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Community, Youth, and Cultural Funding Program - Operating and Sustaining Grants

Grants to Thunder Bay, Ontario Nonprofits and Individual Artists
for Community Programs in the Areas of Youth and Culture

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Thunder Bay - Recreation and Culture Division

Deadline Date:

06/29/18 4:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Thunder Bay, Ontario nonprofit organizations and individual artists for projects that benefit the local communities. Funding is intended for programs in the areas of youth, culture, and social services. There are two funding programs available.

The Funding Program has two components: Sustaining Grants and Operating Grants. A detailed grant application process is in place and each application is evaluated based on a criteria rating system.

Sustaining Grant (Up to a 5-Year Term):
- After successfully completing five (5) years of operating funding from the City, City Council may consider placing an applicant into the Sustaining Grant category. City Council will determine which organizations will be funded in the sustaining grant category with input from administration. In order to assist with an organization’s on-going operation, this Grant is intended to support an organization with a proven track record. It is available on an on-going basis in terms at a maximum of five (5) years to well-established nonprofit organizations that work to provide a service to the City of Thunder Bay, its residents and visitors.
- The City of Thunder Bay has deemed those community, youth, and cultural organizations which receive sustaining grants to be an integral part of the City’s identity. These organizations fill a void in service provision in the City, positively affect the quality of life of the residents of the City and/or generate an economic benefit for the City.
- Requests for Sustaining Grant increases that exceed the City of Thunder Bay’s annual budget directive amount will be considered to be an expansion unless the increase is part of an existing Service Agreement. Any such increases recommended by the Administrative Review Team will be presented as an expansion in the annual Funding Program Corporate Report and City Budget for Council’s consideration.

Operating Grants (1 to 3- Year Term):
This program is intended for organizations that have an ongoing presence in Thunder Bay and a track record of providing quality programming or services. It is designed to support a range of community, youth, and cultural organizations. Applicants in this category must submit a complete application for each new funding term (every 1 to 3 years).

Operating Grant eligible expenses include:
The costs incurred to deliver the organization’s programs and services, such as:
- Employee compensation and development
- The space in which the organization operates (rent, insurance, utilities, maintenance)
- Non-capital program and office equipment and supplies necessary for the on-going operation and development of the organization.
- Marketing
- Fees (legal, accounting, etc.)

General Funding Criteria (applies to Community, Youth, and Cultural funding)
Applications will be assessed on the extent to which they meet the following criteria:
- There is a demonstrated need in the community for the program/service; the organization does not represent duplication of programs/services in the community.
- The organization enhances quality of life for City of Thunder Bay residents.
- The organization demonstrates operational effectiveness, financial stability and appropriate level of self-sufficiency, including involvement in activities to ensure financial support from the public.
- The organization has an active, independent board and an appropriate volunteer base.
- Demonstrated partnerships and collaborative efforts.
- Consistent with the goals and objectives of the current City of Thunder Bay Strategic Plan.

Youth Organization Funding Criteria:
In addition to the general criteria, youth organizations will also be assessed on the extent to which they meet the following criteria:
- The organization provides a youth-driven, safe and collaborative environment that is accepting and respectful of all youth, allowing for their development and success.
- Services and programs are accessible and inclusive and evidence or best-practice based.
- Youth are engaged and empowered.
- Location of programs/services help meet the objective of city-wide community programming and events.
- Provides youth services which may include, but are not limited to: recreation, health, jobs/ volunteering, social justice, and mentoring.
- Consistent with the goals and objectives of the Youth Services Plan.

Cultural Organization Funding Criteria:
In addition to the general criteria, cultural organizations will also be assessed on the extent to which they meet the following criteria:
- Contributes to a high degree of artistic achievement in the cultural life of the community.
- Strengthens the community base for cultural activities by building on community support, increasing membership and developing audiences.
- Stimulates wider appreciation of the City’s cultural heritage.
- Assists in the creation or maintenance of jobs in the creative sector, the development of potentially marketable skills, and/or the creation and growth of cultural entrepreneurship and activity.
- Furthers cultural development through the innovative application of new technologies.
- Recognizes the value of reaching out to the wider community and understands the need to develop appropriate marketing strategies for activities.
- Consistent with the goals and objectives of the Inspire Thunder Bay Culture Plan.

