The OAF Blog

First Spark – A New Initiative from Canadian Heritage

November 30, 2018

Arts organizations should be encouraged by a small, but easily accessible funding program launched in November by Canadian Heritage.

The First Spark Initiative

The First Spark Initiative is intended to support arts organizations to focus on innovation in solving common business challenges. An organization can apply for a $5,000 grant to organize a collaborative problem-solving activity which seeks to address the challenge. It offers a way for an organization to get together and use creative approaches to problem solving via partnerships and knowledge sharing. The Ministry hopes that the partnerships/collaborations will develop innovative business solutions facing cultural organizations. As examples of what the program will fund, arts organizations face challenges in dealing with:

• Data management
• Digital transformation
• Governance issues
• Marketing and audience development
• Revenue diversification and fundraising

Where organizations partner to work together, creative solutions may be identified.

Application Process
The application process is not complicated, and the program guidelines speak to funding decisions for the $5,000 grant to be made within six weeks of receiving an application. The initiative is time limited and will run from November 15, 2018 to November 15, 2019. Organizations may submit multiple applications, provided they are for distinctly different projects. This is not a ‘large’ funding initiative, but one that can engage your teams, involve young and developing arts leaders, and lead to collective generation of solutions that are common to arts organizations.

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