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METCALF
FOUNDATION

Performing Arts

Stories from the Inc. >
Fringe Toronto. Photo: Brian Batista Bettencourt.

Creative Strategies Incubator

Shaw Festival. Photo: Cosmo Condina Photography.

Performing Arts Internships

Creative Strategies Incubator

Overview +

Through the Creative Strategies Incubator program, Metcalf provides support to professional performing arts companies. The program is designed to help companies explore new strategies for addressing longstanding sectoral issues in meaningful new ways, nurture the organizational change that comes from developing and implementing innovation, and foster a culture of shared learning.

Working around a specific focus issue identified annually by the Foundation, grants will be made that allow organizations to pursue a supported initiative that can address this challenge in an innovative manner. Grants may be requested to a maximum of $75,000 per year for up to a three-year period. Successful applicants will also take part in a learning network, which is designed to strengthen the work of the individual organizations through the provision of technical assistance and to oversee the translation of the work into a contribution to broader policy or sectoral issues.

Eligibility +

Applicants to the program must:

  • be professional theatre, dance, music, or opera companies;
  • be based in the City of Toronto (or, under rare circumstances, in the GTA with a significant annual presence in the City of Toronto);
  • have a minimum of three years of operational history; and
  • be registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Deadlines +

The 2017 deadlines for letters of interest for Creative Strategies Incubator grants will soon be released.

FAQs +

  • Does Metcalf make grants in other arts disciplines, like visual or media arts, writing, or museums?

    No. Metcalf’s arts programs are limited to organizations in the live performing arts, defined as theatre, dance, music, and opera companies. The Foundation will also consider requests from arts service organizations serving the live performing arts, but, except in rare circumstances, it will not consider cross-disciplinary service organizations that serve a variety of art forms including the performing arts.

  • My organization is not a registered charity, but we are incorporated as a not-for-profit. Can we still make an application to Metcalf?

    No. Under the Performing Arts Program, the Foundation supports only organizations that have a valid charitable registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency.

  • Will the Foundation make Creative Strategies Incubator grants to organizations outside of Toronto? Outside of Ontario?

    Applicants to the Creative Strategies Incubator program must be based in the City of Toronto. Under extraordinary circumstances, applications may be considered from companies based in the Greater Toronto Area who maintain a strong, annual presence in the City of Toronto; please contact the Performing Arts Program Director if you believe that this description applies to your organization.

    Performing arts organizations based in Ontario but outside of Toronto are eligible to apply to the Performing Arts Internships and Renewal programs; no applications are considered from performing arts organizations based outside of Ontario.

  • Can an organization apply for grants from both the Creative Strategies Incubator and Performing Arts Internships programs at the same time?

    Yes. These applications would be treated separately, and each would be assessed on its individual merits. The Foundation would need to consider, however, the applicant’s capacity to undertake all of the proposed activities.

  • Why does the Foundation recommend that we talk to program staff in advance of making an application?

    All of the Foundation’s funding programs are highly competitive, and we receive many more applications than we are able to fund. Foundation staff can advise applicants about the program priorities, and can help applicants shape the most compelling cases for funding. While it is recommended, however, that prospective applicants speak with staff prior to making a submission to the Foundation, it is not a prerequisite for applying.

  • Would Foundation staff be willing to review my proposal in advance of the deadline?

    Foundation staff is happy to discuss potential applications and to help organizations craft a more focused argument for funding, but they do not read drafts of applications prior to their submission.

  • Can my organization apply for a larger project, in which Metcalf would be one of a number of different funders?

    A Metcalf grant can certainly be a portion of funding a larger project. When assessing an application that is dependent on other funders, however, the Foundation does consider whether expectations related to funding from other sources are realistic and whether the investment of the Foundation would still have a positive effect for the applicant if the other proposed funders were not able to support the initiative.

Performing Arts Internships

Overview +

The people in performing arts organizations, whether onstage or off, are its most crucial resource. They are creative, committed individuals striving to create and to produce in a complex, challenging environment.

The Foundation wants to strengthen the performing arts by supporting training and professional development for artists, administrators, and production staff. Our internship program helps organizations create productive entry points into the sector, realize opportunities to foster leadership, and respond to skill shortages in critical areas. It provides individuals with more knowledge, better skills, broader work experience, and useful contacts – all of which will help them make a stronger professional contribution to the performing arts. Internship grants will be made for the intern’s complete salary and statutory benefits to a maximum of $30,000 for a full-time, year-long internship.

