Four-Year Operating grants

Through its financial support to various arts organizations on a recurring four-year basis, this program offers them financial stability in carrying out their mandates.

Four-Year Operating grants

NEW - ORORA Self-Identification Form

From now on, you will be asked to complete an optional self-identification form when you apply on Orora. The information collected will be used to document and measure the impact of the Conseil’s initiatives, improve program eligibility, ensure fair access, help us better host and support artists from underrepresented groups, following the adoption of our equity policy in September 2023.

Personal information collected through this form is protected under privacy legislation (Law 25).

Introduction

After having renewed multi-year operating grants during the unprecedented pandemic situation, the Conseil des arts de Montréal is launching this call for applications with a view to equal opportunity, equity and ethical stewardship of public funds in order to take into account the quality of current contributions as well as the projected activities of Montréal arts organizations. In addition, two-year grants have been abolished, meaning that all selected arts organizations will now be able to rely on predictable funding for four-year terms (more details here).

Although the Conseil is committed to the needs of the Montréal arts community and is well aware of the recent inflationary climate, the amounts granted will be determined on the basis of the organization’s budgetary capacity, with 94% of the budget coming from the Urban Agglomeration of Montréal. 

The Conseil is also aware of the limited resources available, whether material, human or financial. In addition, the Conseil would like to emphasize that peer evaluators examine the extent to which the organization’s planned activities are in line with its capabilities and resources. This approach aims to promote sustainable, equitable and safe working conditions for all staff, artists, volunteers and affected communities. This evaluation takes into account the relevance and impact of actions, which take precedence over the number of activities conducted. Finally, the Conseil also recognizes the positive effects of initiatives to pool and share tools, practices or resources implemented by the artistic community. 

Who is this program for?

Professional arts organizations currently receiving a two- or four-year operating grant from the Conseil des arts de Montréal as well as organizations that have received project funding at least twice between 2018 and 2023, inclusive, under the General Funding Program. 

What are the program’s objectives?

This program aims to support the research, creation, production and dissemination of artistic projects and the implementation of activities and/or services that improve artists’ working conditions. The Conseil helps them fulfill their mandates by providing financially support for four years on a recurring basis to various arts organizations, associations, alliances or service organizations, based on their artistic merit and their impact on their community. 

Support

What assistance is provided?

Through the operating grants, the Conseil aims to provide organizations with financial stability, enabling them to better plan and manage all of their mandate-related activities. 

If your organization was granted project funding under the General Funding Program, submitted November 23, 2023, and its application for a four-year operating grant is also accepted, the Conseil could make the necessary adjustments to your financial support in 2024 to avoid some of your activities receiving double funding. 

How long does the support last?

The four-year operating assistance is allocated in conjunction with the organization’s fiscal year. The years covered are 2024 to 2027 (the 2024–25, 2025–26, 2026–27 and 2027–28 seasons). 

The Conseil des arts de Montréal’s financial commitment may be interrupted or modified: 

  • if an organization ceases operations; 
  • in the event of a change in artistic leadership, mandate or activities that are not approved by the Conseil; 
  • where activities or the progress in files are deemed unsatisfactory when the final reports are received; 
  • in the event of a deficit: an organization with an accumulated deficit (net assets) of 10% or more of its net revenues; 
  • based on the Conseil’s financial capacity and in accordance with the Withdrawal of Support Policy. 

Eligibility

What types of projects are eligible?
  • Creation/production
  • Presenter
  • Festivals/events 
  • Publication of cultural magazines
  • Production support
  • Museums
  • Service organization, association or group

For organizations with a double mandate: 

  • creation/production and presenter
  • creation/production and festivals/events
  • creation/production and production support
  • presenter and festivals/events
  • presenter and production support

An organization whose double mandate is not included in the above list is invited to contact the advisor in charge of their sector. 

What are the general eligibility criteria?

Terms and conditions 

  • be a non-profit organization or non-profit cooperative that pays no dividends
  • be headquartered on the Island of Montréal
  • have a board of directors whose members are mainly Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada 
  • have as principal mandate either to research, create, produce and disseminate creative work in the arts, or to bring together or represent artists or cultural workers in a specific artistic discipline or in multidisciplinary arts.

Professionalism 

  • possess a level of recognized and demonstrable competence
  • be managed by qualified individuals
  • have stable artistic leadership and/or senior management (depending on the organization’s management model)
  • present activities of recognized artistic value
  • bring together, represent or employ professional artists and/or cultural workers
What are the special eligibility criteria?

