Application Guidelines

Canada Arts Training Fund

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Objectives and expected results for the Canada Arts Training Fund

The Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF) supports arts training in Canada. The CATF provides financial support for the ongoing operations of Canadian arts organizations that specialize in training artists for professional national or international artistic careers, at the highest levels.

Expected results include:

  • Canadian institutions deliver nationally significant arts training of the highest quality;
  • high-calibre arts training institutions are financially and administratively stable; and
  • graduates are recognized for excellence in Canada and internationally.

Note: The Development Support Component is inactive.

Application deadline

June 30

Applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. (eastern time).

When an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or statutory holiday, it is extended to the following working day.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your arts organization must:

  • be incorporated in Canada as a non-profit organization;
  • exist primarily to provide professional arts training, or have established professional arts training as an integral component of your overall activities;
  • offer training activities in Canada that clearly align with program objectives;
  • demonstrate that the training for which funding is requested is not funded as a provincial post-secondary-education activity, for example, arts organizations who operate independently from a provincial / territorial educational program, are governed by their own Board of directors and administer their own budget;
  • receive support for at least 30% of costs related to the training work, from sources other than the Canada Arts Training Fund, such as tuition, other levels of government, fundraising (20% for indigenous and ethnocultural organizations);
  • be directed by recognized professionals in the discipline in which training is provided. While you may operate other concurrent activities for different purposes, the training program should be staffed with professionals from that artistic discipline;
  • have sufficient administrative capacity to support organizational objectives and to comply with funding conditions;
  • have delivered for a minimum of three consecutive years the professional training program and have maintained full time administrative operations in support of the training program;
  • have a track record of significant artistic achievement at the national level, with graduates having a national impact and achieving wide recognition in their discipline; often in a leadership capacity within their artistic field, for example a principal dancer, choreographer, artistic director, lead actor, musician, circus artists, playwright, composer, visual artists;
  • be accessible to Canadians through a national, competitive admission process available in both of Canada's official languages, including a bilingual website and information material, and a bilingual audition process. An exception will be made for training programs in a language-specific art form such as theatre. Exceptions may also be made for training programs involving students aged 10 to 19 years, where the accompanying academic education is offered in only one language; and
  • have a national student body with at least 20% of its student body from regions outside the training area.

Indigenous and ethnocultural organizations can be exempted of having:

  • a national, competitive admission process in both official languages;
  • a bilingual website;
  • a bilingual audition process; and
  • a national student body with at least 20% of its student body from outside the training area.


We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, training program and training-related expenses.

The Canada Arts Training Fund is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Eligible activities

To be eligible for funding from the Canada Arts Training Fund, your activities must be directly related to professional training.

If you operate other concurrent activities for different purposes, such as a performance company, only the activities and expenses related to the professional training program are eligible.

Eligible expenses

We will fund only cash expenses directly related to professional training. These may include:

  • artistic and administrative salaries, fees and benefits;
  • curriculum development and training delivery;
  • student support;
  • audition fees;
  • travel (in accordance with the National Joint Council’s Travel Directive);
  • marketing and publicity;
  • fundraising;
  • administrative expenses;
  • facility costs such as rent/mortgage;
  • maintenance costs;
  • office supplies; and
  • professional development for staff.

We can fund media arts training only to the extent that it relates to artistic practice and focuses on training people who intend to work as artists using media arts tools. CATF does not fund training for careers in the commercial film and video industry.

Capital infrastructure is not an eligible expense.

We cannot fund expenses incurred before the start date indicated in the Contribution Agreement. If you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your professional training program, we encourage you to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your organization, the private sector or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Canada Arts Training Fund and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 90 % of the total project expenditures.

We can fund the lesser of 70% of eligible expenses or up to a maximum of $6,000,000 per fiscal year. For indigenous and ethnocultural arts training institutions, we can fund the lesser of 80% of eligible expenses or up to a maximum of $6,000,000 per fiscal year.

You can submit only one funding application to the CATF per application deadline.

Applying for more than 12 months

You may request funding for the same activities for a number of fiscal years. You must show that you have the capacity to complete the planned activities on an annual basis. This is demonstrated with realistic results and budget projections as well as sound governance and continued financial viability.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding.

A complete application package includes the online application and the following supporting documents:

  • Articles of Incorporation;
  • Most recent audited financial statements (if applicable);
  • List of current Board of Directors
  • Business plan or strategic plan (multi-year funding only);
  • Procedures for Child Health and Safety (if applicable);
  • Biographies for each of the leading artistic and teaching staff;
  • Full organizational chart;
  • Sample program literature;
  • Curriculum or course syllabus;
  • List of staff awards;
  • List of student and graduate awards;
  • List of working graduates;
  • Training schedule;
  • Sample of selection/audition information;
  • Projected budget (must use template); and
  • Deficit reduction plan (if required).

Application process

Your application, including all supporting documents, must be submitted electronically through the Canadian Heritage Online System.

Your online application must be submitted no later than June 30th by 5 p.m. (eastern time).
Should you be unable to access the online system or apply online for any reason, please contact our support team:



1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)


1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)
Agents are available to answer your questions, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET).

How applications are evaluated

We fund activities that have clear objectives and measurable results. Funding decisions are based on the number and quality of applications received for each Canada Arts Training Fund application deadline. Your application will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated by a National Review Committee (NRC) who will compare and prioritize it with other applications in relation to the funds available.

