kind of art do you produce? What has been your track record? What is the project? How will the project be completed? When will it start and finish? Why is this project important? Giving the assessors context for your application allows them to focus on the merit of the project.
5) Choose your Support Material strategically. If your application requires examples of your work, pick ones that best reflect your project. Ask people you trust: Which of these samples has the fastest/best/greatest impact? Which shows off my abilities in this genre? Which sample best reflects the project I am applying for? If you are supplying references, make sure they are from recognized people/organizations that can speak to both the merit of your artistic practice and your ability to carry out the project.
6) Be hopeful, but never count on a grant. The granting process is competitive. No single piece of advice will guarantee success on a grant application. The number of successful applications varies from deadline to deadline and from program to program. Assessors come from varied backgrounds, reflecting different cultural traditions, forms of expression and art practices. They have to make difficult decisions based on the information you provide them.
The Winnipeg Arts Council is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.