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What types of financial support does the Conseil des arts de Montréal offer?
The Conseil offers various forms of financial support based on the nature of the project, the territory involved and the groups targeted.
General grant program
Through its financial support, this program contributes to supporting artistic excellence and encouraging the presentation of art, in all its forms, to various audiences. It is divided into several components, including the following:
- Project assistance supports arts collectives and organizations in realizing a non-recurring project.
- Operating assistance allows Montreal collectives and organizations to carry out their activities and fulfill their mandate.
- Fiscal sponsorship allows Montreal collectives and organizations to solicit donations from the community as representatives of the Conseil.
These initiatives are aimed at supporting the presence of artists in neighbourhoods and promoting local, national and international exposure. They are grouped into three support programs:
- The “Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée,” a touring program offering more than 600 artistic performances per year, at a low price and close to where Montrealers live, in collaboration with municipal presentation networks Accès Culture and ADICIM
- Artist residencies, which respond to needs related to creating works of art, presenting them and bringing artists and the public together, in collaboration with various partners
- One-time projects, which promote creativity in targeted priority territories
These initiatives provide targeted financial support (internships, residencies, reimbursement of expenses, etc.) to certain under-represented groups, including artists and organizations from Indigenous and other diverse communities, as well as people who are D/deaf, living with a mental illness, or who have a visible or invisible handicap.
Prizes and bursaries
Each year, the Conseil awards various prizes, including the Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal, which highlights the most outstanding artistic contributions of the past year.
What does the Conseil des arts de Montréal do?
Since 1956, the Conseil des arts de Montréal has supported the continuous development of Montreal artists and arts organizations through direct and indirect financial assistance, consulting services and concerted action. Through its initiatives, the Conseil contributes to promoting Montreal as a major cultural metropolis.
Activities are financed by public funding provided by the Agglomeration Council and the Municipal Council of the City of Montreal and, since 1988, by donations from citizens, foundations and businesses. These activities reflect the issues, needs and interests expressed by all of its stakeholders:
- Artists and arts organizations
- Cultural workers
- Elected officials
- Municipal government
- Partners and donors
What programs and services does the Conseil des arts de Montréal offer?
The Conseil has put in place funding programs, as well as guidance, support and promotion services for the arts community. These actions, which contribute to the professional development of artists and arts organizations, can take different forms, such as grants, training activities, prizes and rental of studio spaces.
For further details on our programs and services, please use our search tool.
Who can benefit from the programs and services of the Conseil?
The programs and services of the Conseil are intended for artists, cultural workers, organizations and collectives in Montreal who work in the fields of artistic creation, production and presentation.
How will this policy impact the clientele?
With its Equity Policy, the CAM recognizes the importance of fair support and funding for artists, cultural workers and organizations from priority groups. It also recognizes the necessity of adopting programs aimed at developing an understanding of the artistic expressions expressed by priority groups among the committee members involved in assessing the projects and works submitted. With this in mind, the CAM’s Equity Policy intends to lead the transformation of Montréal’s artistic and cultural sector so that it more adequately reflects the diversity of the city.
Through this Policy, the CAM unambiguously articulates and reaffirms its commitment to the creation of equity processes, to have a concrete impact on Montréal’s artistic communities in all their diversity, so that they benefit from accessibility from all angles. In short, through its Equity Policy, the CAM is striving towards a democratic and social justice vision—that of overcoming the social and economic inequalities of the past in Montréal’s cultural and artistic sector, by focusing on reconciliation, a sense of belonging, responsiveness and accessibility.
What are the next steps?
