Emerging Artist Grants

Emerging Artist Grants are awarded to support the professional and creative development of artists at the start of their careers. These grants may be used to:

  • Sustain the artist;
  • Develop a new project;
  • Support an ongoing project;
  • Aid research and study;
  • Promote new forms of art to the general public; and/or
  • Encourage creativity and innovation.

Artists who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.


Application Process




Application Package

Coming in 2020!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ document

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must be an artist with two to seven years of professional experience who:

  • Currently lives, or has lived, in Windsor and Essex County for a significant period of time;
  • Can show evidence of a strong body of work, participation in public performances, inclusion in public exhibitions and/or publication; and
  • Has completed basic artistic training, either through a traditional arts program or a process of self-study, and can show continued commitment to his or her artistic development through ongoing education, participation in workshops or seminars, and/or involvement in the local arts community.

In addition, any applicant applying to the grant for film or video must have completed at least one independent film or video that has been publicly screened, or otherwise viewed in some professional context.

Please note that WEA does not discriminate with regard to age; emerging artists of any age are invited to apply as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.


Emerging Artist Grant Categories

Windsor Endowment for the Arts awards one Emerging Artist Grant for each of the four following categories:

1. Community Arts
This grant is awarded to those making a significant contribution to community arts in Windsor and Essex County, especially through the following activities:

  • Increasing community participation in the arts;
  • Broadening local access to the arts;
  • Using the arts as a means to promote social awareness; and/or
  • Developing public projects that enhance the general quality of life of those in the community, or in specific underserviced, disadvantaged, at-risk or specialized groups within the community.

Specific examples of community arts projects might include the organization of youth arts education classes, an urban improvement initiative, or the restoration of a public landmark.

Funds provided: $3,000.

2. Literary Arts
This grant is awarded to those making a significant contribution to the literary arts in Windsor and Essex County. Its focus is to promote local artists in the process of establishing themselves in any of the following disciplines: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, journalism, and book publishing, or any combination thereof.

Funds provided: $3,000.

3. Performing Arts
This grant is awarded to those making a significant contribution to the performing arts in Windsor and Essex County. Its focus is to promote emerging artists whose works involve music, dance, and/or theatre performance.

Specific examples of performing arts might include singing, orchestral work, musical arrangement, dancing, dance instruction, choreography, dramatic and/or comedic acting, puppetry, theatre directing, and theatre instruction, and so on.

Funds provided: $3,000.

4. Lois Smedick Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Grant
This grant is awarded to those making a significant contribution to the visual arts in Windsor and Essex County. Its focus is to promote emerging artists in the process of establishing themselves in any of the following disciplines: fine art, fine craft, design art, and media art (including cinema), or any combination thereof.

Specific examples of visual arts might include painting, sculpting, architectural design, landscape design, set design, costume design, photography, digital arts, and filmmaking, and so on.

Funds provided: $3,000.


Dr. Lois Smedick worked at the University of Windsor for 35 years as a professor of English language and literature and in a variety of administrative roles including the first female Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, and as the president of the Canadian Association of Graduate Students. She also served on such boards as the Windsor Endowment for the Arts, Artcite and the Art Gallery of Windsor, among others. She was an avid collector of art and supporter of Windsor area artists. In 2017, she died at the age of 84. 



For examples of successful emerging artist programs, please browse our list of past WEA Grant Recipients.


General Application Requirements

Please note the following:

  • All documents in the application package can be submitted to WEA on paper, and mailed to the address listed on the bottom of the Application Checklist OR dropped off in person at the Arts Council-Windsor & Region (ACWR) at 1942 Wyandotte St. East in Windsor from 1pm to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday; faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.
  • Only application packages that are postmarked by Canada Post on or before the deadline date will be accepted; late or incomplete application packages will be disqualified.
  • The Application Form may be filled out electronically and printed, or printed and filled out in legible handwriting in black ink; all other written material (e.g. artist statement, statement of intent, etc.) must be computer-generated or typewritten.
  • All forms and other written material must be arranged in the same order in which they appear on the checklist, with the correct number of copies included.
  • Please provide the required number of copies of the application material, as outlined on the Application Checklist.


Supporting Documents

Applicants are requested to submit a portfolio of their best work. Depending on the artist’s discipline, this portfolio may include images of performances, visual arts works, photographic documentation of community projects, and so on. It may also include photocopies or scanned copies of published works, reviews, newspaper clippings, etc., as well as samples of literary work.

To keep the supporting documents organized, applicants must draft an Image or Works List.


Image or Works List

This comprehensive list should catalogue all supporting materials submitted by the applicant, in the order of their inclusion within the application package.

