Responsible Staff Member

This program supports the creation of new works by professional artists in all disciplines including fine crafts, literary, visual, media and performing arts. It also promotes a broad understanding and appreciation of art and artists through professional development, creation and presentation of work.

Individual artists may submit one application per grant category per deadline. To encourage equitable distribution of funds, artists can only receive one Creation Grant in a 12-month period.


Arts Nova Scotia envisions a thriving and diverse professional arts community celebrated at home and abroad for breaking new ground, ensuring equity and achieving a high level of artistic excellence.


Arts Nova Scotia’s Grants to Individuals program supports Nova Scotia’s professional, practicing artists in the creation and dissemination of their own work. The program also supports professional artists by helping them to develop their practice and skills.

Activities Assisted and Level of Funding

Individual artists may submit one application per category per deadline.

  • Creation Grants $15,000 Maximum
    • Assists Nova Scotian professional artists working independently or collaboratively to create new work, in any art form, by contributing towards the artist’s living expenses and project costs.
    • To encourage equitable distribution of funds, artists will not be eligible to receive more than one Creation Grant in a 12-month period
  • Presentation Grants $5,000 Maximum
    • Assists Nova Scotia professional artists in direct costs associated with public presentation of their work, including but not limited to: travel related expenses, professional fees, framing, installation, costuming, lighting, venue rental, and promotion
  • Professional Development Grants $5,000 Maximum
    • Assists Nova Scotia professional artists to pursue excellence in the arts through formal study programs, or other professional development programs such as mentoring, workshops, apprenticeships, or conferences. Curators and independent arts administrators are eligible under this category


The Grants to Individuals Program supports professional artists. The definition of professional is determined by the Status of the Artist Act including but not limited to the following criteria:

  • To have peer recognition
  • To have a history of public presentation
  • To have training appropriate to the artist's chosen discipline (including self-taught and/or apprenticeship training)
  • To earn income, fully or in part, from artistic activity
  • To demonstrate serious intent and devotion of energy to practicing art

Applications will be accepted from artists working in any art discipline, including:

  • Visual Arts
  • Craft
  • New Media
  • Media (e.g. auteur-driven film, documentary, podcasts)
  • Theatre
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Literary Arts

If you do not see your discipline listed above, please contact the program officer.

Eligible applicants are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants who, as such, have maintained their primary residence in Nova Scotia for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline. Applicants who are out of the province temporarily and will be away for no more than 12 months may apply.


The Grants to Individuals Program does not provide financial support to the cultural industries (e.g. commercial film and video production, music videos, recording, television shows, publishing, commercial design, or production crafts) 

Applicants who are students are not eligible for this program. Students are encouraged to apply to the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Professional artists who undertake graduate studies may apply for Professional Development only. 

There will be no retroactive funding to projects that start prior to the deadline 


Eligible project costs may include, but are not limited to

  • Living expenses for individuals during the period of the project (for Creation Grants only)
  • Materials
  • Mentors
  • Professional fees for design, production, and technical personnel and other production expenses
  • Travel costs directly related to the project and outside of the applicant’s general area of residence
  • Royalties
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Venue rental
  • Rental of equipment essential to the project

Ineligible expenses include: 

  • The capital cost of purchase or long-term rental of buildings or property, construction or renovation, as well as equipment, machinery, computers or anything that that can be repurposed for general use 
  • The costs of projects already funded through Arts Nova Scotia or the Government of Nova Scotia 
  • Costs related to the development or maintenance of promotional websites 

Eligibility of expenses not listed above should be discussed with the program officer 

Application Requirements

  • Detailed project description (Max. 2 pages)
  • Detailed budget
  • Detailed schedule of work
  • Two-page CV of the applicant and all other artists involved
  • Support material demonstrating the applicant’s professional practice (Images,
  • video/audio, printed pages)

Note: Letters of intent from any person or organization involved in the project, and/or letters of support from professional, practicing artists in the relevant discipline(s) may be necessary to include. Contact the program officer when in doubt about these documents. 

Support Material

List all support material included with the application. Support material is included in each application to assess artistic merit and may include, but not be limited to: samples of previous work (e.g. digital images of visual art, script samples, music scores, poems), images, videos, 

and audio recordings. Video and Audio files must be edited to comply with the 15min maximum. Complete scores, books, catalogues, programs or other published or bound promotional materials will not be included in the peer assessment package but will be provided for viewing during the peer assessment meeting. 

Annotations that alert the Peer Assessment Committee to specific aspects of the support material are encouraged. 

Note: Assessors will not consider material that exceeds the specified limits or is not on the list of accepted formats. See application guidelines for complete list of eligible and ineligible support material and formats. 

Your name must appear on all support material. 

