Funding Resources

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) offers various kinds of financial assistance programs and services to artists and arts organization in the NWT.

A booklet of the Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), and Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) funding programs – targeted at supporting arts organizations – can be found at:

Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) Funding

1. Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Policy

Offers contributions to small businesses, artists and entrepreneurs. There is no deadline to apply for SEED Policy funding. ITI provides SEED funding out of Headquarters and the Regional offices. More information about the SEED Policy can be found at:

a. Micro Business Program

This funding is for licensed artists, crafters, filmmakers, commercial renewable resource harvesters, musicians, and small businesses who need a little bit of funding to get their small projects to sustainability. Up to $5,000 over three years is available to support the following activities:

  • Purchase of tools, equipment or raw materials
  • Filmmaking equipment or assistance with production expenses for specific film projects
  • Travel assistance to trade shows, festivals and events
  • Shipping assistance to consumer shows (e.g. arts exhibits)
  • Marketing and promotion efforts

b. Community Economic Development Program

These funds can help arts organizations looking to advance regional economic development initiatives by investing in planning, infrastructure, information campaigns, and events promoting economic opportunities. A maximum of $25,000 of annual funding is available for:

  • Feasibility studies, strategic plans, evaluations and planning costs that investigate economic opportunities and build on existing community resources
  • The purchase or further development of physical infrastructure (i.e. capital assets) where the lack of infrastructure constrains business development
  • Improving access to business information
  • Host and promote community-based festivals and events that highlight NWT products or talent and are key to economic development for the community

c. Business Intelligence and Networking

This program can connect artists with the conferences, tradeshows, and seminars they need to build their business. A maximum of $8000 per year per resident/artist/business is available. Trip costs must exceed $1500 per individual; with a maximum assistance of $4000 per individual per trip for as many as two residents. Funding can be used for:

  • Event fees
  • Standard Accommodations
  • Lowest available airfare

d. Entrepreneur Support

These funds can help make great ideas a reality by funding NWT businesses and entrepreneurs as they work towards stability and market penetration.

Up to $25,000 per year is available to help entrepreneurs and small businesses with:

  • Startup Funding
  • Capital Asset Acquisition
  • Market and Product Development
  • Operational Support
  • Film Support as under the Film Industry Guidelines (see next category for more details)

e. Support for Film NWT Film and Media Funding Contributions Schedule

Self-employed film producers in the NWT are eligible to apply for funding as entrepreneurs. Funds can be used for:

  • Film Development (maximum of $5,000) - For assisting applicants with certain costs associated with completing a:
    • Small Production ($5,000) - Eligible costs include: Equipment and location rentals, scripting and editing fees, licensing fees or other similar costs.
    • Trailer/Pitch Production ($5,000) - Eligible costs include: Market and concept research, consultant, scripting, and filming and editing fees. NOTE: Producer fees, overhead fees, and employee payroll are not eligible costs under this program. 
  • Marketing and Promotion (Maximum of $15,000/year)- For assisting applicants in marketing or promoting their skills, services or productions, to increase sales of new or existing NWT film and media arts products and services.
    • Pitch Marketing ($5,000) - Eligible costs include: Travel expenses, promotional materials, media/public relations, and product marketing (e.g. Website). 
    • Product Marketing ($10,000) - Eligible costs include: Registration fees, travel expenses, promotional materials, media/public relations, product marketing and distribution or other similar costs. NOTE: Recipients can receive one time funding for printing and package 100 DVD’s. 
    • Service Marketing ($5,000) - Eligible costs include: Registration fees, travel expenses, promotional materials, and media/public relations. 
  • Film Sponsorship (Maximum of $20,000/year) - For assisting qualified film and media arts businesses in supporting commercial media products.

2. The NWT Film Commission

The NWT Film Commission works with industry professionals seeking to capture the images and sounds of this spectacular land and the wonderful people who live here. More information about the NWT Film Commission can be found at

a. NWT Film Rebate Program

The Program will provide incentives to productions filming on location in the NWT. Program categories include financial rebates for the purchase of goods and services, travel to and within the NWT and wages for the training and hire of local residents, particularly in recognized film industry positions.  The program also includes an increased incentive for productions filming outside of Yellowknife, to encourage film activity throughout the NWT. Funding is broken into two categories:

  • NWT Labour/Training Rebate

25 percent rebate for eligible NWT Labour. An additional 15 percent rebate for Recognized Positions or for NWT Resident candidates receiving on-set training.

