Open Door Funding


TAC’s Open Door process is a funding opportunity designed to respond to important and timely arts sector initiatives outside of the discipline-specific funding streams.

Applicants are required to speak to Rupal Shah, Grants Officer, Strategic Programs, before submitting a Stage One application.

Stage One Application deadline: September 6, 2016
Stage Two Application deadline: October 11, 2016


The Open Door funding process provides an opportunity for TAC to identify and examine the gaps and needs in Toronto’s arts ecology while testing a new model for funding arts initiatives in all disciplines. The purpose of the program is to empower arts organizations to find solutions for current and future challenges through working with collaborators, sharing learning and expanding their horizons. Through the Open Door process, TAC aims to provide catalyst funding for big ideas and initiatives that have the potential to create transformative change for artistic disciplines, communities of artists and arts organizations and the arts sector at large.


All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be located in the City of Toronto1;
  • be an incorporated non-profit arts organization or a non-profit arts collective (individuals are not eligible for this program);
  • have a strong track record of arts activity;
  • have a viable administrative and financial plan for achieving the goals of the proposed activities;
  • For requests over $15,000, applicants must submit audited financial statements for the previous fiscal year.

A post office box cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.

Applicants may receive a grant through the Open Door process only once every two years. If the project duration is more than one year, the recipient cannot reapply until one year after the project completion date.

TAC has two distinct funding envelopes: 1) Arts Discipline funding (e.g. discipline-specific project grants and operating grants) and 2) Strategic funding (e.g. Animating Historic Sites, Animating Toronto Parks, Artists in the Library, etc.) Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. Applications to the Strategic Initiatives – Open Door program fall within the Strategic Funding envelope.


Proposals will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. Exceptional Opportunities: one-time opportunities that are created in response to unique circumstances and events (e.g. Canada 150) that have the potential to develop new audiences, impact an arts discipline, and elevate the sector as a whole. NOTE: It is anticipated that this will be a highly competitive round of applications. Applicants that demonstrate significant project-specific revenue from at least one other funder will be given priority.
  2. Market Development: activities that will grow or develop new markets for Toronto arts work at either the local, national or international level and create new partnerships, networks and/or collaborative opportunities. Projects taking place outside Toronto must demonstrate the impact of the project on the ongoing work, growth and development of artists and/or arts organizations in the City.
  3. New Models and Innovation: activities, partnerships and/or collaborations that will address sector-wide issues and create new thinking or models for arts administration, practices, and sectoral growth.

The following activities are not eligible for funding through this program:

  • activities included in TAC operating grants
  • activities included in TAC project grants
  • capital projects or expenses
  • renovations or repairs
  • research or feasibility studies
  • projects previously funded through Open Door

Click here to view the full Open Door Guidelines for 2016

Click here to apply

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