When submitting their application, the organization must: 

  • be currently supported by the Conseil’s two- or four-year operating grant 

OR  

  • have received at least two project-funding grants from the Conseil’s General Funding Program between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2023.

Organizations that integrated the Two-Year Operating Grant Program in 2023 are not eligible to apply for this four-year operating grant. They must complete their current cycle and will be able to submit a new application in 2025 for a three-year cycle ending in 2028. 

When must the activities be carried out?

The organization must carry out its activities according to its projected schedule for the 2024 to 2027 support cycle (seasons 2024–2025 to 2027–2028), taking into account its fiscal year. 

How many applications will be accepted?

The number of applications accepted by the Conseil depends on the number received and evaluated by peers as well as the Conseil’s financial capacity. 

Who is ineligible to apply?

Ineligible applicants 

  • Organizations that do not meet the general eligibility criteria
  • Individual artists
  • Artist collectives
  • Organizations that integrated the Two-Year Operating Grant Program in 2023
  • Cultural magazines that produce fewer than two issues per year, or are distributed free of charge (in the case of an exclusively web-based magazine, the number of published texts must be equivalent to two issues per year and may be distributed free of charge)
  • Organizations that did not produce the final report(s) for funded projects or activities or that did not meet specific conditions issued by the Conseil under the General Funding Program
  • Organizations incorporated as general or limited partnerships
  • Public or parapublic organizations representing governments or municipal corporations
  • Organizations that, in certain special cases, receive support or carry out a mandate from the City of Montréal for its dissemination activities

Activity sectors 

  • Organizations dedicated to teaching, education, and professional training 
  • Organizations working exclusively in variety arts or comedy 
  • Organizations working exclusively in cultural mediation  
  • Organizations exclusively engaged in trade union activities 

Applications 

  • Incomplete applications  
  • Applications received after the deadline 

The evaluation committee will automatically reject ineligible applications. 

Questions about certain terms?

Consult our glossary

Accessibility

Can specific populations receive additional financial support to submit their application or complete their project (accessibility costs)?

Yes. Accessibility costs refer to costs that certain individuals, particularly those who are D/deaf and/or living with a disability, must pay to take advantage, in the same way as others do, of the services and programs offered by an institution for research, to create, produce or disseminate their art. Reimbursement of part of these costs by the Conseil des arts de Montréal may offset the financial disadvantage.

The Support Fund for Accessibility Costs is a financial assistance measure that complements the Conseil’s other programs. The deadline to apply for support for accessibility costs is the same as that for the program being applied to.

Artists, collectives or organizations that have obtained financial assistance from the Conseil to carry out a project can also file an application for accessibility cost support up to three months after the decisions related to the successful project have been sent out, provided the project is not completed before the deadline to send out decisions for accessibility cost support applications.

Support is divided into three components:

  • component 1 – Financial support to submit a grant application or to apply for one of the Conseil’s initiatives
  • component 2 – Financial support for accessibility costs for a project funded by the Conseil
  • component 3 – Financial support for presenter organizations for accessibility costs to welcome audiences for a project funded by the Conseil

For more details, please see this additional information on the Support Fund.

Application

Who should submit the application?

The person who oversees the organization’s activities (administration, management) or is appointed by the board of directors.  

Can I submit an application in English?

No. Organizations must submit their applications in French. 

What information and documents must I include in my application?

If not already included on the organization’s ORORA profile: 

  • financial statements from the last completed fiscal year signed by two members of the board of directors 
  • the organization’s letters patent, including all pages of the document   
  • the organization’s constitution and bylaws 
  • organizational policies, standards or other regulations, if applicable 
  • the self-identification form relating to the organization 

Also, directly in the ORORA form: 

  • a list of links (no more than four) to excerpts or complete versions (depending on the discipline) of works or activities related to the application. 
  • if desired, an additional appendix (in a single PDF file) comprising any documents that you deem relevant but are not essential to understanding the contents of the application. 

Important! Organizations must ensure that their ORORA profile is complete and up-to-date before submitting their application. 

Evaluation

How are applications evaluated?

With the help of peer evaluators that make up the evaluation committees in each discipline, the Conseil assesses all applications on the basis of merit and awards grants in accordance with the funds available. 

What happens if the evaluation committee does not recommend the application for operating support?

