Strengthen: Getting to know MAC’s new arts grants

By Martine Friesen

The Manitoba Arts Council recognizes that arts organizations have complex needs in addition to their day-to-day operations. Whether it’s time to revisit a strategic plan, purchase new box-office software, or host a shared learning conference, the Strengthen program allows organizations to access funds for a wide range of projects intended to bolster their organization.


The Program

The Strengthen program supports projects aimed at strengthening professional arts organizations.


Grant amounts

This program allows organizations to apply for up to $ 5,000 once every calendar year.


Who can apply

In order to apply to the Strengthen program, you must be a professional not-for-profit arts organizations, a professional for-profit arts organization or a professional arts service organization. That means you must have a valid profile as an organization on MAC’s Online Application System. To give yourself enough time, make sure that you submit your profile to MAC at least 15 business days before you want to start your application.


What you can apply for

You might be interested in this program if you are trying to build organizational capacity or work on health and safety initiatives or improve accessibility to your facility. This grant can also support you with funds to develop new organizational models and management practices or to implement, adapt, or update technology and equipment. You can also receive fund to access opportunities for shared learning and networking.


When you can apply

The Strengthen program will have two deadlines in a given calendar year. These will stay the same from year to year starting in 2019. The deadlines for the Strengthen program are May 10th  and September 15th.

For this year, we are offering a one-time only deadline for Strengthen applications on December 17th, 2018.

Applicants must submit their applications for any MAC program by 11:59 PM on the day of the deadline. Previously, an application deadline would move to the following business day if it fell on a weekend or holiday. This allowed applicants to deliver or mail their paper application during regular business hours. Now that applications will be submitted online, deadline dates will be fixed. 


How decisions are made

Your application to the Strengthen program will be assessed by a peer assessment jury representing a discipline or group of disciplines. This jury will use the following criteria to evaluate your proposed project:

  • Project Merit (50%)
  • Impact (30%)
  • Feasibility (20%)

If you’re interested in reading up on MAC’s evaluation process, you should check out our Peer Assessment Handbook.


Applied to MAC before?

Still wondering if this program is right for your project? Our new programs continue to fund the kinds of activities that were supported in our previous programs.

Specifically, the Strengthen grant supports most of the activities that were eligible in the following programs:

  • Management and Governance
  • Bingo Allocations

If you’re still not sure, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help you!


Take Away:

  • Two application deadlines
  • You must have a valid profile as a professional not-for-profit arts organization, professional for-profit arts organization or arts service organization to apply.