Whether you’re a home-based hobbyist or looking to launch a more sturdy business, finding funding for your work might be a difficult and frustrating experience as an upstart entrepreneur. Luckily, there are a few resources you can utilize to find a way to get your project or business off the ground.
In this article, we'll be listing off resources, databases, and funding options and websites available in the Interior BC region for Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs.
*Please note this list is not complete, and certain funding or organizations may not be listed here. This list may also change or be edited according to what opportunities come up.*
This Vancouver-based consultant has an incredible grant database that is regularly reviewed and updated. You can also find month-by-month blog posts that list upcoming deadlines, in addition to browsing this master calendar.
This is an invaluable resource and still supports in-province businesses.
Grant Organizations and Foundations
First and foremost, you might want to consider what it is you’re trying to fund. Personal artistic projects and installments are usually categorized differently from business expenses when applying for grants, but there are always ways to allow the two to overlap. Be aware that some foundations have stricter guidelines and expectations than others, and always read through applications carefully - or better yet, email or speak to one of the Program Officers if you’re unsure of anything.
Actors Fund of Canada (AFC) is a charitable organization that provides resources and emergency financial support for entertainment professions in film, TV, music, and stage.
Art Start BC has a number of education-based grants to help children and youth participate in more visual-arts based activities, but occasionally also has independent artist funding.
British Columbia Arts Council has an extensive funding list and regularity releases programming for new applications for a variety of different artistic backgrounds. They do have stricter application guidelines and require very specific eligibility.
Canada Council for the Arts also routinely releases new programming for applications, but once again has stricter application guidelines, and also a lengthy profile application process you must go through before even applying to a grant.
Canadian Roots Exchange is a youth-led and organized Indigenous foundation that focuses on arts and culture for younger applicants and youth groups. They support first-time grant applicants and youth-led projects.
Creative BC has a large focus on digital media projects, specifically towards music production and the motion picture industry. Though they do still showcase and support other creative sectors.
First People's Cultural Council is an Indigenous organization that focuses on arts and cultural programming, including internships, language revitalization, student/mentor programming, and artists-in-residents.
Glad Day Lit is an organization that helps to support LGBTQ+ artists and performers.
Independent Project Fund (IPF) is a foundation that supports motion picture projects and television work.
Music BC provides programming and funding for musicians.
New Relationship Trust Fund is an Indigenous organization that provides funding for different age groups and project backgrounds, specifically for Indigenous applicants.
SOCAN Foundation supports music creators and publishers across Canada.
Vancouver Foundation is a large organization that funds many different sectors. Please be sure to read over program requirements to see if your project is eligible for funding.
Writers Trust of Canada has a number if different funding programs for writers and literary storytellers.
The following links will direct you to funding databases, which may or may not update regularly. For the most part, these websites and tools only hold organization and foundation information and redirect you to websites that have more details.
BC Alliance for the Arts has quite the collection of resources and information regarding arts and culture.
Government of British Columbia Funding Database allows you to search not only for federal and provincial funding but other foundation resources as well.
Heritage BC has a long directory of funders and foundations from all categories, so when you browse, be sure your project is eligible to the foundation you are looking at.
Business and Entrepreneur Support
The following are some regional or provincial organizations that specialize in assisting Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs.
Community Futures for Central Interior First Nations is based in Kamloops and helps small and medium sized businesses with plans, financial assistance, and training.
Metis Financial Corporation of BC supports Metis entrepreneurs and business start-ups with financial resources, training, and information on business practice.
Small Business BC has a massive online database of resources and often hosts online webinars. They also offer professional services.