OAC Exhibition Assistance

Hamilton Artists Inc. is a recommender to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Exhibition Assistance Program. This program provides grants between $500 and $2000 for costs related to presenting work for a confirmed exhibition.

The 2023 application deadlines to the Inc. are:
August 15, 2023, 1 p.m. ET
January 16, 2024, 1 p.m. ET

Hamilton Artists Inc. focuses on critical, unconventional, and challenging contemporary art practices that contribute to regional and national discourses. We accept applications from artists of all career levels and working in across disciplines. Please carefully read the information on the Ontario Arts Council Site before applying for this grant. Hamilton Artists Inc. is located in Zone 3. Applicants to Exhibition Assistance through Hamilton Artists Inc. must reside in Zone 3. If you live in an area outside of Zone 3, please refer to the list of the other recommender galleries.

There are additional designated recommenders for artists who are, Indigenous, Black, racialized, deaf, and/or disabled, as well as artists working in craft, photography, or media arts specializations. You are not required to live in a specific zone if you are eligible to apply to one of the designated recommenders. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis artists may also apply to the Indigenous Visual Artists’ Materials grant to help cover the costs of buying art materials and supplies.

Important Information:

  • You may apply for only one exhibition per application.
  • You may receive up to $2,000 in Exhibition Assistance grants, for applications submitted during the program year. This amount can be from more than one recommender, and towards one or more exhibitions.
  • Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded may be smaller than the amount requested.
  • If your application includes ineligible expenses, OAC may reduce the recommended amount to cover only eligible expenses or withdraw the application.
  • You may submit up to three Exhibition Assistance applications at a time.
  • If you have submitted three Exhibition Assistance applications during the 2022-23 program year, you must wait to be notified of the results of one of them before you can submit another.
  • If you have applied for the same expenses to more than one recommender, and are awarded a grant by more than one of them, you must contact the OAC. You cannot receive more than one Exhibition Assistance grant to cover the same expenses.

Recent Changes:

  • Applicants no longer need to apply before their exhibition start date. When the 2023-24 program opens in June 2024, applicants may apply for exhibitions that start on or after January 14, 2023.
  • Photo printing is now an eligible expense.


  • Ontario-based professional visual artists, craft artists, media artists and artist collectives who have a confirmed, upcoming public exhibition. Applicants must be Ontario residents with a permanent physical address in Ontario.
  • For this program, eligible collectives are defined as unincorporated groups of two or more artists who create collaboratively and exhibit together.
  • For a group exhibition, where artists present their own individual work, each artist must apply individually for their own expenses.
  • Undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time at an educational institution, incorporated not-for-profit or for-profit organizations, and curators are NOT eligible.

Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for full eligibility information.

How to apply:

Exhibition assistance applications are through OAC’s online granting portal, Nova. We no longer accept emailed or mailed applications. If you live in Zone 3 and would like to apply to the Inc., create an account in OAC’s Nova portal and submit your application to us through the portal directly.

Your application will include:

  • Basic information about the exhibition
  • Budget of eligible expenses
  • Your answers to application questions
  • Name of recommender you are applying to
  • Artistic examples – images or video documentation of your work (Up to 8 images or 8 minutes of video). Here are some tips for Preparing Effective Support Material for Visual Arts and Craft Grant Applications.
  • Your resume or CV
  • Letter/document confirming your exhibition (contract, letter of confirmation on letterhead, or email correspondence). This document must include exhibition start and end dates, name and contact information of exhibition organizer, location and address of exhibition venue.

Complete instructions and requirements are listed in the application in Nova. For help creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.

Contact: Sanaa Hamayun, Programming Director
Phone: (905) 529-3355
Email: programming@theinc.ca