Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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Advice on Writing a Grant Proposal for the Professional Project Grants Program

General Guidelines

  • All applications must be submitted on the official PPGP application form.
    (Ensure you have the latest version.)
  • All applications must be typewritten or hand printed.
  • You must apply for funding before your project starts. Retroactive applications cannot be considered.
  • You may apply for one or more stages of a project at different grant deadlines.
  • Only one application per artist or group will be accepted per application deadline.
  • Individuals and groups must submit 4 completed copies of the application form and project description, and 3 copies of support material.
  • All applications must be signed by the applicant(s), or a representative of the group.
  • Ensure you include all the following required attachments:

    Professional Individual Artists:
    • A detailed project description
    • An updated resume that indicates years of artistic practice post-education
    • Relevant support material

    Professional Groups:
    • A detailed project description
    • Updated resumes of key participants in the project
    • An updated description of the group’s history and activities
    • Relevant support material

    Letters of reference are recommended for first-time applicants. ArtsNL reserves the right to request reference letters from any applicant.

Completing your application


The quality of your project description is directly related to your project plan. The more clearly you consider what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, the more effective your description will be.

Introduce your project description with a one or two sentence summary that simply states what you want to do and why you want to do it. Use plain language. The project description should also explain:

  • What do you want to do? (What, if anything, will be the end product? How will it be researched and created? How will it be presented? What will you need to make this project happen?)
  • Who will be involved? (Name all the key participants and be sure to include a bio or resume and, if possible, a letter from them discussing their role in the project.)
  • Where will the project take place? (Will you need to travel? If so, where?)
  • When will the project take place? This is a simple time line of what you see happening for your project. It simply shows you have some kind of plan. For example:

    Creation.............................April 1-20 (3 weeks)
    Production.........................April 22-28 (1 week)
    Tour....................................May 3-17 (2 weeks)
  • Why do you want to do this project? (Why is it important for you as an artist or group to do this project? Is it part of your group’s mandate? Will it stretch you as an artist?)

If you are a first-time applicant or require assistance, contact the program manager/officer for advice. Bring a copy of the initial draft of your application for comments. This assistance does not guarantee a successful application.


Support materials are intended to strengthen your application. They should be appropriate to your application, and should reflect your ability to complete your proposed project.

Original artworks cannot be accepted as support material. ArtsNL is not responsible for damage to or loss of any submitted support material.

ArtsNL can accept support materials in the following formats: slides, photographs, jpgs, CDs, DVDs, manuscripts, scores, or a website.

When including support materials please note the following:

  • Images should be of professional quality and show only the individual art work. Never send us your originals. Clearly label images with your name, title of the work, the media, year created, and size of the work. It is recommended you submit 10 – 20 images with your application.

  • Manuscripts (up to 30 pages) should be included for any writing project, ideally it should be from the project for which you are seeking funding. Other writing samples can be included as well. They should be of your best work and, if possible, reflect the subject matter, genre or writing style of the project for which you are seeking support.

  • Audio support material (max 2) can include work recorded on CDs, DVDs, or flash drives. These works should be of good sound quality, and offer a good sampling of your music. At least two selections should be included. The title of the works should be listed on the support material.

  • Computer based materials must be viewable in a PC platform. If a special viewer is needed to read the file, please ensure it is readily available software. A website address should not be the only support material included.

  • Letters of Reference (2) are recommended for first-time applicants. They should come from someone with expertise in the artistic discipline in which you are working. The person should be familiar with you and your work and should be briefed about the specific project for which you are seeking support. The reference should offer an informed artistic assessment of your project and your ability to complete it. Letters from MHAs and MPs will not be accepted.


  • Capital costs (i.e. equipment purchase, computers, etc.) are not eligible for funding by ArtsNL.
  • Living allowances for individual artists can be considered up to a maximum of $2,000 per month for full time work on a project. If you have other sources of income, this should be subtracted from the maximum living allowance.
  • Ensure you do not exceed the maximum grant request:
    • New Artists/Groups: $4,000
    • Established Artists/Groups: $10,000
  • Budgeting should be realistic. Major discrepancies will become obvious in the final report.
  • All funds awarded must be spent in accordance with the project description and budget submitted with your application. You should promptly notify ArtsNL of any significant changes in your project plan (i.e. date changes, change to scope of project, etc.)
  • Be complete and accurate in your budgeting. If you are inexperienced with project budgeting, get help from someone with more experience or contact the program manager/officer.
  • Ensure your budget items are detailed and clearly explained, and that your projected income and expenses are balanced.
  • Applicants are expected to explore other sources of funding. ArtsNL is rarely the sole funder of a project.
  • Tuition fees for educational programs that qualify for student loan support are not eligible for funding.


Applications from professional individual artists and groups are reviewed by discipline-specific peer assessment committees made up of three artists each. All decisions are reviewed and ratified by Council. Government members of Council and ArtsNL staff do not vote.

Applications are assessed according to the policies, procedures and criteria established by ArtsNL. In addition to specific program requirements, applications are generally assessed on:

  • Originality: the extent to which the proposal represents or is associated with a unique expression of artistic merit

  • Growth Potential: the extent to which the project shows a potential for being followed by more extensive or more in-depth experiences for the artist and/or the community

  • Permanence: the extent to which the project represents a process that promises to have lasting benefit for the artist or the artistic life of the community

  • Access: the extent to which the proposal and its product represent an opportunity for the community to derive benefit and/or enjoyment

  • Ability: the extent to which the person(s) involved has the requisite skills necessary to complete the project and maintain standards of excellence

  • Feasibility: the extent to which the project is likely to be completed successfully given its costs, time schedule, location, and other pertinent considerations

If you are successful

Any funds awarded must be used solely for the purposes stated in your application, otherwise the grant must be returned to ArtsNL.

Any publicity or promotional materials related to the work must acknowledge the assistance of ArtsNL and include the ArtsNL logo.

Final Report

A final report is required within three months of the project end date. Late final reports will restrict eligibility for future ArtsNL funding. A final report form is available from the ArtsNL office or website.

Some Other Sources of Support

City of St. John’s
Arts Grants Jury
Christina Dicks, Arts and Cultural Development Program Coordinator
Tel: (709) 576-2563 (City Services)

Province of Newfoundland and Labrador,
Department of Business,Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
Cultural Economic Development Program
Libby Creelman, Industry Development Officer
Tel: (709) 729-7518 (Services and Programs)

Canada Council for the Arts
Tel: (613)566-4414
Toll Free: 1(800) 263-5588