Young Artist Award


Deadline for applications: March 10, 2017

The Young Artist Award is a project-based, mentorship-driven youth arts award established for the recognition and encouragement of young Ottawa-based artists, ages 14 – 17 years old, demonstrating exceptional potential and a commitment to excellence in any art form. The award recipients will receive funding in support of the creation and presentation of a proposed arts project. In addition, the Young Artist Award will provide mentorship support by pairing the award recipient with an established and qualified Ottawa-based artist working in the same field.


2017 marks the inaugural presentation of the Young Artist Award. In April of 2017 the first two YAA recipients will be announced at the Ottawa Arts Council Awards presentation on May 9, 2017.

Eligibility Criteria

Recipients for this award must: 

  • Be between the ages of 14-17 at the time of application
  • Have lived in the National Capital Region (defined as 75km from Parliament Hill) for the last two years
  • Have demonstrated a prior commitment to the art form related to the proposed project
  • Not have previously received this award
  • Provide a letter of support from someone above the age of majority, such as a parent, guardian, teacher, mentor, or other

The proposal may not be for a commissioned work or a project that is completed prior to receiving the funds.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The applicant fully meets the eligibility criteria
  • Originality and creativity of the proposal
  • Quality and potential of the work as documented in the support material
  • Potential impact of the project on the artist’s development
  • Potential audience impact
  • Project viability in terms of timeline and budget

Reporting requirement

Award recipients will be required to submit a brief report outlining the award experience within six months following the presentation of their project.

Other information

An individual, collective, or arts organization may nominate a candidate by filling out the appropriate forms, preparing a letter of nomination, organizing letters of support and collecting/submitting support materials.

  • Applications must be submitted via
  • Posthumous nominations will not be accepted
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered

Important Dates

  • Deadline for nominations: March 10, 2017
  • Awards Presentation: May 9, 2017

Download the Nomination Form



How much is the award?
The Ottawa Arts Council will be awarding TWO projects this year, each one up to a maximum of $500. 

What should I include in the budget?
Your project budget should include any costs that are involved in making the project happen, and should be broken into two categories – Expenses (the costs to create the project), and Revenue (any money you are receiving to cover the costs of the project).

Your Expenses should include things like equipment or studio rentals, purchasing materials, or anything else that is related to your project. You should get quotes for those costs where possible, so you know you are listing the right amount. You don’t need to include these quotes in your proposal, but it will make sure that your budget is as accurate as possible. 

Revenue will include any money you are receiving to cover the costs, and you should let us know if that money is confirmed (definitely have it), or not confirmed (any applications – like the Young Artist Award). If you only have potential money from the Young Artist Award, that’s okay, but make sure your expenses don’t exceed the $500 award. 

What is the timeline to complete the project?
You have one year from when you receive the award to complete your project. So in this case, the 2017 award will be presented at the Arts Awards evening on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. That means your project needs to be completed (and presented, if applicable) before May 9, 2018. 

Do I have to find my own mentor?
In the application there is an area to suggest a mentor, but that isn’t mandatory. Even if you do list someone you would like to work with, the Council can’t guarantee that we will be able to make the arrangements with that person. If you do want to include a name, think about someone who would be able to help make your project better. The Council will review the successful projects and use our connections to find appropriate mentors.  

Do I have to include a fee for the mentor in my budget?
The Ottawa Arts Council will make all the arrangements with the mentors, including providing them with an honorarium for their work on your project. You don’t need to include them in your project budget, just costs that directly relate to what you want to do.