If an organization’s operating grant application is not recommended by the evaluation committee, the organization may request, as part of this call for applications, an evaluation based on the General Funding Program’s Project Funding criteria and standards. In this case, the project’s summary description, the amount requested to carry out the activities and the provisional budget must be submitted on the same operating assistance application form, in the section reserved for this purpose. 

Please note that this option is the only valid way to provide peer evaluators with the description of the project you wish to propose. In fact, organizations are not permitted to apply for project funding at the same time as a four-year operating grant for the call ending March 20, 2024.  

To take advantage of this option, the organization must meet the following conditions: 

  • did not submit an application for project funding under the General Funding Program for the calls of November 23, 2023, or 20 March 2024 (regardless of the outcome of this application) 
  • will not submit another application for project funding under the General Funding Program before November 2024 (regardless of the outcome of this application for project funding) 

The project must not be completed before May 21, 2024. The Conseil does not fund activities that took place before the end of the evaluation process. In the event that the organization receives project funding rather than an operating grant, the funding provided will be in the form of a one-time, non-recurring grant. 

What are the evaluation criteria?

There are two categories: 

  • evaluation based on the organization’s mandate
  • evaluation based on the Conseil’s strategic impact priorities
Based on the organization’s mandate 

Creation/production mandate 

Artistic quality 55% 

  • Clarity of artistic vision and mission 
  • Artistic quality, audacity and originality of past achievements and planned projects 
  • Consistency of activities with the artistic vision and mission 

Public outreach 15% 

  • Significant spin-offs and impact with audiences and/or communities
  • The merits and effectiveness of partnerships that strengthen the relationship between the arts and various communities and that promote the visibility of their work 
  • Effectiveness of outreach strategies for target audiences  
  • Relevance of initiatives to disseminate and circulate works locally, nationally and/or internationally 

The organization’s contribution to its sector’s development 15% 

  • Provides working conditions and/or measures that contribute to creating and maintaining a sustainable, equitable and safe environment for all its teams (permanent or contract staff, freelancers and volunteers) 
  • Significant spin-offs and impact in their community (artistic and/or professional development activities with artists and cultural workers) 
  • Relevance and efficiency of partnerships to enhance artistic proposals and contribute to the development of the sector(s) 

Governance and financial position 15% 

  • Ability to effectively manage activities and complete projects, in accordance with its human and financial resources 
  • Consistency between proposed activities and the organization’s available resources 
  • Evidence that the organization’s financial position is stable and balanced 
  • Diversity of revenue sources 
  • Organizational health 
  • Sound and representative governance 

Cultural magazine mandate 

Artistic quality 55% 

  • Clarity of editorial vision and mission 
  • Artistic quality, audacity and originality of past achievements and planned projects 
  • Relevance and quality of selected authors, artists and collaborators 
  • Consistency and quality of the visual presentation 

Public outreach 15% 

  • The merits and effectiveness of partnerships that strengthen the relationship between the arts and various communities and that promote the visibility of their work 
  • Development of a publication plan that boosts readership 
  • Effectiveness of communication, marketing and promotion activities in reaching target readership 

The organization’s contribution to its sector’s development 15% 

  • Provides working conditions and/or measures that contribute to creating and maintaining a sustainable, equitable and safe environment for all its teams (permanent or contract staff, freelancers and volunteers) 
  • Contribution to improving the visibility of artists, writers and organizations 
  • Relevance and efficiency of partnerships to enhance artistic proposals and contribute to the development of the sector(s) 
  • Development of a publication plan that promotes awareness of the discipline in question 

Governance and financial position 15% 

  • Ability to effectively manage activities in accordance with its human and financial resources and complete projects 
  • Adherence to the publication plan 
  • Consistency between proposed activities and the organization’s available resources 
  • Evidence that the organization’s financial position is stable and balanced 
  • Diversity of revenue sources 
  • Organizational health  
  • Sound and representative governance 

Festival, event, presenting and museum mandate 

Artistic quality 55% 

  • Clarity of artistic vision and mission 
  • Artistic quality, audacity and originality of past achievements and planned projects 
  • Consistency of activities with the artistic vision and mission 
  • Efforts made to open a dialogue and meet with different disciplines (for organizations in the multidisciplinary sector) 

Public outreach 15% 

  • The merits and effectiveness of partnerships that strengthen the relationship between the arts and various communities and that promote the visibility of their work 
  • The organization’s ability to reach, retain, attract audiences and build audience loyalty 
  • Significant impact of communication, marketing and mediation, in terms of target objectives 