- Elaborate an action plan
- Integrating equity principles into its work culture and highlighting them in targeted internal and external communications to better reach priority groups
- Adjusting its practices through continuous improvement of equity-related awareness
- Positioning the fight against discrimination and racism as a key component of its anti-oppressive practice, with the objective of providing artists from priority groups with greater equity
- Allocating adequate human and financial resources to achieve equity goals
- Allocating additional dedicated budgets to Policy objectives, in accordance with the financial capabilities of the CAM and the availability of funds
- Promoting equitable access to resources and opportunities, and contributing to the visibility of artists and cultural workers facing systemic barriers;
- Regularly monitoring, measuring and communicating the ORGANIZATION’s progress in fulfilling its vision of inclusion and equity for artists, organizations and cultural workers from designated priority groups
Since the spring of 2023, CAM has also implemented a self-identification form in Orora, to better identify priority clienteles and measure the effect of its actions on them. The data collected in this way enables the Conseil to measure the impact of its actions, in compliance with current legislation.
What are the priority groups?
The present Equity Policy focuses on artists and cultural workers from the following priority groups:
- Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit)
- Visible minorities
- People of diverse abilities
- Ethnocultural minorities
- Members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community
- Linguistic minorities
CAM recognizes the complexity of identities and the intersecting nature of discrimination. As such, it adopts an intersectional posture, taking into account the different types of challenges or obstacles faced by people belonging to groups seeking equity.
What is the meaning of intersectionality?
The CAM has adopted an intersectional approach and aims to highlight the complex relation between different forms and practices of discrimination, often indirect, based on colonialism, racism, sexism, homophobia, age, social class, physical or intellectual disability, neurodiversity, mental health disorders, among others. To minimize any form of bias, the CAM uses intersectionality as its analytical framework.
Intersectionality, as define by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, studies forms of domination and discrimination not in isolation, but in relationship to one another, based on the premise that social differentiations such as gender, race or class are not compartmentalized, and that power dynamics cannot be fully explained in isolation from one another. These biases can have a direct or indirect impact on the differential treatment of artists from identified priority groups.
Why an Equity Policy?
Because the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s (CAM) Policy affirms and supports equity principals in all its activities. This document aims to articulate and codify the equity-based approaches and practices essential to CAM’s complete fulfillment of its mandate. The CAM aims to better engage with and support artists, cultural workers and artistic practices from groups facing major challenges to their full participation in society. Our Equity Policy provides a transversal and holistic framework, and acts as a catalyst for reaching the targets of the 2022–2025 Strategic Plan.
Are any administration fees charged on donations received under the program?
Yes, the Conseil des arts de Montréal charges administration fees that are usually equal to 4% of the total amount collected by the organizations receiving fiscal sponsorship funding for the first three years under the program and progressively increasing to 6% during the fourth year and then to 8% for the fifth year. This progressive increase on the administration fee will only be applied to first time applicants for the March 8th 2023 deadline and for future deadlines. This percentage may change at the sole discretion of the Conseil.
Are online donations accepted under the Fiscal Sponsorship program?
Yes, the Conseil accepts online donations. All online donations must be made using the online platform supplied and managed by the Conseil.
Platforms such as CanadaHelps and PayPal cannot be used to collect donations under the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s Fiscal Sponsorship program.
Can members of the Board of Directors make donations under the Fiscal Sponsorship program?
Yes, members of the Board of Directors can make donations under the Fiscal Sponsorship program. Like all program donors, they must sign the donation form approved by the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
Can my organization apply for fiscal sponsorship for a crowdfunding, auction, draw or sponsorship project?
No. Projects involving auctions, draws or crowdfunding do not qualify for the Fiscal Sponsorship program.
In addition, sponsorship is not deemed to be a philanthropy strategy and therefore does not qualify for the Fiscal Sponsorship program. Sponsorship is an exchange of services with a sales-oriented approach.
Moreover, the Fiscal Sponsorship program is solely for donations collected in the course of an annual campaign, a special campaign or a benefit event. Accepted fundraising activities can focus on individuals, foundations or businesses.
This does not stop the organisation supported under the fiscal sponsorship program to pursue crowdfunding, auction, draw or sponsorship activities. These actions will not be counted in the fiscal sponsorship program. It will be the organisations’ responsibility to manage the entity of these actions and to inform that no tax receipts will be given with these activities.
