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ACHF Project Grants

Grants to Windsor, Ontario Nonprofits and Individuals
for Arts and Cultural Projects and Activities

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City of Windsor - Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund (ACHF)

Deadline Date:

09/20/19 3:00 PM


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Grants of up to $5,000 to Windsor, Ontario nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and individuals to enhance arts and cultural opportunities for local residents. Applicants must consult with program staff prior to applying. The purpose of this program is to invest in the community’s creative economy.

Mission for the Cultural Affairs Office:

Acting as a catalyst and facilitator, the Cultural Affairs office will ensure the provision of a range of affordable and accessible opportunities for engagement in cultural activities, services, and facilities to residents while at the same time building up a base of unique cultural attributes and activities for visitors, residents, investors, and businesses.

The Community Strategic Plan:

The City’s Community Strategic Plan calls for a focus on cultural growth. It urges:
-Capitalizing on local strengths to promote tourism and hospitality, making the most of Windsor’s advantages as a key Canadian gateway;
-Reaching out to the world to showcase Windsor as an outstanding place to live, work and visit;
-Celebrating diversity by recognizing Windsor’s rich diverse culture and heritage;
-Honoring heritage by preserving structures that tell the story of Windsor’s past;
-Valuing art by promoting and supporting the arts and local artists, and ensuring that local citizens have many opportunities to experience a wide variety of expression and performance.

The Municipal Cultural Master Plan (MCMP):

The City of Windsor’s Municipal Cultural Master Plan, approved by City Council in May 2010 is a detailed report that maps out sixteen recommendations intended to serve as a goal-centered approach to facilitating the growth of culture in the local community.

MCMP – Recommendation # 7 – Arm’s Length Cultural Funding:

It is understood that Windsor’s creative community cannot act alone. It is recommended that an arm’s length cultural funding commission for cultural organizations be established. This commission would be appointed to allocate funds from an amount set annually to qualifying cultural organizations according to set criteria. Jurors would be City of Windsor residents that have an understanding of cultural disciplines and organizations. Working with the City of Windsor’s Cultural Affairs Office, they would facilitate a transparent and accessible application and funding process that would be accountable to Council, the City’s creative community, and the City of Windsor as a whole. In all cases, the funding decisions of this body would be final, and would not be subject to an appeal.

Mission of the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Fund:

The City of Windsor’s Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund (ACHF) invests in the soul of the City by providing financial assistance to locally-developed arts, culture and heritage projects that provide exciting, surprising and meaningful opportunities to strengthen Windsor’s creative community.

Program Objectives:

The ACHF provides funding to support Windsor’s priority to build a strong and stable creative community that contributes to a prosperous creative economy and to making Windsor an attractive and affordable place to live. The primary objectives of the program are to make strategic investments that:

-Promote innovation and support new, dynamic efforts in the creative community;
-Develop unique cultural resources to enhance the health and vitality of Windsor’s communities and the quality of life for its people;
-Encourage participants in the creative community to stay and continue to create and work in the City of Windsor;
-Make arts, culture and heritage central to the lives of all Windsor’s people;
-Increase public awareness and access to the arts, culture and heritage sectors;
-Celebrate diversity by recognizing Windsor’s rich creative community;
-Value creativity by promoting and supporting arts, culture and heritage.

Key Priorities of the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Fund:

The ACHF provides financial support to help strengthen and develop Windsor’s creative community to achieve economic and creative growth in the City. Preference is given to projects that benefit one or more cultural sectors, and which develop new alliances and creative, innovative approaches. Projects must address one or more of the following key priorities:

-Increase Windsor’s attractiveness, affordability, and quality of life;
-Support the development of new audiences;
-Increase the supply of skilled cultural workers;
-Nurture creativity and imagination through arts, culture and heritage projects;
-Encourage the inclusion of diverse cultural groups;
-Increase public access to the creative community.

Important Definitions:


A special initiative which may be one-time, and may involve:
-New/unconventional collaboration between/across genres, disciplines or sectors;
-Creation of new work;
-Emphasis on new or emerging media, techniques, technologies and practices.


Broadly conceived to include all genres within the following disciplines, with activities and expression which explore, interpret, create and celebrate:

-Performance (music, dance, theatre, spoken word, improvisation);
-Visual (two/three dimensional, performance, fine or artisanal craft, site specific or
temporary installation);
-Literary (poetry, prose, storytelling);
-Media/New Media (film, video, still photography);
-Design (graphic and technological).

Culture and Heritage:

Broadly conceived to include both tangible and intangible characteristics of the following elements, with activities and expression which explore, interpret and celebrate:
-Human diversity including First Nations, ethnicity, different abilities and orientations, gender and age;
-Human and natural history;
-Ecology and environment (as themes for artistic practice or historical interpretation);
-Heritage buildings, sites (including neighborhoods, gardens, views), collections, archives, documentation, interpretation;
-Storytelling, narratives, traditions and values, artisanal methods.