The organization’s contribution to its sector’s development 15% 

  • The organization’s sustainable contribution and impact on its community’s development and  health  
  • Provides working conditions and/or measures that contribute to creating and maintaining a sustainable, equitable and safe environment for all its teams (permanent or contract staff, freelancers and volunteers) 
  • Efforts made to present works or shows with a guaranteed fee 
  • The quality of reception and support given to artists and organizations  
  • Relevance and efficiency of partnerships to enhance artistic proposals and contribute to the development of the sector(s) 

Governance and financial position 15% 

  • Ability to effectively manage activities and complete projects, in accordance with its human and financial resources 
  • Consistency between proposed activities and the organization’s available resources 
  • Evidence that the organization’s financial position is stable and balanced 
  • Diversity of revenue sources 
  • Organizational health 
  • Sound and representative governance 

Mandate of professional associations, alliances, service organizations and production support organizations 

Mission and fulfillment of mandate 40% 

  • Clarity of the organization’s mission and orientation 
  • Consistency of activities with its vision and mission 
  • Audacity and quality of past achievements and planned projects 
  • Extent of membership and/or population served 

Contribution to the development of the discipline and the arts community 40% 

  • The organization’s sustainable contribution and impact on its community’s development and  health  
  • Ability to provide support or services tailored to the needs of the communities served 
  • Efforts made to improve the working conditions and/or the socio-economic conditions of artists in the discipline or sector concerned 
  • The organization’s ability to engage, retain and attract new clients, and build loyalty. 
  • Relevance of collaborations with networks and partners in their activity sector to enhance their service offering and promote the visibility of their work 

Governance and financial position 20% 

  • Provides working conditions and/or measures that contribute to creating and maintaining a sustainable, equitable and safe environment for all its entire staff (permanent or contract, as well as freelancers and volunteers) 
  • Ability to effectively manage activities and complete projects, in accordance with its human and financial resources  
  • Consistency between proposed activities and the organization’s available resources 
  • Evidence that the organization’s financial position is stable and balanced 
  • Diversity of revenue sources 
  • Organizational health 
  • Sound and representative governance 
Based on strategic impact priorities 

Impact is divided into three categories: equity and representation, local outreach, and environmental responsibility. 

Criteria based on strategic plan for equity and representation 

  • Significant involvement of historically underrepresented artists and cultural workers in key artistic and administrative positions 
  • Significant involvement of women in key artistic and administrative positions 
  • Emphasis on historically underrepresented arts practices 
  • Development of equitable and inclusive practices with respect to audiences 
  • Focus on intergenerational connections and the transmission of knowledge 

Criteria based on strategic plan for local outreach 

  • Desire to get locally involved in Montréal’s artistic communities 
  • Fruitful collaboration with key local players in various sectors including cultural and/or community, municipal, health, education and social economy 
  • Enhancement of local cultural offering in the Island of Montréal’s neighbourhoods, boroughs or municipalities. 
  • Establishment of strong and lasting ties with the populations within the Island of Montréal’s neighbourhoods, boroughs or municipalities 

Criteria based on strategic plan for environmental responsibility? 

  • Integration and implementation of environmentally responsible practices 
  • Development of practices for pooling and sharing tools, resources and knowledge 

Bonus based on strategic impact priorities 

The score obtained in the evaluation based on the Conseil’s strategic impact priorities is added to the peer committee’s mandate-based score. With a maximum of six points, the bonus is broken down as follows: 

  • equity and representation: maximum 3 points 
  • local outreach: maximum 2 points 
  • environmental responsibility: maximum 1 point 
Why are there criteria based on strategic impact priorities?

These criteria are based on priorities identified by the arts communities consulted in the development of the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s 2022–2025 Strategic Plan, as well as on key factors contributing to the vitality of the arts community.  The Conseil seeks to recognize and enhance support for organizations that align most closely with its strategic priorities, particularly regarding strategic impact. There are various ways organizations can identify with one or more of the strategic priorities in order to receive this bonus, depending on their mandate, the nature of their activities, their history or any other specific element. 

What is the response time?

It will take 13 to 15 weeks from the submission deadline for the Conseil to process the applications and reach a decision. 

How will I be informed of the decision?

