Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is encouraging local organizations to submit applications to receive provincial grants through various programs.
“As we begin 2020, the new year is a great time to look at what funds might be available for community projects,” Thompson said.
MPP Thompson said that the Ontario Trillium Foundation (www.otf.ca) is a popular program that has helped organizations and communities across the province. “This programs helps to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by strengthening the capacity of the volunteer sector by investing in community-based initiatives and strengthening the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector,” adding that the first deadline to apply for seed money is February 26th.
The foundation supports programs in the arts and culture, environment, human and social service, youth development and sports and recreation. In 2018-19, the Ontario Trillium Foundation invested more than $108 million through Seed, Grow, and Capital investment streams funded by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries and $14 million through the Youth Opportunities Fund, funded by Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services.
Those eligible to apply include registered charitable organizations, a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction, a First Nation, Metis, Inuit or other Indigenous community, a municipality with a population of 20,000 or less (municipalities eligible for arts & culture and sports & recreation sectors only).
Another program is the Ontario Arts Council (www.arts.on.ca) which provides support for the creation of art to benefit and enrich the lives of Ontarians including the provision of grants, scholarships and awards. It is Ontario’s primary funding body for professional arts activity with over 60 funding programs for Ontario-based artists and art organizations. In 2018-19, the Ontario Arts Council invested $61.1 million to 228 communities through 2,252 grants to artists and 1,424 arts organizations.
Previous grants have been awarded to more than 2,950 individual artists and arts organizations, investing in such areas as: writing a book or a play; organizing a local concert series; arts education – artists in the schools; and professional development and career building. Applications are received year-round.
A final program highlighted by Thompson is the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (www.ocaf.ca) which has three aims: to increase cultural tourism by providing investments to assist Ontario organizations to develop, promote and present one-off or first time events, or a significant expansion of existing activity, which are designed to attract new tourists and visitors to cultural events; increase the earned revenue capability of the applicant organization; and support events that foster economic growth and contribute to job creation.
“Each year the government of Ontario distributes millions of dollars to help promote the arts and culture in communities large and small,” Thompson said. “This is part of our ‘Celebrate Ontario’ program and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the funding.”