Eligible Projects:

Eligible Projects under the ACHF program may include, but are not limited to:
-Providing opportunities for organizations to engage youth and new creators;
-Arts, culture and heritage tourism initiatives that result in new product development, increased market-readiness and new business opportunities;
-Outreach projects which identify ways to strengthen organizational capacity to reach new markets, regions, cultural minorities and untapped future audiences.

Eligible Projects must:
-Not receive concurrent funding from the City of Windsor for this initiative;
-Be accessible to everyone;
-Be publicized citywide;
-Offer a unique cultural experience;
-Have a separate budget from the organization’s annual operating budget;
-Demonstrate support (financial or in-kind) beyond what is provided by the fund.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 173486

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants are asked to apply for a reasonable amount of money to complete their proposed projects. Project funding under the ACHF program will not exceed $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The Cultural Affairs Office encourages applicants to submit projects that will be completed within six (6) months to one (1) year of receipt of funds. As such, all Final Post-Project Reports must be submitted two (2) weeks after completion of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Organizations:

To be eligible for consideration, the applicant must be either an arts, culture or heritage organization that meets all of the following criteria:
-Be Windsor-based;
-Not receive concurrent funding from the City of Windsor;
-Be not-for-profit, incorporated as a not-for-profit, or a registered charity;
-Primarily produce and display work, and conduct regular operations in Windsor;
-Have arts, culture or heritage as the main focus;
-Be in ‘good-standing’ for at least one year at the time of the application;
-Demonstrate fiscal responsibility;
-Be directed by recognized professionals and / or managed by experienced volunteers.

Eligible Individuals:

To be eligible for consideration, the applicant must:
-Be a Windsor resident;
-Primarily produce and display work outside of an organizational framework;
-Be engaged in their arts, culture or heritage activity in the City of Windsor;
-Be a recognized professional (have completed formal/informal training).

Ineligible Projects and Expenditures:

Ineligible projects and expenditures for the ACHF include the following:
-Initiatives which receive concurrent financial or in-kind support from City sources;
-Using ACHF funds to provide financial support (re-grant) to other organizations;
-Ongoing operating or administration expenses;
-Feasibility studies;
-Decor, food, or beverage costs;
-Costs relating to fundraising activities or events;
-Retroactive funding for events which have already occurred;
-Construction, renovation, major purchases (capital, property, etc.);
-Deficit reduction;
-Development of proposals for provincial/federal/municipal/private sector grants;
-Marketing and promotional expenditures that are not related to the project;
-Contingency or unexplained miscellaneous costs;
-Supporting activities which are politically partisan or primarily focused on sports, commercial activity (tradeshow, conferences), religion, healthcare, social service, and/or seek to attract a special interest audience;
-Any other expenditure that does not relate to the realization of the project.

Please Note:
-Depending on fulfillment of all criteria, including financial need, recipients of ACHF Project Grants may re-apply for funding of the same initiative in each of two consecutive years, but after three consecutive years of funding are no longer eligible to apply for support of the same initiative. This ensures that the group of organizations and initiatives benefiting from these grants is refreshed on an ongoing basis.
-Funding is not automatically renewed every year.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Public Information Session: Wednesday, September 4, 2019. 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Coach House at Willistead Park, 1899 Niagara Street. A Cultural Affairs staff member will be on site to provide information about the ACHF program and application process, and to answer questions. This information session is for first-time ACHF applicants only. However, if you would like a refresher on the program, you are still welcome to attend. Reservations are not required.

Pre-Application Information:

Project funding not covered by the ACHF program must be provided by the applicant or through other project revenues.

The ACHF cannot guarantee funding to all applicants, nor can it ensure that the total amount requested by successful applicants will be granted. The recommendation to fund all or part of an applicant’s request will depend on its fit with ACHF priorities, assessment criteria and the overall demand for funds in the program.

In order to be considered, applicants must consult with Cultural Affairs staff prior to submitting a project for funding and before the application deadline. Consultation means a conversation, by e-mail or phone, in which the applicant provides detailed information on their proposed project. This consultation does not mean a project will be recommended for funding.

Hard copies of all completed required forms, along with supporting materials must be received by the City of Windsor’s Cultural Affairs Office no later than 3:00 pm on the application deadline date for each round.

Upcoming ACHF Funding Rounds:
-2018 Round 2: Applications accepted from Monday, August 20, 2018 to Friday, September 21, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
-2019 Round 1: Applications accepted from Monday, January 14, 2019 to Friday, February 1, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
-2019 Round 2: Applications accepted from Monday, August 19, 2019 to Friday, September 20, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply:

Cathy Masterson, Manager of Cultural Affairs
519-253-2300 ext. 2724

Cultural Affairs Office
Department of Recreation & Culture
City of Windsor

2450 McDougall St.
Windsor, ON. N8X 3N6

Gatehouse at Willistead Park.
1899 Niagara St.
Windsor, ON. N8Y 1K3


Grant Coverage Areas:

City of Windsor

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario