In 2021, Kingston City Council allocated $200,000 in one-time funding to support individual artists and non-profit arts organizations in recognition of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment is in addition to the City’s annual contribution in support of the fund’s Operating and Project Grants. This funding will be made available through two new grant streams, administered by the KAC on behalf of the City of Kingston.

Resiliency Grants will support individual professional artists to continue to work and work safely in their artistic practice. Total available funding for the Resiliency Grant is $100,000. Individual professional artists of any discipline can apply for a grant of $1,000 or $2,000.
Click here to read more and apply.

In addition to the Resiliency Grant, the KAC will launch the Adapt Grant in June 2021. This program will support individuals, collectives, ad-hoc groups, and non-profit arts organizations for new projects that directly address the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total available funding for the Adapt Grant is $100,000 and applicants may apply for grants of $4,000 to $10,000. All applications will be assessed by a peer jury. 
Click here to read more.




The City of Kingston Arts Fund (CKAF) provides grants to local arts organizations and projects to foster creativity at all levels and enrich how Kingston residents experience and engage with the arts.


CKAF’s objectives are to nurture the capacity of the arts, artists, and arts sector in Kingston while fostering creativity, encouraging social cohesion, enhancing the quality of life, and stimulating economic development through direct investment. CKAF is comprised of two funding categories, Operating Grants and Project Grants. 

CKAF celebrates Kingston’s arts community. 

of the available funds are allocated to Operating Grants and 30% are allocated to Project Grants.

Graphic: CKAF IN NUMBERS: Awarded in total in 2020








The objectives of CKAF are to nurture the capacity of the arts, artists and the arts sector in Kingston while fostering creativity, encouraging social cohesion, enhancing quality of life and stimulating economic development through direct investment.

CKAF grant recipients must meet the following objectives:

I. Engage Kingston artists with professional opportunities and industry-standard compensation;
II. Nurture creativity and arts engagement for all Kingston residents;
III. Address current needs in the Kingston community;
IV. Strengthen and expand access to the arts;
V. Create inclusive activities and equity practices that reflect the diversity of artists, arts communities and audiences in Kingston;
VI. Foster collaboration between emerging and established artists and arts organizations across disciplines;
VII. Build capacity in the arts and culture sector through professional development, mentorship and investment in sustainable, relevant, high-quality artistic work; and
VIII. Cultivate community partnerships across private and public sectors.



CKAF is administered by the Kingston Arts Council (KAC). The applications are reviewed using a peer assessment process that engages stakeholders from across Kingston as jury members. Jury members are themselves representative of the arts, arts professionals, and practitioners in the City of Kingston and are selected for their knowledge of the arts, high standing within the arts community, awareness of the City of Kingston context and the broader arts environment and, where possible, are reflective of the gender, demographic and cultural diversity of Kingston itself.

All CKAF applicants must strive to offer services that respect the independence, dignity, integration and equal opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. 

The KAC is looking for jurors. If you are interested, please click here to fill out the form.



In 2020, the City and the KAC recognized the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on Kingston and, in particular, the arts and culture sector. As a result, the KAC implemented an expanded consultation process in the fall of 2020 to understand the impacts of the pandemic and identify any necessary responsive changes to the 2021 CKAF program. Through roundtables, a survey, and meetings, the KAC consulted with local arts organizations, collectives and artists, as well as former CKAF jurors, the KAC Board of Directors, other granting agencies from across the province, the City’s Arts Advisory Committee and City of Kingston staff. 

Participants identified a number of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including decreased revenue, increased costs, uncertainty, reduced capacity and loss of collaboration. They also identified a number of opportunities, including improved accessibility with digital programs, reaching new audiences and renewed local focus.

Three key areas of the CKAF program were identified for review and potential changes in 2021: 

– The CKAF program objectives must respond to new needs with increased emphasis on hiring local artists at competitive rates, engaging local audiences and creating community-building activities like mentorship and collaborative projects;
– The application and adjudication processes must be closely aligned with the new objectives and include new community impact measurements focused on demonstrating need and community benefit; and
– There must be increased accessibility and flexibility throughout the grant process with a streamlined application and the demonstration of strong contingency planning.


In response to community feedback, the KAC made the following changes to the 2021 CKAF program: 

The objectives have been revised to better reflect the priorities of the program and address community needs. For clarity, the objectives for the City of Kingston have been separated from the objectives expected of grant recipients, which can be found above.