The representative for the organization will receive an email invitation to view the results on the ORORA platform. Decisions are never communicated by telephone. 

Can I appeal the decision?

The Conseil’s decisions are final and not subject to appeal. However, Conseil staff are available to answer any questions regarding the decisions rendered. 

Payment

How will the grant be paid?

The grant is paid annually in two instalments: 

First payment 

  • Year 1 (2024) – 90% after the Conseil sends the award letter 
  • Year 2 (2025) – 90% in the same payment period as Year 1 
  • Year 3 (2026) – 90% in the same payment period as Year 2 
  • Year 4 (2027) – 90% in the same payment period as Year 3 

Second payment 

  • Year 1 – 10% following the Conseil’s receipt and acceptance of the final report and financial statements, signed by two board members, for the organization’s last completed fiscal year, i.e. 2024 (the 2024–2025 season, depending on its fiscal year)
  • Year 2 – 10% following each year of the four-year cycle – following the Conseil’s the final report and financial statements, signed by two board members, for the organization’s last completed fiscal year, i.e. 2025 (season 2025–2026, depending on the organization’s fiscal year)
  • Year 3 – 10% following each year of the four-year cycle – following the Conseil’s receipt and acceptance of the final report and financial statements, signed by two board members, for the organization’s last completed fiscal year, i.e. 2026 (season 2026–2027, depending on the organization’s fiscal year)
  • Year 4 – 10% following each year of the four-year cycle – following the Conseil’s receipt and acceptance of the final report and financial statements, signed by two board members, for the organization’s last completed fiscal year, i.e. 2027 (season 2027–2028, depending on the organization’s fiscal year)

Obligations

Commitments

Following receipt of a positive response from the Conseil, the organization will be asked to confirm its commitment to carry out the activities covered by the grant and to comply with the grant’s terms and conditions.  

Organizations agree to:  

  • Complete and sign the Compliance Form 
  • Carry out activities as planned 
  • Notify the Conseil in a timely manner of any major changes in its mandate, management (Executive or Artistic Director), board of directors and/or operations
  • Produce and submit required activity and financial reports to the Conseil within four months of the organization’s fiscal year-end. 
  • Comply with the grant’s specific conditions of use, where applicable. 
  • Publicly mention the contribution of the Conseil des arts de Montréal by reproducing the Conseil’s logo in its programs, brochures, pamphlets and other promotional materials (see Visibility section below) 
  • If desired, include in its report photographs, videos or any other relevant, royalty-free visuals that the Conseil may use for promotional or archival purposes 

In addition, applicants agree to refrain at all times from contacting evaluation committee members or the Conseil’s board members on any matter concerning their application or any aspect of the management, evaluation, or decision that pertains to it. Only Conseil staff are authorized to respond to applicants’ questions. 

The Conseil des arts de Montréal’s financial commitment may be interrupted or modified: 

  • if an organization ceases operations 
  • in the event of a change in mandate, management (Executive or Artistic Director), board of directors and/or activities that are not approved by the Conseil 
  • where activities or progress in files are deemed unsatisfactory when the final reports are received 
  • in the event of a deficit: an organization with an accumulated deficit (net assets) of 10% or more of its net revenues  
  • based on the Conseil’s financial capacity and in accordance with the Withdrawal of Support Policy  
Need more information?
Claudia Berardi
Claudia Berardi
Cultural Advisor - Music

514 280-3586

claudia.berardi@montreal.ca
Frédéric Côté
Frédéric Côté
Cultural Advisor - Theatre

514 280-3793

frederic.cote3@montreal.ca
Marie-Michèle Cron
Marie-Michèle Cron
Cultural Advisor - Digital Arts and Visual Arts

514 280-4125

marie-michele.cron@montreal.ca
Lorena Sanchez Rojas 1
Philippe Gendreau
Cultural Advisor - Literature, Film / Video

514 280-2599

philippe.gendreau@montreal.ca
Roxanne Robillard
Roxanne Robillard
Cultural Advisor - circus arts, non-disciplinary artistic practices and street performance

514 280-3389

roxanne.robillard@montreal.ca
Dominic Simoneau
Dominic Simoneau
Cultural Advisor - Dance and multidisciplinary sector

514 280-3587

dominic.simoneau@montreal.ca
Ansfrid Tchetchenigbo
Ansfrid Tchetcheni­gbo
Cultural Advisor - Music

514 280-0525

ansfrid.tchetchenigbo@montreal.ca