When prioritizing eligible applications, we will take into consideration who exemplifies the highest calibre of training in the following key assessment areas:

  • Artistic merit: The highest level of artistic excellence in teaching, training and coaching in an artistic field, as demonstrated by the success of graduates and independent assessments prepared by professionals;
  • Impact: Pre-eminent organizations of proven national significance, recognized as such throughout Canada by those familiar with or working in the artistic discipline; and
  • Institutional stability: Robust institutional capacity, as demonstrated by financial and governance practices.

Failure to comply with any conditions of a previously funded project will be considered in the evaluation of your new application and could result in a rejection of your new application.

Evaluation criteria

We will evaluate all eligible applications using the following criteria:

Artistic merit

  • Is the training essential to the health and development of the discipline or art form?
  • Does the training adhere to and reflect the highest standards of excellence?
  • Is there a quality and vitality to the artistic vision?
  • How well does the audition or entry process identify the best available students in Canada, and how accessible is it in both official languages?
  • How qualified and experienced are the teachers/mentors/elders to deliver training in the discipline?
  • How relevant and effective is the curriculum/training work? Is the curriculum aligned with the needs of the artistic discipline or art form?
  • Is the career counselling effective?
  • Are the facilities and equipment appropriate and of excellent quality?


  • Does the training contribute to the development of individual participants into artists who will have meaningful professional careers?
  • Are graduates recognized for their excellence in Canada and internationally?
  • Does the training meet fundamental needs of the artistic profession, while allowing students to cover a wide range of artistic practices?
  • Does the training contribute to and encourage the expression of the diversity of Canadian society?

Institutional stability

  • Does the organization have an adequate administrative structure and stability to support the training activities?
  • Is there an effective planning process for the training?
  • Does the organization have an appropriate governance structure?
  • Is the organization financially stable?
  • Are training activities supported by funding from diverse revenue streams?

Other considerations

In addition to the documentation submitted with your application, the NRC will consider other complementary sources of information during the scoring process for applicants, when available. These include:

Expert assessments

The CATF regularly hires independent experts to conduct on-site assessments of recipients and may also do so for promising applicants.

Reporting results

The NRC considers an organization's activity reports, financial reports and results reports, as well as the timeliness of their delivery.

National delivery

The CATF fulfils its national mandate by ensuring that eligible organizations have a national reach and a national admission process. It is not the mandate of the program to fund organizations in every region or province.

Official languages

The NRC considers the needs of students from both official language groups when making funding recommendations.

Success of graduates

The NRC considers the achievements and employment status of graduates as an indicator of the calibre of the training provided by an organization.

Health of the discipline

The CATF responds to the needs of Canadian arts training by adjusting its level of investment in various disciplines, and by monitoring the performance of both funded and unfunded professional arts training organizations. Both long-funded and emerging organizations demonstrating excellence are considered through the same rigorous assessment process.

Program budget

The CATF has a fixed budget, which makes the assessment process highly competitive. The NRC considers all available information and, as a result, may recommend support to either new or long-funded organizations. Funding levels may fluctuate from one year to another, based on the relative performance of the organizations over time and the number of training programs supported.

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact the Program.

Funding decisions

Previous funding does not guarantee continued support. Whether you are a first-time or returning applicant, we consider all applications based on the information provided.

Please note that decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final.

How funding is provided

We provide funding in the form of a contribution.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued to your organization for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The funding agreement is signed by us and your organization and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. Reports are required throughout the funding period and beyond.

Funding conditions

You may be required to submit interim reports during your project, including an audited financial statement with a schedule specific to this Canadian Heritage funding initiative.

Additional conditions may apply and will be included in your funding agreement.

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.

Official languages requirements

We are committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application and in your funding agreement.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publicly acknowledge – in English and in French – the financial support received from the Government of Canada in all communications materials and promotional activities. Additional requirements may be included in your funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Access to information requests

We are subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you submit in your application may be disclosed in accordance with these Acts.

Disclosure of information

By submitting your funding application, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

  • to reach a decision;
  • to evaluate the results of the project; and
  • to support transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the program

We reserve the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. We also conduct periodic Program evaluations, during which you may be required to present documentation.

You must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Demonstrated failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Arts Branch
Canada Arts Training Fund
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5



1-866-811-0055 (toll free)


1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET).


Annual statistical report
This report covers the period between April 1 and March 31 of the previous year, and requires the recipient to collect and report data relating to the employment of students within their field of training since graduating from your organization. This report must also include a list of awards and professional recognition received by graduates and professional training staff.
Audited financial report
An audited financial report includes a statement of operations for the given period with regard to the Project and is prepared by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization.
Audited financial statements
A complete set of financial statements including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Audited financial statements are completed by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization. The certified accountant performs auditing activities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Business plan
A written document that describes your organization’s current status and plans for two to five years. It identifies future opportunities and includes the financial, operational and marketing strategies to achieve your goals.
Cash flow
A presentation of all anticipated revenues and planned expenses that will occur over the length of your project. At the beginning of your project, your cash flow will have only forecasted revenues and expenses. Over time, your cash flow will be updated to reflect the actual revenues and expenses.
Ethnocultural communities
A group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage. For the purpose of this definition, ethnocultural communities include Canadians of diverse culture such as, but not limited to African, Arab, Asian, Latin American or mixed heritage.
Final report
A final report is submitted at the end of your project, based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final report needs to provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for the duration of your project.
Final financial report
A final financial report includes, as separate items, the budget as well as all of the revenues realized and expenditures incurred for the given period with regard to the Project being funded.
Financial statements
A complete set of financial statements, including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Financial statements may be audited or unaudited.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities are First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Interim reports
Interim reports are submitted during your project, based on the requirements in the funding agreement.

These reports indicate the results of the activities undertaken for a specific period. In addition, they include a status report on the work to be accomplished and updated revenue and expense reports.

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