The objectives for grant recipients have been updated to reflect the impact of the pandemic and to ensure increased accountability, viability, and sustainability. Additionally, the objectives have been rephrased to emphasize: hiring Kingston artists at industry-standard rates; addressing community needs; fostering collaboration and cultivating partnerships; expanding arts access; and devoting effort to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The minimum Operating grant is $10,000 and the maximum is $75,000. The jury’s requirements for allocating Operating grants have been rephrased to match the objectives with new emphasis on sustainability, viability, and accountability. The jury may recommend a reduction if an applicant cannot demonstrate viability or capacity to deliver, and/or fails to meet CKAF objectives.

The minimum Project grant is $5,000 and the maximum is $15,000. The jury’s requirements for allocating Project grants have been rephrased to match the objectives with new emphasis on viability, accountability, and response to community need.

Eligible costs for CKAF grant recipients now include costs related to accessibility as well as minor equipment purchases to meet new health and safety standards.

The adjudication criteria have been revised to match the new program objectives. The adjudication criteria are available in full in the Operating and Project grant guidelines. 

The application forms have been streamlined and the questions have been revised to align with the program objectives and adjudication criteria. 

All grant recipients must secure $5-million liability insurance coverage that names Kingston Arts Council and the City of Kingston as additionally insured. Recipients may now submit either proof of this policy or a quote for this policy before grant funds are released. Grant funds may be used to cover insurance costs.


On Thursday January 28, 2021, Kingston City Council passed a motion – put forward by Mayor Paterson – to provide $200,000 in one-time funding to artists and arts non-profits. This is in response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the arts and this funding will be administered through the 2021 City of Kingston Arts Fund (CKAF), in addition to the City’s 2021 CKAF allotment also approved by Kingston City Council as part of its recent budget deliberations. The Kingston Arts Council and the Cultural Services Department of the City of Kingston are hard at work developing a framework for delivery for Council’s consideration, and look forward to sharing more information soon. We wish to express our gratitude to Mayor Paterson and City Council for this much-needed financial support for Kingston’s arts community.



2020 CKAF RECIPIENTS                                                                                                                     


Dollarama, performance by Emily Pelstring, Agnes Etherington Centre, Photo: Tim Forbes.

Agnes Etherington Art Centre $75,000 

Cantabile Choirs of Kingston $27,998

Centre culturel Frontenac $16,608

H’art Centre $12,097

Kingston Canadian Film Festival $45,755

Kingston Symphony Association $75,000

Kingston WritersFest $42,589

Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre $50,000

Reelout Queer Film Festival $22,042

Theatre Kingston $42,230 

Union Gallery $10,250




Pixel and Plans, Shannon Brown, Electric Circuits Festival 2019, Photo: Liz Cooper.

– Aqua Nova, Aqua Nova Collective, $14,544

– Electric Circuits Festival 2021, Electric Circuits Collective, $19,000

– Emergence, Vox Intima, $9,000

– Festival of Live Digital Art (foldA) 2021, SpiderWebShow, $17,000

– Fun House Concert Series, Kingston Punk Productions, $8,000

– GO/NO GO, GO/NO Collective, $14,000

– HYDRA (Water Parade), Calliope Collective, $16,205

– King Con 2020/2021, King Con Collective, $13,000


Remesha Drums, Kingston Multicultural Arts Festival 2019, Photo: Kingston Drone Pros.

Kingston Intercultural Arts Festival, Kingston Community Health Centres,

– Live Wire Music Series 2020-2021, Live Wire Music Series, $2,550

– Music You Love Played by People You Know, Orchestra Kingston, $2,040

– Skeleton Park Arts Festival, Skeleton Park Arts Festival, $18,525

– The Juvenis Festival 2021, Blue Canoe Productions, $16,000

– Tone Deaf Festival and Satellite Concerts 2020-2021, Tone Deaf Collective, $14,004

– Voces Feminarum, Melos Choir and Period Instruments, $12,901



If you have questions about CKAF, please contact the Kingston Arts Council Grants Officer, Felix Lee, at



In 2007, Kingston City Council established the City of Kingston Arts Fund, comprised of $100,000 from the then Healthy Community Fund Program and an additional $400,000 in new funding. The Kingston Arts Council was contracted to administer CKAF and Kingston City Council has continued to invest in its growth each year as part of its commitment to supporting the arts and culture in Kingston. In 2020, $610,267 in funding is available. Since its inception in 2007, CKAF close to $6.4 million to organizations and collectives.

Read more about the impact of CKAF in the KAC’s 2017-2018 Annual Report, 2018-2019 Annual Report and 2019-2020 Annual Report.





Information on all policies and procedures related to the administration of CKAF can be found in the Kingston Arts Council Plan for Administration of Arts Funding for the Corporation of the City of Kingston in 2020.