Indigenous Arts Grants program

Indigenous Art Bank basket woven

The mandate of the PEI Arts Grants is to support, assist, encourage and represent the arts community in the province. Funding is available to Prince Edward Island artists through a juried grant application process.  In 2021 an Indigenous Art Grants program was established to celebrate, highlight, support and encourage the artistic accomplishments of the Mi’kmaq people of Epekwitk (PEI). The PEI Culture Action Plan aspires for all Islanders to have opportunities to engage with the art forms that derive from Indigenous language, world views, practices, traditions and protocols.

What type of funding is available?

The Arts Grants program offers four types of grants to support art and artists of Prince Edward Island. Each program serves a different purpose and requires a different application.

Create (Creation Grant)

The purpose of the creation/production grant is to support the creation of artistic projects by Prince Edward Island professional artists in the following disciplines: crafts; dance; interdisciplinary arts; film and media arts; music; theatre; visual arts; and writing and publishing. This grant is available to individuals or small groups/bands at the established and emerging professional artist levels. Eligible costs include living expenses (up to $800 per month) and direct project costs, such as materials and supplies, pre-production research, documentation costs and equipment rental.

Capital costs are not eligible. Amateur artists and/or students are not eligible for funding under this program. Festivals, contests, events and not-for-profit organizations are not eligible for funding under this program.

Total maximum annual creation grant amounts:

  • Established Professional Artists: $8,000
  • Emerging Professional Artists: $5,000

Share (Dissemination Grant)

The purpose of the dissemination grant is to assist with the presentation of the works of PEI professional artists to the public, ideally in a critical and/or curatorial context, in the following disciplines: crafts; dance; interdisciplinary arts; film and media arts; music; theatre; visual arts; and writing and publishing.

This grant is intended to support opportunities to publicly present artistic works in order to increase access, understanding, and appreciation of Prince Edward Island art.

Eligible projects include the following: tours, presentations, exhibitions, performances, screenings, web presentations of original artworks, limited reproductions, publishing, and translation.

This program is intended to support the dissemination of specific completed works of arts.

Purely commercial self-promotion ventures are not eligible for funding under this program.  

Dissemination grants are available for individuals or small groups/bands at the established professional and emerging professional artist levels.

Amateur artists and/or students and not-for-profit organizations are not eligible for funding under this program.

Eligible costs include travel expenses, shipping/freight, limited reproductions, artist fees, framing, professional fees, installation costs, and facility and equipment rental. Capital costs are not eligible.

Total maximum annual dissemination grant amounts:

  • Established Professional Artists: $2,500
  • Emerging Professional Artists: $2,000

Learn (Professional Development Grant)

The purpose of the professional development grant is to support the professional development of PEI professional artists’ careers in the following disciplines: crafts; dance; interdisciplinary arts; film and media arts; music; theatre; visual arts; and writing and publishing.

This grant provides financial assistance for professional development and skill building activities that advance the artistic work and careers of eligible applicants. Eligible programs include mentoring, apprenticeships, residencies, short-term training programs, portfolio and support material development, workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Programs that are a part of full-time study programs are not eligible for funding under this program.  

Professional development grants are available for individuals or small groups/bands at the established professional, emerging professional and amateur artist levels. Organizations are not eligible for funding under this program.

Eligible costs include program costs, materials and supplies as well as travel expenses. Capital costs, subsistence and self-study programs are not eligible.

Total maximum annual professional development grant amounts:

  • Established Professional Artists: $2,500
  • Emerging Professional Artists: $2,000
  • Amateur Artists: $1,000       

Visual Arts Material Grants

Visual Arts Materials Grants $750 maximum Assists artists working in the visual arts, crafts or traditional/customary art forms to create artwork.

Grants of up to $750 are to help cover the cost of buying art materials and supplies. This grant is intended for artists who are in need material support only. 

Is there certain eligibility that I need to consider?

Prince Edward Island -based Indigenous artists, groups (including ad-hoc groups) are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to Mi’kmaq applicants. It is important to be recognized as an artist in the Indigenous community as Peer Assessment Committees consider community connections. Contact the Program Officer if you have questions.

  • Individuals - the applicant is one person
  •  Ad hoc groups are applicants who are two or more individuals who are working collaboratively and are not registered in any manner. “Ad hoc group” refers to a group of artists formed for the specific purpose of creating a unique work”

Applications are reviewed by a Peer Assessment Committee (minimum of 3, maximum of 5 members), comprised solely from the Indigenous community. These committees will assess applications and, if necessary, determine eligibility.

