RBC Newcomer Arts Award

Recognizing extraordinary newcomer artists

A photo of the 2017 RBC Arts Access recipients.


Above: Celebrating our 2020 RBC Newcomer Arts Award recipients 


Deadline: October 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

About: The Neighbourhood Arts Network RBC Newcomer Arts Award is offered twice each year and is designed to support newcomer artists in Toronto. Originally called the RBC Arts Access Fund, the awards of $2000 support costs associated with arts projects such as artist fees, art supplies, equipment rental, space rental and food costs for a workshop or event. In addition to art projects, this award also supports professional development, training and mentorship requests for newcomer artists looking to improve their skills in working with community. The RBC Newcomer Arts Award is part of our Vision Awards, presented in the summer and fall of each year.

Neighbourhood Arts Network is an initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation. 

Eligibility Criteria
Individuals must be:

  • an artist who has lived in Canada for 7 years or less
  • a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Approved Refugee Claimant (i.e. Protected Person) or have applications for permanent residency or citizenship pending
  • over 18 years old
  • a resident of the City of Toronto OR Halton, Peel, York, Durham municipalities
  • a member of Neighbourhood Arts Network. If you are not a member, sign up here

Artists can receive only one RBC Newcomer Arts Award per year.

How to Apply: To nominate yourself (self-nominations are accepted for this award) or an individual for the RBC Arts Access Fund you must,

  • Visit the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal https://tac.smartsimple.ca/welcome/taf/
  • Register an account on the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal or sign in to your existing account
  • Submit the nomination online, complete with supporting material

Along with the name of the individual you are nominating, the nomination form will also ask for a biography, a nomination rationale, and accompanying support material in the form of visual, audio or text-based attachments.

Nominators can save their application at any time before submission by clicking ‘Save Draft’. Nominators can log-in and out of the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal as many times as needed before clicking ‘Submit’.

* Please ensure you are on/ register through the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal and not Toronto Arts Council’s TAC Grants Online.

Selection Procedure: A panel of up to 5 members will review nominations and make recipient recommendations. Award panelists are selected for their expertise, credibility and familiarity with the newcomer experience. Each panel is composed of artists, arts workers and community leaders. 

Assessment Criteria
Awards will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • The artistic strength and/or future potential of the artist
  • Impact on the artist’s current practice

Contact Info: For questions, please contact Angie Aranda, Neighbourhood Arts Network Manager, by email at angie[at]torontoarts[dot]org.