Technical Requirements

  Maximum # Submitted Maximum Length/File Size Accepted Formats
Audio 3 samples 15 minutes for all material .cda, .mp3, .m4a and .m4
Video 3 samples 15 minutes for all material dvd format, .mp4, .mov, .mpg
Still Images 10 images 2MB each .jpg, .tiff, .tif
Samples of written work   15 pages Single-sided, 8 ½ x 11 paper in portrait format (not landscape). Double-spaced 12-point font. Unbound, no staples.
  • Files must be in digital form (PC or MAC) on USB, CD or DVD and not exceed format maximums
  • Files must be labeled with the numbers 01, 02, 03, etc. at the start of each title
  • Files must be directly readable, requiring no extraction from another format, and cued to start
  • List of support material should be printed and submitted with application (page #4 of application form)
  • Ensure that electronic files are working before you submit your application

These materials are not accepted:

  • Support material embedded in documents (PowerPoint presentations, etc.)
  • Compressed files (WinZip, Stuffit, etc.)
  • Material that requires third-party software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded and installed
  • Material accessed on websites – only artworks that are created specifically for the Internet to take advantage of one or more of its technologies may be submitted
  • Online documentation of any kind
  • Magnetic tape (cassettes, video tape), film, vinyl, slides
  • Original art work

Do not send valuable originals as support material. If you want your support material returned you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope. Support material can no longer be picked up in person after the competition.

Application Assessment

Applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Following this, a Peer Assessment Committee (PAC) considers the following factors: 

  • the quality of the work as evidenced by the support material provided 
  • the artistic merit of the project 
  • the ability to carry out the project 


Applications are ranked based on merit and funds are allocated based on the ranking. 

The program officer facilitates the assessment process but does not participate in the ranking of applications and the funding decisions. 

Contents of the applications and proceedings of the meetings are strictly confidential. The decisions of the PAC are final. 

Policies and procedures are in place to ensure fairness, and to avoid conflict of interest in the assessment process. 

Peer Assessment Committee (PAC)

  • PAC members are professional practicing artists of the relevant discipline 
  • The composition of the PAC is sensitive to regional, gender, age, and cultural differences 
  • Different PACs for each discipline are appointed for each competition 

Notification of Results

The results of the PAC meetings are communicated to applicants via notification letters sent by Canada Post eight to ten weeks after the deadline date. 

Notification letters are sent to all applicants, without exception. 

Unsuccessful applicants may resubmit eligible projects to the next grant deadline. 

Conditions of Funding

Applicants who are approved for funding will receive a Terms and Conditions Agreement outlining the requirements of funding. Funding recipients should be aware of the following conditions: 

  • Arts Nova Scotia’s support must be recognized as outlined in the “Requirements for Acknowledging Funding” on the Arts Nova Scotia website 
  • Arts Nova Scotia must be notified in advance of any changes in the activity 
  • Applicants not receiving the full amount requested in their application may be required to submit a revised budget and revised project dates 
  • The living expenses allowance for a creation project is intended to free artists from full-time employment for the duration of the proposed program of work. If the artist has received part or all of their grant for living expenses, they must arrange to devote a major part of their time to the funded activity 
  • If the project is not undertaken after payment of the grant has been made the recipient must return the funds to Arts Nova Scotia 
  • Individuals who receive grants must submit a final report within 60 days of the completion of the supported activity. This report must include a full description and documentation of the completed activity, accompanied by a detailed financial report of actual revenues and expenses. Copies of receipts may be requested 
Please note: if the Final Report becomes overdue, no funds can be released for any subsequent grant approved through either Arts Nova Scotia or the Culture & Heritage Development Division’s programs until the overdue report has been received. 
  • If the project approved for funding is cancelled or the full amount of funding is not required, the funds must be returned to Arts Nova Scotia 
  • Grants to Individuals are deemed taxable income by Canada Revenue Agency. The provincial Department of Finance will issue T4A slips to all grant recipients for the year in which funding was provided 
  • Funding recipients are subject to Provincial audit. Please retain all receipts 

Application Submission

  • Applications must be either received in the Arts Nova Scotia office by 4:30 PM on the deadline date or be postmarked no later than the deadline date 
  • If a deadline falls on a statutory holiday or weekend, the deadline will be extended until the next working day 
  • Arts Nova Scotia does not accept faxed, late, or incomplete applications; or elements of applications 
  • All documents including text (e.g. project description, CV, letters of support) should be printed out and sent together with the application form single-sided with no staples 
  • binders, plastic sleeves, paperclips, or bound in folders 
  • Always contact the program officer with enough notice prior to a deadline to ask any questions about the application process 

Send completed application form to:

Grants to Individuals
Arts Nova Scotia

In person/courier: 
Homburg Building 3rd Floor, 1741 Brunswick St. 
Halifax, NS B3J 3X8

By regular mail:
Arts Nova Scotia
PO Box 456
B3J 2R5

Past Recipients

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