Apply for funding for arts and culture activities in the community: Culture Innovation Fund

Non-profit societies and co-operatives can apply for funding from the Culture Innovation Fund to support activities that use creativity and culture to address social issues and opportunities within communities.

The Culture Innovation Fund supports innovative organizational change through adaptiveness and support activities that use creativity and culture to address social issues and opportunities within communities.

Projects supported are those that address challenges to better serve and grow communities served (for example, social, cultural, organizational and environmental). Applicants can apply for a specific project or group of related activities that will provide the most significant impact to their organization and enhance access to arts and culture activities in their community.

You need to use the funding to:

  • support new arts and cultural activities that promote healthy communities by focusing on artistic and social outcomes
  • support projects that use creativity, arts and culture to develop and implement initiatives that bring people together and promote equity, diversity and inclusion
  • support an organization in planning for inclusive and sustainable growth
  • improve an organization's social impact or its ability to monitor, assess and report positive impact in their communities
  • allow organizations to support community engagement
  • allow organizations to identify, address and challenge organizational or program delivery issues
  • support training and development of staff and volunteers
  • support an organization's ability to access new and diversify existing revenue sources

Funding amount

The Culture Innovation Fund has 2 streams of funding. It may fund up to $15,000 of eligible costs (you don’t need matching funds). Or it may fund up to 75% of eligible costs to a maximum of $50,000 (you need to fund at least 25% of eligible costs). You can only apply for funding from 1 stream.

Ineligible project costs and activities

Ineligible project costs and activities include:

  • recurring and ongoing operational activities
  • partisan, political or singular direct religious activities
  • website maintenance, hosting fees and monthly subscriptions
  • capital purchases (like buildings, property, construction and software)
  • projects or project components already funded through the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage or Arts Nova Scotia
  • GST, HST, PST or QST
  • projects with the main goal of employment
  • contingency costs
  • fundraising events
  • creative industries (like commercial film and video production, music videos, recording, publishing, commercial design, architecture, production, line crafts and travel)

Employee wages and production costs or content creation costs may be considered eligible project costs at the discretion of the funding program.


Non-profit societies and co-operatives can apply for funding if the organization:

  • has an arts and culture mandate
  • supports, presents or produces work by professional or established artists or has paid staff to administer arts and culture programs and services
  • is registered with Registry of Joint Stock Companies

Organizations that are not eligible for funding include:

  • public and private schools and colleges
  • organizations located outside of Nova Scotia
  • for-profit businesses, including sole proprietorships
  • individuals

Projects need to start before 31 March 2025.

You need to apply for funding by 1 December 2024. The funding program processes applications as they receive them until all available funds are allocated (gone). Once all funds are allocated, the program closes and no longer accepts new applications.

How to apply

  1. Review detailed program criteria in the Culture Innovation Fund Guidelines.
  2. Contact the Culture Innovation Fund to discuss your project idea and and get the funding application form.
  3. Complete the funding application.
  4. Check the application for details on all required supporting documents.
  5. Send your completed application and supporting documents by email or mail.

How long it takes

It should take 6 to 8 weeks for the program to review your funding application and let you know if your funding application is approved. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application hasn’t been filled in correctly.


There is no cost to apply.

Before you start

Make sure you have:

  • Registry of Joint Stock Companies ID
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number
  • total cost of project
  • description of project
  • project objectives
  • work plan, including timelines, key steps and dates for completion
  • description of experience you and your partners have to successfully complete the project
  • organization’s officer or director available to sign the application form