Arts Project and Operating Funding Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are updated when new information is available.

What does ‘the arts’ mean?

The arts are a means of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation expression use skill or imagination in the creation of objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others through visual arts and crafts, literature and dance, music, and theatre.

How do I know which program I should apply to?

Before you start your application, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the funding you are applying for. You can do this by reading the funding web page and application guide. They have details what you need to. If you still have questions, contact us at or 867-767-9347 Ext. 71474.

How many times can I apply?

As an individual you can receive one grant per intake, for a total of up to two a year. As an organization you can receive funding once per year. 

Will I receive less funding because of the program changes?

Individual artists and craftspeople can receive one grant per intake, for a total of up to two grants a year. For example, you can apply for a grant in February and apply for a second grant in August. In total, you can apply for up to $20,000 in expenses in a year through two project grants. They can apply on a second grant in one year as long as they complete and report on their previously awarded grant before they apply again. Previously, the max funding someone would receive was $15,000 per year.

Do I have to give fixed dates for start and completion of my project when I don’t know for certain if and when I will receive funding?

No. You should provide an estimate of how long you expect to work on the project, and the approximate dates for when you plan to start and finish.

I understand that projects must be completed by March 31 of the following year, but can the actual public presentation occur after that date?

Once you have completed your project, the public presentation of your work does not have to occur within the fiscal year. This can happen later when you are ready.

Should I send original works as samples?

Please do not send original materials. We will not return samples and cannot assume responsibility for damages or loss of original materials.

When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?

You will be notified of the results of your application by email within 8 weeks after the application deadline. See our six steps to getting arts project and operating funding (link) for more information on notification timelines and consider them when planning your projects.

Who decides what gets funded?

The NWT Arts Council reviews the applications for Small Arts Project Grant and Medium Arts Project Grant and makes funding recommendations to the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for approval. 

Applications for Large Arts Project Fund and Arts Operating Fund are reviewed by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment. 

Note that all decisions are final.

My grant was unsuccessful, can I receive feedback?

If your application isn’t successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your work lacks merit. Grant assessment is a competitive process and budgets are limited. Remember that every competition has a different set of applicants.

If you are not awarded funding, you can contact the us to ask for feedback on your application. We are also available to help and support applicants who are preparing new grant applications.

Note that all decisions are final.

When will I receive payment of the grant if my application is successful?

You will receive your payment within 2-4 weeks after you’ve signed and submitted your agreement.

I received a grant. Do I need to report back about how I used it?

Yes, most funding requires a final or interim report. The funding’s application guide and your notification letter will specify the requirements.

I am unable to finish my project and I had to spend all my funds to cover the costs that had already been incurred. Can I apply again?

If you are unable to complete your project in it in time or before making any significant change to your funded project, contact us at or 867-767-9347 Ext. 71474 as soon as possible to discuss your options.

I have already received a grant for training, but I can’t attend it now. What should I do?

If you are unable to cancel your project or before making any significant change to your funded project, contact us at or 867-767-9347 Ext. 71474 as soon as possible to discuss your options.

What kind of arts funding is available at the federal government level?

Organizations should enquire about federal funding programs for arts and cultural activities, via regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Project and operating support in all arts disciplines is available to individuals and organizations from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Do I have to pay taxes on my funding?

Yes. Arts grants and contributions are taxable and T4A slips are issued by the Government of the Northwest Territories at the end of February each year. Applicants should direct any tax-related questions to their accountant, to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.