Eligibility +

Applicants to this program must:

  • identify the prospective intern in the application;
  • be professional theatre, dance, music, or opera companies;
  • be based in and active within Ontario;
  • have a minimum of three years’ of organizational history; and
  • be registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Deadlines +

The 2017 deadlines for internship applications will soon be released.

Guidelines & Other Resources +

Click here to view the full application guidelines.

Click here to view a September 2015 webinar that discusses the common pitfalls of unsuccessful applications and how to make your proposal stand out in a competitive round.

Click here to view a March 2014 webinar that gives a broad overview about applying to this program.

Click here for pointers on creating the video portion of your application.

FAQs +

  • Does Metcalf make grants in other arts disciplines, like visual or media arts, writing, or museums?

    No. Metcalf’s arts programs are limited to organizations in the live performing arts, defined as theatre, dance, music, and opera companies. The Foundation will also consider requests from arts service organizations serving the live performing arts, but, except in rare circumstances, it will not consider cross-disciplinary service organizations that serve a variety of art forms including the performing arts.

  • My organization is not a registered charity, but we are incorporated as a not-for-profit. Can we still make an application to Metcalf?

    No. Under the Performing Arts Program, the Foundation supports only organizations that have a valid charitable registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency.

  • Will the Foundation make Performing Arts Internships grants to organizations outside of Ontario?

    No. Applicants to the Performing Arts Internships program must be based in the Ontario, and the proposed internship activity must take place in Ontario.

  • Does the proposed intern need to be based in Ontario? Based in Canada?

    The proposed intern must be legally able to work in Canada.

    Beyond that criterion, Metcalf is hoping to use the Performing Arts Internships program to strengthen the arts sector in the geographic area where we work. While there is no absolute criterion that the intern must be committed to a career in Ontario, it could be a consideration when assessing internship applications from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

  • I have just completed my post-secondary training in the arts. Can I make an individual application to become an intern?

    Metcalf only provides grants to organizations with a current charitable registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency. For that reason, applications must be submitted by the company where the internship will be undertaken.

    The needs of the intern, however, are an important criterion for assessing applications. For that reason, the strongest submissions have often been initiated by the prospective intern, who seeks out the most appropriate mentoring organization, works with that company to develop strong training and work plans that correspond to their own learning goals, and participates in the submission of the application.

  • How can I find a mentor and/or hosting organization who could apply for an internship for me?

    The Foundation does not arrange mentorships for interns. Often, interns seek these relationships from organizations or mentors with whom they already have some connection through volunteer work, co-op work placements, or performance experience. In the absence of any relationship of this type, prospective interns have sought out individuals and companies whose work they find inspiring and investigated that company’s willingness to apply for funding for an internship position.

  • Can an organization apply for grants from both the Creative Strategies Incubator and Performing Arts Internships programs at the same time?

    Yes. These applications would be treated separately, and each would be assessed on its individual merits. The Foundation would need to consider, however, the applicant’s capacity to undertake all of the proposed activities.

  • Can an organization request more than one internship in any round of applications?

    The Foundation does not limit the number of internships for which an organization can apply in a given round; each application is assessed on its individual merits. When applications are being assessed, however, the Foundation does consider an organization’s capacity to provide strong mentorships. While a larger organization might have the capacity to provide a number of strong internships simultaneously in different departments, smaller companies might have less ability to do so. For this reason, the submission of multiple proposals could weaken all of the applications.

  • How often can an organization apply for internship funding?

    There is no limit to the number of times an organization can apply for internship funding. Applicants should remain conscious, however, that this program was created to fund learning opportunities for interns and not to create positions at organizations. Repeated applications to fund an internship that appears to be an ongoing position, therefore, are less likely to be successful; the emphasis of the application needs to remain on the specific professional development goals of each individual intern.

  • Why does the Foundation recommend that we talk to program staff in advance of making an application?

    All of the Foundation’s funding programs are highly competitive, and we receive many more applications than we are able to fund. Foundation staff can advise applicants about the program priorities, and can help applicants shape the most compelling cases for funding. While it is recommended, however, that prospective applicants speak with staff prior to making a submission to the Foundation, it is not a prerequisite for applying.

  • Would Foundation staff be willing to review my proposal in advance of the deadline?

    Foundation staff is happy to discuss potential applications and to help organizations craft a more focused argument for funding, but they do not read drafts of applications prior to their submission.

The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
38 Madison Avenue, Toronto, ON  M5R 2S1