Niagara Investment in Culture Program

Now Accepting Applications

Apply for the Niagara Investment in Culture program by Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m.

Apply now

The Niagara Investment in Culture program was created to:
  • Build capacity in Niagara’s culture sector
  • Increase access to culture for residents and visitors in all parts of Niagara
  • Promote partnerships between public, private and governmental sectors
  • Provide support to Niagara culture groups and participants
  • Celebrate Niagara’s history, people and identity

Our goal is to support interesting, innovative and high quality cultural programming that is Niagara-based, inclusive, collaborative and accountable.

Delivery of the 2020 Niagara Investment in Culture program is subject to budgetary approval.

Program Categories

There are two categories of eligibility for the program:

  • Any one of Niagara's 12 municipalities; or
  • Non-profit Niagara cultural organizations

Arms-length cultural organizations, such as organizations which receive some regular municipal operating funding but answer to a board or are similarly separate from the municipality, such as museums or libraries, may submit under the cultural organization-led category.



Marian Bannerman
Program Manager, Grants and Incentives
905-980-6000 ext. 3357
Email Marian Bannerman

Information Session

Learn about the application process for the Niagara Investment in Culture program.

Wednesday, Nov. 6
5 p.m.
Niagara Region headquarters
Campbell West Building - Community Room 4
1815 Sir Isaac Brock Way, Thorold

Apply for the Niagara Investment in Culture Program

Application deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m.

Apply online or download an application form.

All applications and supporting documentation must be submitted by the deadline.

  • Eligibility criteria

    To be eligible for funding under either category, the project application must meet the following criteria

    • Projects must be organized and hosted in Niagara
    • The majority of people hired as a part of the project must reside in Niagara
    • Municipalities and organizations can only be project lead on one Niagara Investment in Culture project per funding year, but can partner or work with other organizations or municipalities on other Niagara Investment in Culture projects
    • Project events / activities must be open to the public and publicized
    • Project should be new, or if it's an ongoing project, it should demonstrate significant innovation and / or strong success along with community desire
    • Project should have clear, significant and measurable indicators and evaluation data
    • Project should have a clear and reasonable budget
    • Project should have letters of agreement from key partners specifying their support and role(s)
    • Project must be completed by December 31 of the Niagara Investment in Culture funding year
    • Cultural organization applicants must be governed by an accountable board, steering committee or the equivalent
    • Applicants must be in verifiable fiscal health
    • Niagara Investment in Culture funding requests may be for up to 75 per cent of the total cash budget for any project
    • For municipally-led projects, applicant municipalities will be expected to contribute a minimum of 25 per cent of the total Niagara Investment in Culture funds requested
  • Evaluation process

    Each application will be reviewed by Niagara Region staff to determine if it meets the eligibility criteria. A panel composed of qualified members of the cultural community, a member of the Niagara Region Culture Committee, up to two regional councillors and Niagara Region staff (non-voting) will review and rank the proposals based on evaluation criteria for the program.

    Based on the rankings, available monies for the Niagara Investment in Culture program will be tentatively allotted for the funding year by the panel. The list of successful applications will be endorsed by the Niagara Region Culture Committee and received by the Planning and Development Services Committee and by Niagara Regional Council as an information report, followed by a public announcement of the projects.

    The Niagara Investment in Culture program reserves the right to determine award amounts which may or may not reflect applicant requests, and the right not to designate awards in any given instance. There will be no appeals. Available program monies will be subject to council budget approval.

  • Evaluation criteria

    Key evaluation criteria for project submissions are:

    • Overall quality of the project
    • Uniqueness and innovation of the project
    • Number, nature and diversity of partnerships
    • Number of people in Niagara who will benefit from the project
    • Ways / degrees to which the project supports the goals of the Niagara Culture Plan
    • Potential of the project to have a strong legacy component
    • Potential of the project to build cultural capacity in Niagara
    • Amount of non-governmental funding committed toward the project
  • Funding prohibitions

    Niagara Investment in Culture program funding may NOT be used for:

    • Operating funding for any organization or program
    • Retroactively for any project expenses incurred prior to the Niagara Investment in Culture application date
    • Direct grants, bursaries or awards to individuals or organizations
    • Capital infrastructure or software purchase (small-scale equipment rental or purchase may be considered on a case-by-case basis)
    • Fireworks
    • Alcohol
    • Projects promoting specific religious beliefs or any discriminatory activities
    • Stand-alone commercial, fundraising or for-profit activities
    • Debt repayment

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