Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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Sustaining Program for Professional Arts Organizations


The Sustaining Program for Professional Arts Organizations (SPPAO) is available to professional arts organizations that further the arts of Newfoundland and Labrador. Grants support administration, operating, and production/ presentation costs.


Professional arts organizations must:

• Have the development, production, and promotion of the arts as its primary mandate

• Be based in Newfoundland and Labrador

• Have at least half its board currently residing in Newfoundland and Labrador for a minimum of 12 consecutive months at the time of application

• Must have at least half its board members and artists hired be at least 18 years of age or have post-secondary standing

• Be registered as a not-for-profit organization in the province

• Have completed two consecutive years of significant operations in keeping with the mandate of the organization

• Have a formal organizational structure including an active board of directors

• Employ a professional artistic director/executive director or equivalent

• Have sound administrative and financial management using typical business accounting and organizational management practices

• Have a good record of providing local employment

• Pay artist and professional fees in keeping with established national guidelines

• Have an annual financial statement prepared (minimum acceptable is a review engagement prepared by an independent professional accountant)

• Offer professional development opportunities for staff and/or membership

• Demonstrate community outreach through workshops, school visits, fundraising, etc.

• Maintain a minimum annual budget of $50,000 ($20,000 for dance and visual art organizations) for the last two years and the current year

• Maintain a minimum annual budget of $50,000 ($20,000 for dance and visual art organizations) on all proposed budgets included in the application

• Maintain a minimum annual budget of $50,000 ($20,000 for dance and visual art organizations)  for the overall organizational budget for each fiscal year in which it receives sustaining program funding

Deadline: February 1

If an application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be moved to the next business day. Seven copies of a complete application must be received at the ArtsNL office by 4:30 p.m. on the application deadline, or postmarked by the deadline date. Items on the CADAC website must also be completed by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Potential first time applicants should submit a letter of intent to apply to the SPPAO to the program manager well before the application deadline.  This will allow time to confirm eligibility, enable peer assessors to view performances/exhibitions by the organization, and approve the creation of a CADAC account for the organization.

The SPPAO operates on a three-year cycle. New applicants may apply ONLY in the first year of the cycle. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered for funding.

Organizations funded in year one are guaranteed at least 75% of that grant in the next two years as long as they maintain their levels of activity and funding for the program is not reduced.

Applying organizations must complete financial and statistical information on the Canadian Arts Database (CADAC) website. (

New applicants not already using CADAC should refer to the attached information sheet and the help section of the website for information on setting up your CADAC account to get a unique CADAC ID for your organization, and completing financial and statistical forms on the website. Ensure you set up your account as early as possible.

You do not need to print the documents you complete on the CADAC. ArtsNL staff will be able to access them using your CADAC ID number listed on your application form.

ArtsNL staff can assist eligible applicants in setting up a CADAC account if required.

Program Funding and minimum grant:

$575,000 is awarded annually. The minimum grant is $15,000.  Funding is dispersed in two cheques: one in late April, and one in late August.

Applicants funded through this program can also request support through the School Touring Program, but are not eligible to apply to any other funding programs currently operated by ArtsNL.


Applications are assessed by a five to seven member multi-discipline peer assessment committee. The assessment committee is typically appointed a year before the application deadline allowing committee members to view performances/exhibitions by applying organizations. In addition, evaluators from outside the province will also offer comments on the artistic and operational activities of the applicants.

This program operates as a competition. Meeting all the eligibility requirements does not guarantee an organization will receive funding.

Decisions of the peer assessment committee are reviewed and ratified by Council. Government members of Council and ArtsNL staff do not vote on grant decisions.


Organizations funded in year one of the SPPAO must supply an activity and financial report to ArtsNL in years two and three of the program cycle. The report form is available from the ArtsNL office and website.

Financial information and the organization’s latest financial statement, as well as annual statistical information, must be updated on the CADAC website each year before the annual report deadline.

The report and updated financial and statistical information is due February 1 annually.
Late or incomplete reports will not be accepted and funding will be forfeited. 

ArtsNL staff will review the annual report of each organization to ensure organizations maintain their artistic and operational activity, as outlined in their year one application.

With input from staff, and with the year one peer assessment as a guide, Council will decide final funding amounts in years two and three of the program cycle.

Forward questiosn and/or completed applications to:

Ken Murphy, Program Manager
1 Springdale Street (The Newman Building)
P.O. Box 98
St. John’s , NL, A1C 5H5

Phone: (709) 726-2212 ext. 205
Toll Free: 1 (866) 726-2212 (NL only)
Fax: (709) 726-0619