  •  Applicants must complete a self-identification form to demonstrate eligibility as an Indigenous person(s). Applicants must be professional artists which includes but is not limited to the following criteria:
    • To have peer recognition
    • To have a history of public presentation
    • To have training appropriate to the artist's chosen discipline (including learning from elders,  mentorship and/or apprenticeship training)
    • To earn income, fully or in part, from artistic activity
    • To demonstrate serious intent and devotion of energy to practicing art

New project submissions from an applicant in default on any reporting, project completion or financial obligation to Innovation PEI will not be reviewed until a resolution to the default is reached.


To apply for any of the grants, you must have a PEI address as your primary residence for a minimum of twelve consecutive months. Artists on extended travel for their work are still considered PEI residents, but those who move their primary residence to another province or country within the twelve consecutive months previous to the application deadline are not eligible.
Groups or bands must have a majority of members be residents of PEI.

Professional Status

There are several ways to establish professional status as an artist. As a professional artist you should meet three or more of the following criteria in relation to your arts practice:

  • Have received compensation that is considered part of your personal or business income;
  • Have presented your work to the public by recordings, exhibitions, publications, screenings, performance, readings or other means of dissemination;
  • Devotes a reasonable amount of time creating or disseminating your work;
  • Have received reviews, or appraisals by public and/or peer assessment/recognition;
  • Have a membership in a professional or industry association or guild recognized by their discipline;
  • Have undertaken formal education or training from educational institution(s), or have undertaken self-directed training through a commitment to informal training opportunities that demonstrate commitment to skill development.

Each grant also has unique eligibility requirements outlined below and in the attached guidelines.

What's the difference between an emerging and established artist?

Artist categories are based on the stage of an artist's career, not chronological age. Your artist CV should be able to support your identification as emerging or established.

An emerging artist is a professional artist who identifies with the following characteristics:

  • you are at the early stage of your career;
  • you view art as your vocation;
  • you have specialized artistic training (formal or informal) and
  • you have created a modest body of work that includes demonstrated efforts to have had public presentation.

You are considered an established artist if you identify as a professional artist with the following characteristics:

  • You are recognized in your artistic discipline by your peers;
  • you have specialized training;
  • you have a significant history of public presentation and regional and/or national representation; and
  • you have created an extensive body of work.

You may be considered an amateur artist if you demonstrate a high caliber of artistic talent and wish to bridge into a professional career. Students 16+ are eligible to apply however, a parent or guardian must sign the application on your behalf.

What is the deadline to apply for a grant?

Applications will be accepted from noon on January 22nd, 2024 until March 4th, 2024 at 4pm. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.

How will applications be assessed?

A juried peer-led process for grant distribution will be coordinated by a cultural development officer. Peer assessment provides the best possible means of identifying outstanding ability and artistic merit in the arts. All jurors must be artists and/or arts professionals of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit descent.

Innovation PEI reserves the right to deny a grant application or request for payment if it suspects or detects fraudulent intent.

How do I make a recommendation for the peer review jury?

You can find more information on how to apply or recommend someone to be part of the peer assessment jury here.

What do I need to complete my online application?

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the funding program(s) to which you are applying.

You must include a curriculum vitae or resume, project description, including the start and end date of the project, the amount requested, as well as any other relevant information.

Your application must include the following:

  • a project plan and details of how the project will be executed (upload a document 750 words or less). Your project plan should include:
    • the artistic vision of the project
    • the impact on your career development/arts practice
    •  the project plan (how the project will be executed, what is the timeline)
    • what will you produce? (Creation grant)
    • how will you disseminate it? (Creation grant and Dissemination grant)
    • a budget, including detailed income and expenses. Full disclosure of federal and provincial government assistance is required.

Support Material

Your submission must also include the following:

  • appropriate support material demonstrating recent artistic achievements and must be relevant to the proposed project;
  • examples of support material
    • audio samples: 3 selections (maximum 15 minutes);
    • written material: maximum 15 pages
    • photos/digital images: maximum 10
    • reviews or articles: maximum 3
  • further, where it is appropriate, please include:
    • acceptance into a program (required for Professional Development)
    • written offer for exhibition, performance
    • tour date confirmation
    • letters of support
Tip: Links to your website, that require a jury member to hunt for your support material can result in your work not being fully assessed if you haven’t also included samples of your work as separate files. Ensure your images are good quality and are in a format that is accessible to most users.
Each application must be completed in one session as your application cannot be saved.

How should I complete and send my application online?

Click the Apply Now button below. 

When will I be notified of a decision?

All applicants will be advised of the assessment decision via e-mail within six weeks of the grant deadline.  

Who do I contact with questions?

Éliane Laberge
Bilingual Cultural Development Officer
Phone: 902-916-1854
Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street, Charlottetown


Innovation PEI

General Inquiries

Cultural Development Division, Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street
PO Box 910
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L9
Telephone: 902-368-6300
Toll-free (North America): 1-800-563-3734
Fax: 902-368-6301