Supporting Artists in Canada
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
This year, I was awarded my first grant from Arts Nova Scotia, a provincial funding agency that provides support to professional artists and arts organizations. There are several different types of funding options available, including the Arts Equity Funding Initiative and Mi'kmaq Arts Program. If you live outside of Nova Scotia, the Writers' Union of Canada has a list of national and regional government agencies that offer help to writers. While specific guidelines will differ between arts organizations, I have listed five general tips to consider when applying for a grant.
Start early. Give yourself enough time to collect any documentation that may be required as part of the application. This is especially important if you want to include letters of support from other artists or mentors.
Ask questions. Program officers are incredibly knowledgeable about grant funding. If you have questions, don't be afraid to reach out.
Get technical. It never hurts to add details about the creative and stylistic approach that you plan to take with your writing, such as the type of narrative, structure, point of view, and literary devices.
Request feedback. You might have a great idea for a project, but condensing that information down on paper can be difficult. If your application is not successful, request feedback from the selection committee, as these comments will help identify areas for improvement.
Keep trying. Rejection is part of being a writer and I applied for funding multiple times before receiving a grant. Most arts organizations have two or more deadlines for grant applications per year, so be prepared to revise and resubmit.