Can my organization solicit donations before receiving the response to the application for fiscal sponsorship?
No, an organization that has applied for fiscal sponsorship must wait until it receives a response before starting solicitation activities.
Upon receiving a favourable response, the organization must sign a management agreement that defines the representative relationship between the organization and the Conseil des arts de Montréal. In addition, all fundraising documents must be approved by the Project Manager – Arts and Philanthropy before any solicitation activity is begun.
Although work can begin on developing a relationship with potential donors, no official request for a donation can be made until the steps described above have been taken in order for a donation to qualify for fiscal sponsorship.
Can solicitation for the Fiscal Sponsorship program target foundations or businesses?
Yes, organizations receiving program funding may solicit donations from individuals, foundations and businesses. Once the application for fiscal sponsorship has been accepted, the organization must have its solicitation materials and application form for foundations or businesses approved by the Conseil.
Note that sponsorships are not donations and therefore do not qualify for fiscal sponsorship. Businesses can make donations under the program.
If your organization plans to apply to the Cole Foundation’s Intercultural Conversations program, you will have to file an application for fiscal sponsorship by one of the three application deadlines as well. You may apply to the Cole Foundation before or after you apply for fiscal sponsorship. To obtain funding, your project will have to be accepted by the Cole Foundation as well as for the Conseil des arts de Montréal Fiscal Sponsorship program. If the project is accepted, the organization will be responsible for planning its fiscal sponsorship renewal with a view to coordinating the payment calendar with that of the Cole Foundation, in keeping with the artistic project’s schedule.
Note that individual artists and artist collectives may not apply for fiscal sponsorship.
Does an organization have to already receive funding from the Conseil des arts de Montréal to apply for fiscal sponsorship?
No. An organization does not have to be already funded by the Conseil des arts de Montréal to apply for fiscal sponsorship.
However, the organization must meet the requirements of the Conseil’s General Program. Please refer to the eligibility criteria described in the Program Presentation.
Fiscal sponsorship is designed for incorporated non-profit organizations or artist cooperatives that do not pay dividends.
Does my organization have to have commitments from donors to qualify for fiscal sponsorship?
No. The Conseil does not require applicant organizations to have confirmed donors when they apply for fiscal sponsorship support.
However, the Conseil asks organizations to think carefully about the donors to be solicited. By doing so, they can identify potential donors in their network and determine whether they will be able to meet their objective with these individuals.
The Conseil defines confirmed donors as individuals, businesses or foundations that are likely to make a donation during a first solicitation round, while potential donors are individuals, businesses or foundations with which a relationship must be developed or further effort must be made to obtain a donation.
Does my organization have to have fundraised or solicited donations in the past to qualify for fiscal sponsorship?
Not necessarily. The jury of peers does not consider fundraising experience in its evaluation. Instead, it looks at the quality and professionalism of the artistic project for which the applicant wishes to fundraise and the merit and realism of the fundraising strategy proposed in the application for fiscal sponsorship.
The Conseil encourages fiscal sponsorship applicants to plan a fundraising strategy based on the available means and resources and to include it in their application.
How and at what frequency are the fiscal sponsorship grants given?
During the period where an organisation is under the fiscal sponsorship, grants are given as fiscal sponsorship donations are accepted and approved by the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The grant is paid six to eight weeks after receipt and verification of collected donation cheques and three to four weeks after online donations reception and verification.
Grant payment is conditional to the following :
- fiscal sponsorship approval by the Conseil after a request to the program
- signing the fiscal sponsorship contract
- approval by the Conseil of solicitation documents used by the organisation
- receiving donations by the Conseil following à sollicitation by the organisation benefiting of the fiscal sponsorship
The first payment will be made via cheque. Subsequent payments will be made via direct deposit.
How long is Fiscal Sponsorship funding provided?