Thunder Bay Culture Plan Strategic Directions:
- Foster Capacity in the Cultural Sector–develop a strong knowledge base for planning and decision making, cultivate corporate partnerships, develop partnerships and coordinate roles, responsibilities and delivery mechanisms among funding and support agencies.
- Develop Tourism Potential in the Creative Community–support collaborative efforts for enhancing tourism opportunities, make cultural assets marketable for tourism and create opportunities for forums and networking across disciplines, sectors and cultures.
- Activate Culture in Urban Places and Spaces–develop a year round festivals and events schedule, enhance existing clustering of cultural resources and activities and accelerate broad programming and animation initiatives at the Port Arthur and Fort William Historic Downtowns.
- Enable Cultural Participation in Neighborhoods–support Cultural development initiatives at the neighborhood level, develop a cultural facility and programming strategy and leverage other public policies and initiatives.
- Nurture Cultural Interaction and Exchange in Public Space–embed cultural diversity into the City’s planning and urban design processes, elevate awareness and support for cross cultural initiatives and facilitate and develop opportunities for diverse cultural expression in civic spaces and places.
- Foster the Potential for Creative Entrepreneurship in Youth–provide small business support for artists and creative entrepreneurs, investigate viability of physical incubator space for creative opportunities and forge strong links between high potential cultural industry segments and youth development programs.

In the plan, each Strategic Direction provides a number of specific actions and potential partners geared towards implementation. As the Plan is implemented and evolved over time, actions will be further developed.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 157588

Estimated Size of Grant:

Operating Grant:
The maximum total funding available for allocation amongst all Community, Youth. and Cultural groups in the Operating Category is $150,000. The City reserves the right to allocate less than the maximum available based on applications received.

Term of Contract:

Sustaining Grants are up to a 5-year term.

Operating Grant: The maximum term for this grant is three years and it may be renewed from term to term, but not necessarily at the same level of funding.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Community, Youth, and Cultural Funding Program allocates funding every year to various nonprofit organizations in the social service, youth, and cultural sectors, as well as to individual artists undertaking projects in the community.

Sustaining Grant Eligibility:
To be considered for a Sustaining Grant, an organization must have:
- At least five (5) years of successfully completed operating funding from the City
- Many years of demonstrated administrative competence,
- Budget practices and financial statements in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles,
- A track record of providing quality programming and/or services
- Employment practices that comply with applicable legislative requirements, as the case may be, such as the Employment Standards Act of Ontario, the Pay Equity Act of Ontario, and the Ontario Human Rights Code
- A Board of Directors which will assume full responsibility for the administration of the funds or an agent acceptable to City Council
- Evidence that funds are confirmed/projected from a variety of other sources clearly stated in the application.

Applications for Sustaining Grants will only be accepted from those organizations notified of their eligibility for a sustaining grant prior to the application deadline.

Operating Applicant Eligibility:
To be eligible for an Operating Grant, the applicant must:
- Have a community, youth or culture sector focus/mandate.
- Be an incorporated nonprofit organization or non-incorporated collective which operates on a non-profit basis.
- Have a clearly stated purpose and function and be fully responsible for the planning and provision of its services.
- Be operating from a location in the City of Thunder Bay and carry out programs in this community for the benefit of its people.
- Extend its services to the general public in Thunder Bay, and accommodate for needs related to race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status and disability, unless to do so would cause undue hardship.
- Have an independent, active governing board composed of volunteers and a considerable volunteer component.
- Demonstrate need for the requested funding and provide evidence that funds are confirmed/ projected from a variety of other sources (i.e. donations/sponsorships, user fees, other government sources).

Operating Grant Ineligible Expense:
- Equipment for personal use by individual members of the organization (i.e. uniform/costume), or equipment which becomes part of the physical plant/structure (i.e. workstations, storage units, lighting, etc.)

An Operating Grant application may not be considered if:
- The organization receives 80% or more of its funding from other government sources.
- The organization possesses an operating surplus in excess of three (3) months of operating expenses.
- The organization acts in the capacity of a funding body for, or makes grants to, any other group or organization that is eligible for funding through this program.
- The request includes capital or deficit funding.
- The applicant is in default to the City due to failure to account satisfactorily for previous Grants, or to refund Grant overpayments.
- The organization’s programs/services primarily benefit organization members as opposed to the general public, e.g. sports clubs, professional associations.

Pre-Application Information:

There are two in-year intake periods for project grants - March and October. The deadline for 2019 applications is June 29, 2018.

Applications must be received no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Contact Information:

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

Applications should be mailed to:

Community, Youth, and Cultural Funding Program
Recreation and Culture Division
Victoriaville Civic Centre
111 Syndicate Avenue South
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7E 6S4


Email to:

Community funding program:
Callie Hemsworth

Cultural funding program:
Leah Prentice

Youth funding program:

Grant Coverage Areas:

Thunder Bay

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario