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: Nominations have closed. The award will open again in 2023. 

About: The Toronto Arts Foundation Newcomer Arts Award is a $2,500 cash prize designed to support the future potential of newcomer (immigrant and refugee) artists across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) working in a range of disciplines. These micro-awards are intended to support each recipient's practice. The award is sponsored by RBC, and was originally named the RBC Arts Access Fund. The Newcomer Arts Award is presented in the spring/summer of each year. It is administered by our Neighbourhood Arts Network. 

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.