Animating Historic Sites

Toronto Arts Council has partnered with City of Toronto Museum Services and the Evergreen Brick Works to provide opportunities for artists to re-imagine and animate six Toronto Heritage sites and the Brick Works through engagement with their histories, local contexts, and communities.

The heritage sites are Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Gibson House Museum, Montgomery's Inn, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse, four of which are located outside the downtown core.  Programming Grants provide opportunities for curators/producers to present a series of programs and events at selected sites and Evergreen Brick Works.  Exploration Grants are smaller grants that provide the opportunity for curators/producers to engage with community, landscape, volunteers and the site staff to explore ideas for future projects.   Museum Services and Evergreen Brick Works are contributing matching support in the form of space, historical knowledge and research resources, extended hours, staffing, marketing and promotion.

Please contact Erika Hennebury for information 

The 2016 deadline (July 14) has passed. 2017 deadlines will be announced in January. 


Toronto Arts Council is partnering with City of Toronto Museum Services and the Evergreen Brick Works on an initiative intended to create opportunities for Toronto artists to animate historic sites within the City of Toronto. The goals of the program are to serve as a catalyst for people to see and think about historic places differently, and to provide alternatives to traditional methods of historic understanding and interpretation. This program will create avenues for positioning historic sites and museums as vital public spaces of social interaction, where the past provides creative context for the future.

The Animating Historic Sites program provides funding to professional artists, arts organizations and collectives working in any discipline to plan or create and deliver free site-specific programming that responds to or interprets the selected sites. This grant may cover up to 100% of project costs.


This program is open to professional, independent curators, producers and presenters and the applicants may be individual artists or not-for-profit arts organizations or collectives. Experience working with local communities is an asset. Payment of artists’ fees is a requirement.

A professional artist is someone who has developed their skills through training and/or practice; is recognized as such by artists working in the same artistic tradition; actively practices his or her art; seeks payment for her/his work; and has a history of public presentation.

You may not apply as an individual and be part of an organization or collective applying in the same competition.

You may not apply as an individual or as part of an organization if you are employed (full or part time) by City of Toronto Museum Services or Evergreen.

TAC has two distinct funding envelopes: 1) Arts Discipline funding (e.g. discipline-specific project grants and operating grants) and 2) Strategic funding (e.g. Artists in the Library, Open Door, etc.). Applicants are eligible to receive only one grant from each funding envelope per calendar year. Applications to the Animating Historic Sites program fall within the Strategic Funding envelope.

Eligibility criteria specific to Individuals: 

If the applicant is an individual artist, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Individuals must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents or have an application pending for Permanent Resident Status. If requested, you must be able to provide documentation to verify this.
  • Individuals must have been a resident of the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the deadline, and live and work in Toronto for at least 8 months a year. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.
  • Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply to this program.
  • Professional artists pursuing graduate studies may not apply for work related to their program of study. A letter from the graduate program director specifying that the project is not related to the graduate student’s program of studies must be submitted with the application.

Eligibility criteria specific to Organizations and Collectives:

If the applicant is an organization or a collective, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Organizations and collectives must be incorporated non-profit arts organizations or unincorporated arts collectives which operate on a non-profit basis. A collective is defined as two or more artists working together under a group name, either on a single project (ad hoc) or on an ongoing basis. For collectives of two artists, both must be City of Toronto residents. For collectives of more than two artists, the majority of members must be City of Toronto residents.
  • Organizations and collectives must be located in the City of Toronto. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet this requirement.

Click here to view the full Animating Historic Sites Guidelines for 2016


Click here to apply

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