Resources for artists
Find links to organizations, councils and service providers who support the arts and artists in Ontario.
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Generator is a mentoring, teaching, and innovation incubator that expands the skills, tools, and competencies of independent artists, producers and leaders.
ArtistProducerResource.ca is a free, searchable online encyclopedia of information, resources, tools, and templates for producing independent performance work in Canada.
The country's leading Indigenous arts service organization, representing more than 300 of the country's active artists. A member-driven, not-for-profit organization, it strives to serve Indigenous arts through ongoing advocacy, special initiatives and resourceful programming.
A not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and other Indigenous gender-marginalized people who share the common interest of art, culture, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.
This is a national non-profit professional and advocacy organization dedicated to supporting independent documentary filmmaking and filmmakers in Canada.
The Alliance is a member-driven non-profit national organization working to advance and strengthen the media arts community in Canada. Representing more than 100 independent film, video, audio, and new media production, distribution, and exhibition organizations in all parts of the country, the Alliance serves more than 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers.
Interactive Ontario is a not-for-profit industry trade organization that represents over 100 interactive digital media companies. Its website also has a jobs board.
This organization supports the independent film community through programs and activities, including workshops, training and grants. It also provides access to equipment and facilities, and an online cast and crew database.
This not-for-profit centre provides artists with video production/post-production support and services at accessible rates. It also offers workshops on creative and business issues related to filmmaking.
Performing arts (dance, theatre, music)
The Association is the collective voice of the English language, Canadian-owned independent sector of the Canadian sound recording industry. Their mandate is to secure and develop a strong and economically stable domestic music industry.
Dance Ontario is a not-for-profit, membership-based association that brings together a dynamic cross-section of all areas of the dance sector, from internationally renowned companies to local dance clubs, technicians and agents. Its website includes a directory and information about auditions, classes, rental spaces and shows.
This not-for-profit, non-membership-based organization provides quality management and administrative support to professional dance artists in Ontario. It fosters a healthy dance community by promoting communication and interaction between and among dance artists, dance organizations, dance presenters, funders and the public.
This arts service organization is the united voice of the Canadian orchestral community. Its members include professional, community and youth orchestras, organizations and individuals. Its website includes information about member orchestras across Canada and resources for musicians and administrators.
This registered national arts service organization is the voice of opera in Canada. Its professional company members include all of Canada's leading opera and music theatre companies. It also serves a growing number of business, affiliate, singer and individual members.
This membership organization is the collective voice of professional Canadian theatres. Its website includes information about member companies across Canada, training and festivals.
This is a professional arts service organization dedicated to advancing the arts in Toronto by promoting and advocating on behalf of local theatre, dance and opera companies. Its services also enhance its members' artistic, technical and administrative development.
This Ontario network is affiliated with a national organization, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference. Both support the growth and development of artist-directed organizations engaged in contemporary cultural practice. This website lists all the artist-run centres in Ontario. These centres are publicly funded, but differ from public art galleries, museums and commercial galleries in the diverse ways they promote contemporary art and help their artist members develop as professionals. They offer gallery exhibitions, offsite public art work, support for the artwork of a particular medium and/or support for the artwork of the regional community.
Artscape is a not-for-profit, urban development organization that revitalizes buildings, neighbourhoods, and cities through the arts. Artscape projects provide affordable space for creativity while generating positive cultural, economic, social, and environmental impact. Based in Toronto, Artscape's resources, programs and services are available citywide, nationally and internationally. In addition, it provides non-profit studio space and programming for visual artists and has a residency program at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island.
This is the arts service organization for Ontario's Francophone visual artists. It provides members with links to other professional organizations and artist-run centres, professional development and promotional opportunities, and apprenticeship programs.
This provincial association of professional visual and media artists develops policies, publications and services that help artists, galleries, curators, art patrons and other stakeholders create an economic climate that benefits all visual artists.
This not-for-profit association represents Ontario's public and private sector art galleries. It encourages members to work in close cooperation with the Ontario Arts Council, helps visual art centres in the province promote high standards of excellence and uniform methods in the care and presentation of works of art, and advises on matters of professional interest.
Formerly the Ontario Crafts Council, Craft Ontario is a not-for-profit service organization that works to have craft recognized as a valuable part of life. It promotes and celebrates professional craft through providing member opportunities, and advocates for craft practice by educating and empowering diverse audiences.
Writing and publishing
The League of Canadian Poets, a non-profit arts service organization, is the national association of professional publishing and performing poets in Canada.
The Canadian Authors Association is a membership-based organization for writers at all stages of their writing careers: aspiring, emerging, and professional. The resources for writers section of its website includes links to numerous national, provincial and international writers’ associations across Canada.
Unions and guilds
This national association represents more than 21,000 performers working in English-language recorded media. Its two Ontario branches are ACTRA Toronto (the largest branch of the Alliance) and ACTRA Ottawa. Among its services, ACTRA maintains the talent directory 'Face to Face Online and Into the Mainstream', a directory of visible and audible minority performers.
This federation represents more than 16,500 professional musicians. Ontario has local organizations in Brantford, Brockville, Hamilton, Huntsville, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Sault St. Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Windsor. Its website contains a range of information relevant to all professional artists working in music and sound recording, including information of use to experienced and aspiring musicians alike. The Toronto Musicians' Association is its Local 149, representing 3,100 professional musicians in the Greater Toronto Area.
This professional association represents performers, directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers in English Canada engaged in live theatre, opera and dance performance.
The goal of this organization is to develop greater awareness and appreciation of its member contemporary Canadian composers. It provides access to their works as sheet music and sound recordings. It also provides special programs.
This is the oldest organization in Canada that represents professional composers.
This is the national labour organization representing more than 3,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the film and television industry working in all areas of direction, design, production and editing. Directors Guild of Canada Ontario represents members in the province.
This is a national association of professional music composers and producers for film, television and media.
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE)
IATSE represents workers in all forms of live theater, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry. IATSE’s local union directory filtered for Ontario, lists the 16 IATSE locals providing services across the province.
This national association represents the interests of professional playwrights and promotes their work nationally and internationally.
The goal of this association is to give songwriters access to meaningful services that can help them hone their songwriting skills and develop career goals.
This union is a national organization that brings writers together for the advancement of their collective interests. To qualify for membership, a writer must have a trade book published, a commercial or university press, or the equivalent in another medium.
Municipal arts councils
Arts councils encourage and promote local arts and cultural activities and fund local organizations. Some offer grants or awards for artists. All have information of interest to local artists. Note that some municipalities may fund the arts directly through their own culture departments, rather than through an arts council. Some municipal arts councils in Ontario are:
- Guelph Arts Council
- Hamilton and Region Arts Council
- Conseil des arts de Hearst
- Kingston Arts Council
- London Arts Council
- Mississauga Arts Council
- Arts Network Ottawa
- Ottawa Arts Council
- Quinte Arts Council
- Scarborough Arts Council
- Thunder Bay Arts Council
- Toronto Arts Council
- Region of Waterloo Arts Fund
- Windsor and Region Arts Council