Operating Assistance to Cultural Organizations

Culture Funding and Awards

Operating Assistance to Cultural Organizations

2024 program deadline: 11:59 pm on April 15th, 2024

The Operating Assistance to Cultural Organizations program supports the ongoing operations of established organizations and the programs and services that contribute to the development and sustainability Nova Scotia’s arts and culture communities. The types of organizations that receive assistance include those that produce cultural product, own or manage cultural facilities, provide service to the cultural sector or produce a cultural festival or event. These organizations are fundamental to the vitality of cultural life in Nova Scotia either as primary producers, enablers or developers of cultural activity.

Specifically, the program provides investment in the core operational and programmatic costs of organizations whose mandate supports:

  • creation and expression in the arts;
  • production and/or presentation of artistic performances and events;
  • opportunities for people to participate in and build community life through access to cultural experiences;
  • activities that contribute to the long-term development of the cultural sector; and
  • enhanced stability for arts and cultural organizations

Support is available to qualifying applicants via two streams:

  • Core Annual Funding
  • Core Multiyear Funding

Program Outcomes

The program provides support to professional arts and cultural organizations to achieve outcomes that:

  • support people at all levels of artistic involvement at an appropriate level of artistic quality
  • promote participation in and access to the arts for people of differing ages and abilities
  • provide relevant professional development and other knowledge sharing and capacity-building opportunities
  • develop new and strengthen existing relationships among organizations engaged in cultural activities
  • advance the development of Nova Scotia’s cultural diversity within the arts and culture sector
  • foster stewardship of cultural resources through effective governance and planning
  • encourage development and stability of key programs and services for positive community and sector impact


Organizations applying to this program must demonstrate that they meet the following general criteria.

  • is a registered not-for-profit society or not-for-profit cooperative in good standing with the Provincial Registrar of Joint Stock Companies or federally registered under the Corporations Act as a not-for-profit society or cooperative based and operating in Nova Scotia
  • has a mandate/primary operational focus that is centred on Nova Scotia arts and culture and supports the program Purpose as stated above
  • does not receive operating assistance from any other provincial government agency or department, including Arts Nova Scotia
  • employs full-/part-time paid administrative staff (or equivalent) to manage on-going arts and culture programs and services
  • maintains an active membership or shows a form of community support that includes Nova Scotia residents and persons other than those who serve on the Board of Directors
  • operates programs year-round, except for presenting festivals which may have seasonal programs
  • secures additional sources of revenue, such as corporate contributions, donations, sales, and membership fees, and must pursue other sources of public or private funding
  • possesses the capacity to compile annual financial and statistical information
  • supports the work of Nova Scotian professional and emerging arts and cultural professionals and fairly compensate artists, arts and cultural practitioners, technicians, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers, in keeping with community and sector standards within the field of practice

How To Apply

Please consult the program guidelines to determine your eligibility under either of the two program streams.

Program Documents


Application materials should be submitted to CHDapplication@novascotia.ca

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the Community Cultural Development Officer at 902-476-9308.

Supporting our culture and heritage, while investing in our own creative class, contributes to Nova Scotia's vital creative economy