How it works

The National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund invests up to $3 million a year in 15 to 20 projects that meet the following criteria:

  • They are led by Canadian creators in theatre, dance, music and/or inter-disciplinary performing arts;
  • They are artistically ambitious and compelling;
  • They have a strong artistic team and committed producing and presenting partners; and
  • They are likely to have a national or international impact.

We invest in the development of a work, not in its presentation or touring. We’re looking for bold projects of scope and scale, and want to fund the additional time and resources these kinds of ambitious projects need to be successful.

The Fund complements traditional funding sources, rather than replacing them. We aren’t the sole investor in a work –the projects we invest in have a number of funders, whether they are arts councils, producing partners, private donors or others. Our intent is not to invest small amounts of money in many projects, but rather make significant investments in 15 to 20 projects. Our investments will range from many tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the nature and scale of the projects. Please see our FAQs for more info.

Our investments could fund longer creation timelines, additional workshops or work-in-progress showings, new technologies, the best creative teams, or more – the opportunities that risk and innovation demand and that are too rarely available to artists in this country. We want the Fund to be a catalyst for more Canadian artists to make more great work.

We invest both in new work, and in promising productions that need additional development after their first runs to produce stronger, more polished work that will be remounted and toured. A number of these projects may be produced or co-produced by one of our NAC artistic teams, but the majority are projects from “outside” the NAC – from artists and arts organizations across the country.  

The selection process

We find compelling and ambitious projects for investment in two ways: by actively seeking great projects across the country; and by inviting proposals from artists and arts organizations. Projects are selected through a curatorial process led by the Artistic Producer and a small group at the NAC.

We evaluate projects in three phases.  First, they must meet the Fund’s investment criteria. The most attractive of these projects will go through a second phase of consideration that will involve conversations with the artists as well as more detailed artistic and financial information. Finally, we make investment decisions from among the very best of these projects.

Now accepting proposals

Start the submission process