  • NWT Expenditure Rebate

25 percent rebate for all Goods and Services that qualify as NWT Spend purchased and consumed in the NWT. An additional 15 percent rebate for Goods and Services for productions shooting outside of Yellowknife city limits.

b. NWT Producers Incentive Pilot Program  

ITI advances the NWT film and media sector by investing in NWT producers and providing financial support to develop professional quality, commercial-ready projects to a point that they can be presented to broadcasters and other financiers. Funding for the Producers Incentive Pilot Program (PIPP) is broken down into two categories:

  • Pre-Development - $10,000
  • Development - $25,000

Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Funding

There are three areas of funding through ECE. More information on all three of these programs can be found at: or contact the Community Cultural Development Office toll-free 1-877-445-2787 ext. 3 or

1. NWT Arts Council Grants

NWT Arts Council Grants support and encourage the ongoing development and presentation of creative arts in the NWT on a project-specific basis. The NWT Arts Council reviews applications and recommends projects to be funding to the Minister of ECE for organizations or individuals requesting funds for professional development, artistic work or public presentation. The deadlines for projects conducted in the following fiscal year (April to March) are on October 31 and February 28 each year. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $15,000 per project once a year.  The eligible categories are:

  • Audio Recording
  • Fashion
  • Performing Arts
  • Writing and Publishing
  • Visual Arts and Crafts
  • Film and Media Arts
  • Mentorship

2. Support to Northern Performers Grants

This program provides grants for the development and promotion of Northwest Territories performing arts and for assisting NWT performing artists to participate in regional, national and international public festivals and events. Applicants are eligible for up to $15,000. The deadline for application is March 31 each year.

3. Arts Organizations Operating Funding Contributions

This program provides funding for ongoing operational support to established arts organizations and large annual events and festivals in the NWT. A written proposal must be submitted.  Applicants are eligible for funding starting at $15,000.  Deadline is March 31 annually. Established NWT cultural organizations can get funding for:

  • Service contracts, salaries and benefits, honorariums
  • Operational (utilities, maintenance)
  • Facility users and event liability insurance
  • Equipment, facility and venue rentals
  • Accounting/bookkeeping
  • Other (advertising & promotions, freight, association fees or memberships, office supplies, program costs, professional development and travel)

Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)

There are several funding programs available through MACA for programs and projects directed toward youth and organizations run by volunteers. Arts organizations have successfully accessed this funding in the past with tailored programs to meet the specific criteria of funding. For more information on any of these MACA programs, please contact Ashley Gillis, Manager, Youth and Volunteer Programs, MACA, at or (867) 767-9166 ext. 21107.

The NGO Stabilization Fund is focused on NGO’s that provide food and shelter at a community level, whereas sport, recreation and arts organizations typically fall to the bottom for consideration. The deadline to apply is once a year at the end of May.

Other Funding Sources

RBC recognizes the struggle many artists go through to gain the recognition they need to become successful in their practice. Since 2007, the RBC Emerging Artists has been supporting organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature and film.

Who is Eligible: 

Residents of Canada.

How to apply: 

Visit the website for more details.

The Independent Production Fund was established in 1991 to provide financial support for dramatic television series created by Canadian independent producers for Canadian private broadcasters.  In 2010, the IPF expanded its mandate to include an experimental pilot program to finance drama series for the web.  This program now continues to support content creators of dramatic short form series created for digital platforms.  In addition, in 2020 new funding and support for the development and packaging of scripted short-form series launches.  In 2018 the IPF’s financial support for dramatic broadcast television series was also reinstated.

Who is Eligible: 

Residents of Canada. 

How to apply: 

Visit the website for more details.

FACTOR (the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) is a public/private partnership that supports the production of sound recordings by Canadian musicians and helps Canadian music companies make recordings available to a wider public.

Who is Eligible: 

Residents of Canada. 

How to apply: 

Visit the website for more details.

Canadian Heritage plays a vital role in the cultural and civic life of Canadians. Canadian Heritage offers financial support to organizations who contribute to departmental objectives related to culture, arts, heritage, official languages, citizenship and participation, Aboriginal, youth, and sport initiatives.

Who is Eligible: 

Residents of Canada. 

How to apply: 

Visit the website for more details.

The Canada Council for the Arts offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations in dance, media arts, music, theatre, writing and publishing, interdisciplinary work and performance art, and the visual arts. All programs are accessible to Aboriginal artists or arts organizations, and artists or arts organizations from diverse cultural or regional communities.

Who is Eligible: 

Established Artists

How to apply: 

Visit the website for more details.

Government of the Northwest Territories

Application Deadline: 

Since 1985, ECE has supported the NWT Arts Council as it strives to stimulate and promote northern Art. The Council's role is to provide recommendations to the Minister of ECE regarding financial awards and workshops. If you would like to apply for funding, please click here to download the application form.

ECE also has a Support to Northern Performers program designed to aid in the development and promotion of Performing Arts in the NWT and for the featuring of NWT Performing Artists at local and regional public festivals and events.

Who is Eligible: 

NWT Residents

How to apply: 

Téléchargez le formulaire et soumettez-le