Fiscal sponsorship is generally granted for a one-year period. This term is defined in the grant contract and the management agreement signed by the organization and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
The organization may apply for renewal prior to the end of its agreement, thereby ensuring continuity in fiscal sponsorship funding. The organization is not required to apply for renewal prior to the end of the agreement. Funding can be renewed at a later date, according to the organization’s priorities.
Any request for renewal must be the subject of a new application filed through ORORA during a call for applications.
- For the March 8, 2021 application deadline, a positive response to the application is sent out in mid-May 2021.
- Fiscal sponsorship support is granted for one year. In this example, the support period runs from May 2021 to May 2022, with the option of applying for renewal for the March 8, 2022 deadline.
The Conseil reserves the right to withdraw its support if, after five years of receiving fiscal sponsorship funding, the organization has not applied at least once to the Canada Revenue Agency for recognition as a charitable organization.
Fiscal Sponsorship is a transitional program that allows organizations to solicit donations from foundations, businesses and individuals and to explore how they can diversify their sources of income. Organizations receiving fiscal sponsorship funding are encouraged to obtain charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency. The Conseil makes various resources available to assist organizations with this process.
How should fiscal sponsorship income be entered in budgets and financial statements?
Organizations receiving fiscal sponsorship funding receive grants in return for their efforts to raise funds as representatives of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
In your projections for the coming year, all fiscal sponsorship revenue must be included in the Grants line. Donations are made to the Conseil des arts de Montréal and are processed and managed by it. Even though the representative organizations solicit donations on behalf of the Conseil, they receive grants from the Fiscal Sponsorship program.
Is this a donation-matching program for private-sector donations?
No, the Fiscal Sponsorship program has no provisions for donation matching.
Funded organizations act as representatives of the Conseil des arts de Montréal for a limited time in order to conduct fundraising activities for artistic projects approved by the Conseil, in keeping with the concept of third-party fundraising.
When an application under the Fiscal Sponsorship program application is accepted following a decision rendered by the Conseil des arts de Montréal members in assembly, the organization signs a grant contract and a management agreement under which it becomes a representative of the Conseil for fundraising purposes.
My organization already has registered charitable status with the Canada Revenue Agency, so what benefits does the program offer?
Fiscal sponsorship is intended primarily for incorporated non-profit organizations and artist cooperatives that do not pay dividends and do not have charitable status, and are therefore unable to issue tax receipts for donations.
My organization has already filed an application under the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s General Program. Can it apply under the Fiscal Sponsorship Program as well?
Yes, you can apply for fiscal sponsorship even if you have already applied under the Conseil’s General Funding Program. The Fiscal Sponsorship program is a distinct component of the General Program. An application for fiscal sponsorship can be filed at the same time as an application under the General Program (project grant or operating grant) or at a later date. Applications are evaluated by a jury of peers, as with applications for project or operating grants.
When applying for fiscal sponsorship, you can choose one of the following three deadlines: early March, September or December. Note that applications filed for the December deadline are considered the following year.
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Will my organization be required to already have a comprehensive fundraising plan in place?
Yes. Your application for support must include the fundraising strategy that your organization intends to implement if your application is accepted and an idea of the project schedule. This gives you an opportunity to think about how to go about fundraising for fiscal sponsorship purposes. Your approach will depend on the resources that you can marshal and your organization’s specific fundraising goals. The organization will also have to describe its fundraising goal in the application.
Once your organization has begun receiving fiscal sponsorship funding, the approach and schedule can be modified as circumstances require.
Will the Conseil supply a list of donors?
No, soliciting individuals, businesses and foundations for the Fiscal Sponsorship program is the responsibility of the representative arts organizations. The Conseil encourages funded organizations to explore locally based philanthropy in their own networks.
Conseil resources such as the Boîte à outils toolkit, Lunch and Learn: Philanthropy workshops and various publications, as well as arts community stakeholders like Conversations philanthropiques en culture, can help organizations take their first fundraising steps.