Every document—including but not limited to images, samples or documentation of recent work—must be listed on the Image or Works List. Each line on the list should include an explanatory title, the source, the date of completion or publication, and the medium.

An example of an Image or Works List might look something like this:

     1. “Local Painter Wins Hamilton Arts Award,” Windsor Star. June 1, 2013. News article.

     2. “Gallery Showcases Regional Artists,” Windsor Star. April 12, 2013. Review.

     3. “Winter Lights.” Oil on canvas. 2013. 01.wntr_lgts.2013.jpeg. Flash drive.

     4. “Heathscape.” Oil on canvas. 2012. 02.heath.2012.jpeg. Flash drive.

     5. “Rural Crossing.” Oil on wood. 2012. 03.rrl_xing.2012.jpeg. Flash drive.

     6. “Point Pelee.” Oil on canvas. 2011. 04.pnt_pelee.2012.jpeg. Flash drive.

     7. “Manitoulin Island.” Watercolour. 2010. 05.man_isl.2010.jpeg. Flash drive.

     8. “Estuary in Spring.” Watercolour. 2010. 06.estuary.2010.jpeg. Flash drive.

     9. “Ouellette Avenue.” Tempera on paper. 2010. 07.ouellette.2010.jpeg. Flash drive.

     10. “Stand of Oak.” Tempera on paper. 2009. 08.oak.2009.jpeg. Flash drive.

Please refer to the categories below for specific restrictions and formatting requirements:


Still Images

No more than ten (10) images may be submitted in total. Extra images will not be presented to the jury for consideration.

All images should be digital, in .jpeg format, and submitted on a USB flash drive or CD-ROM. The applicant’s name should be clearly marked on the USB flash drive or CD-ROM.

Note the following formatting requirements:

  • The title of each digital photograph must be presented in the following format: photograph’s number within the series, title of the project, and date all digital files (e.g.: 01.landscapes. 2011.jpeg).
  • Submitted files must be a maximum of 1024 x 768 pixels; they must not be larger than 5 MB each.
  • PowerPoint files will not be accepted.
  • Compressed files (e.g. .zip or .dmg) will not be accepted.


Time Based Material

No more than one (1) audio track or video clip may be submitted. The length of either the track or clip must not exceed three (3) minutes. All video and audio submissions must be works that were filmed or recorded by the applicant, except in the case of performing artists, who may submit a promotional or gallery-produced video.

All film clips must be digital, in Quicktime format (.mov), and submitted on a DVD, CD-ROM or USB flash drive. The applicant’s name should be clearly marked on the disk, along with the title of the clip it contains.

In addition, all sound tracks must also be digital, in .mp3 format, and submitted on CD or USB flash drive. Please indentify your CD or USB flash drive using the same method as you would for the above film clip.

Note the following additional requirements:

  • If the applicant is unable to provide an isolated three-minute clip and must submit a longer work, please provide clear directions on when to start and stop viewing or listening.
  • All DVDs should be encoded to Region 1 (Canada/USA).
  • Compressed files (e.g. .zip or .dmg) will not be accepted.


Additional Supporting Documents

Applicants may submit no more than ten (10) pages of relevant newspaper clippings, reviews, or related documents that support the impact of their work on the local community. Each page must be clearly printed and numbered. Extra pages will not be presented to the jury for consideration.


Grants Selection Process

All grants are awarded by a jury. The decisions of this jury are final.


Jury Members

All jurors are individuals recognized for the knowledge, skill, and expertise they bring to their fields. The Board of Directors of Windsor Endowment for the Arts is responsible for their selection. The identity of the jurors will be made public at the Awards and Grants Ceremony.


Conflicts of Interest

Members of the jury are expected to be objective and impartial. This includes avoiding the following conflicts of interest:

  • The juror has a financial interest in the success or failure of the organization or project;
  • The juror has an interest based on the fact that an applicant is a spouse, partner or a member of his/her immediate family;
  • The juror has a personal interest in specific nominations other than those normally expected of an interested member of the arts community;
  • Impediments exist that impede the juror’s ability to evaluate the nomination objectively.



Personal information submitted by the applicants and discussions pertaining to the applicants’ submissions are held in strict confidentiality.

Only one set of the application information and supporting documents of the winning recipients will be retained; all other application information and supporting documents will be available for pick-up at the Arts Council - Windsor & Region (ACWR) for seven days after The WEAs Awards and Grants Ceremony is held. All applications not picked up will be destroyed. 

Please do not submit any original work.

©2019 Windsor Endowment For the Arts. All Rights Reserved.