Winnipeg Arts Council
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Where is the WAC office located and what are your office hours?

The Winnipeg Arts Council office is located on the ground floor of the Fairchilds Lofts building on the west side of Princess Street between William and Bannatyne Avenues.

Our mailing address is: 103 - 110 Princess Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1K7.
T 204.943.7668
F 204.942.8669
E [email protected].

Our standard office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Where do I find the program guidelines, application forms and criteria?

Information about all of our grant programs is found under the “Grants” menu at the top of our website. Each program has its own set of guidelines and criteria which you can read online or download. Information can also be emailed, mailed, or faxed to you upon request by calling 204.943.7668 or emailing [email protected].

Who is eligible for a grant?

Grants are open to artists, artist collectives and arts organizations in the City of Winnipeg.

Individuals must be Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents, dedicated to the professional practice of art in any discipline as evidenced by significant commitment, who have lived and worked in the City of Winnipeg for at least one year immediately prior to the application date.

Artist collectives are groups of two or more professional artists working together under a group name, either on an ongoing or ad hoc basis. If the collective is two members, both must be residents of the City of Winnipeg. If the collective is more than two members, at least 50% of the group must be residents of the City of Winnipeg. All members of the group must have at least one year of professional practice and a history of public presentation. A group is not normally considered if its principal artistic collaborators have been enrolled in an undergraduate program within the last year.

Arts organizations must be registered as a not-for-profit corporation in Manitoba, governed by a volunteer board of directors, and have operated as such for a minimum of six months. Only organizations that have as their primary mandate and core activity the creation, production or presentation of the performing, visual, literary, film, video or media arts are eligible.

What is a "professional artist"?

A professional artist is someone who is dedicated to the professional practice of art, as evidenced by various factors including a significant commitment of time to their practice which includes creation, training, mentorship, public presentation, peer recognition and/or the affirmation of their community.

How do I apply for a grant?

Applications are submitted online using the Winnipeg Arts Council’s GoSmart website. Applicants who do not have reasonable access to a public internet source such as a public library should contact us at least four weeks prior to the deadline to enquire about alternative application methods.

Click here for a specific set of FAQs about GoSmart.

Can I submit a paper/ hard copy application?

Applications are normally submitted online only. If you require an alternative method, contact us at least 4 weeks prior to the deadline to make arrangements.

Do you allow deadline extensions?

No. Applications must be received on the deadline indicated in the program guidelines.

What information is required to apply?

Applications requirements vary from program to program but usually include a written project proposal, a budget, some background information on your artistic practice (including your arts resume and statement of recent artistic activities) and examples of 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.

Do I have to provide self-identification information?

No. We encourage all applicants to provide statistical information which we use to help WAC understand who is accessing our programs. We collect information like year of birth, gender identity, cultural background and language of communication to use for program planning, evaluation and policy development. This helps ensure that our programs are supporting diverse art forms, ideas and communities.

Your responses to the questions in this section are completely voluntary. You can provide as much or as little information as you choose. None of the information you provide on this page is shared with the jury or used in any way to assess your application.

What are the application deadline dates?

Application deadlines vary from program to program are published in the program guidelines. Deadlines vary from year to year and are generally scheduled on Tuesdays (or Wednesdays after a long weekend).

For individuals:

Individual Artist Grants: twice yearly, early March and early September

Professional Research and Development Grants: rolling deadline, at least 4 weeks before the project starts

For artist collectives and arts organizations:

Project Grants: once per year in early February

Multiyear Operating and Program Support Grants: application is by invitation only, mid-November

How much are the grants? How many are awarded in a year? Who has received them?

Grant amounts for each program, and the number awarded in a year, vary according to the type of program and the available budget in that program. The Winnipeg Arts Council publishes the names of award recipients here and in its Annual Report.

Do I need to talk to the Program Manager before applying?

We encourage all applicants, particularly people applying for the first time, to contact us. If you are interested in applying, you should read the program guidelines and then contact the Program Manager well in advance of the deadline and prior to preparing your application. This may save time and result in a more effective application. WAC staff can help by explaining the application process, assessing if you and your project are eligible, and making sure you are applying to the appropriate program.

We arrange meetings in-person at the WAC office, over the telephone, or by video chat (Zoom).

Can I get help preparing my application?

WAC staff can clarify the information required, respond to your questions, let you know if you and your project are eligible / applying to the appropriate program, and ensure you have included all of the required materials. Staff are not able to help you actually write your application or define your project, but we do offer tips for more effective grant writing.

Some organizations also offer assistance or workshops on effective grant applications. Creative Manitoba, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, and Arts Accessibility Network Manitoba are some examples. We also recommend that you seek feedback from other artists on your project proposal.

Who decides what grants are awarded?

Applications are assessed by an independent jury of qualified artistic professionals selected on the basis of their familiarity with and expertise in a broad spectrum of artistic practices. The jury changes for each grant deadline and is assembled to broadly reflect the range of applicants in that particular intake. Winnipeg Arts Council staff do not vote on applications.

Find out more about the peer assessment process and how grants are awarded is found here.

How will I find out if I am awarded a grant?

You will be informed of the results of your application, in writing, within approximately three months of the application deadline. Results are never released over the telephone.

How many grants can I receive?

The program guidelines provide basic information regarding eligibility and there are restrictions on the number of times applicants may receive a grant within a certain time period. For individuals, this is usually restricted to two grants every four calendar years from any single program.

How do I know who was awarded grants in the various categories?

In the Grants menu, choose Grants Awarded.

If my application is not successful, can I find out why?

We don’t provide the jury’s comments to any unsuccessful applicants. Our programs are competitive and our budgets are limited. The success rate in the Individual Artist grant program is between 30-40% in recent years. We will provide technical feedback but will not comment on the qualitative aspects of the jury’s assessment. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply. The same proposal may be submitted for consideration at the next deadline, but not more than twice in total.

What do I have to do if I am awarded a grant?

You will receive a Funding Agreement that outlines the terms of your grant. You are required to sign the agreement and return it to the WAC office in order to release payment. All grant recipients are expected to carry out the project as described in their application, to credit the Winnipeg Arts Council for its contribution to your project, and to inform us if there are changes.

When you have completed your project you will be required to submit a final report which usually includes a narrative description of the project undertaken, a final budget and images related to the project we can use to demonstrate the types of things that WAC supports. If you don’t submit a final report you will not be able to apply for other support and you may not receive the final payment of your grant.

I need to change my project, or I can’t complete my project. What do I do?

We understand that circumstances change over the life of a project. If your project changes, you must contact the Winnipeg Arts Council and we will make a determination based on the specific circumstances. Generally, smaller changes, adaptations and adjustments are not a problem but major shifts in the artistic direction or nature of the project may require more information before they can be approved. If you change your project without informing us, you may be required to pay back some or all of the grant money you have received.

Where can I get a copy of the WAC logo for my publication and/or promotional materials?

Various versions of the logo are available for you to download here.

Where does the money for grants come from?

The Winnipeg Arts Council is an arms-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.