Emerging Artist Grants

4 grants are presented to support the professional and creative development of emerging artists in the following areas:

  • Film Arts
  • Literary Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts

Value: $3,000 each

Emerging Artist Grant Categories

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

1. Film Arts

NEW for 2022, we have introduced the Emerging Artist in Film Arts Grant so that filmmakers no longer have to compete with visual artists such as painters, sculptors, and photographers for the Lois Smedick Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Grant.

This grant is awarded to emerging filmmakers in Windsor and Essex County for the creation of the following films:

  • Short Fiction;
  • Short Documentary;
  • Feature-Length Documentary

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 digital art, or any combination thereof.

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

Funds provided: $3,000

In 2018, the Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Grant was renamed The Lois Smedick Emerging Artist in Visual Arts Grant in honour of our late board director, Lois Smedick, the renowned and respected Windsor scholar and arts patron.

Lois Smedick

Grant Funding

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.

Eligibility Requirements

Applications for Emerging Artist grants will be accepted from an Individual Artist, Artist Duo, or Two Artist Collaborators who meet the following criteria:

  • Has been a resident of the City of Windsor or one of the municipalities within Essex County for at least one year prior to applying for this grant.
  • Is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Is 18 years of age or older.
  • Is recognized as a professional, practicing artist by other artists working in the same field.
*This means that you are actively making art, not just thinking about it. You have shown your work in public. Other artists doing similar work see you as a peer. If you are an undergrad student, you are not considered a professional artist yet (exceptions apply).
  • Has completed basic training (formal or informal) in your field.
    *This means you have finished school (or workshops, courses, mentorships, etc.) in your field, or you are self-taught, and are now practicing your art or craft for the long term.
  • Has 2 – 7 years of experience practicing your art.
    *Experience can mean lots of things. For example, you have been painting for a few years, or have spent several years studying dance or composing music. If you can talk about your practice, your art and your personal approach, you are probably an experienced artist.
  • You seek payment for your work.
    *Do you sell your work? Do you charge admission to see your work? Do you receive compensation for your work? You don’t have to be making a living solely from your art, but you seek an income from it.
  • Can demonstrate a commitment to your artistic development.
    * Do you attend workshops, seminars, courses or receive mentorship in your field? Have you served on the board of an arts organization, or are involved with an art exhibition, event, festival etc. in Windsor-Essex?

If you are unsure about your eligibility for a WEA grant, please email Stephanie at info@wea-arts.com. Emails will be answered within 24 hours from Monday – Saturday.

*Description from Ontario Arts Council. (2019). OAC Grant Application 3rd Edition Survival Guide: Tips and must-dos for preparing an application to the Ontario Arts Council [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.arts.on.ca/oac/media/oac/Grants/Grant-Survival-Guide-EN.pdf?ext=.pdf

Application Process

We are pleased to welcome your proposal for an Emerging Artist Grant from Windsor Endowment for the Arts (WEA). Due to the current health and safety measures, we will accept proposals for projects to be completed this year, along with projects that will be completed sometime in the future when art and cultural spaces fully re-open to the public. Therefore, the project in your grant proposal does not require a solid completion date.

WEA reserves the right to decline any applications that do not meet the eligibility requirements, so it is strongly advised you review and understand the eligibility requirements before proceeding.

Applications will be accepted from Tuesday, January 25 to midnight Friday, March 25, 2022. 

We offer an ONLINE application platform. However, the online application form will NOT allow you to save your work so if an error occurs when you submit you will have to start from scratch. Be advised to type your work in a Word Doc or similar format beforehand and then copy and paste to the application form to save you time and frustration.

If you encounter technical problems when trying to submit your application, email Stephanie at info@wea-arts.com.

STEP ONE: Click on “EMERGING ARTIST GRANT CHECKLIST” link for a list of the documentation required to apply for this grant.


STEP TWO: Assemble your Supporting Material to be uploaded to WeTransfer.com 

STEP THREE: Fill out the online application form

Click on the “APPLY FOR AN EMERGING ARTIST GRANT” button below to submit your application and upload your supporting material to the WeTransfer.com link.

STEP FOUR: Confirm your submission was received

Once you have submitted your application form and uploaded your supporting images and documents, check your email to confirm your submission has been received. If you do not receive confirmation, please email Stephanie at info@wea-arts.com to confirm WEA received your application.


Grants Selection Process

All grants are awarded by a jury made up of community members recognized for the knowledge, skill, and expertise they bring to their artistic fields. The Board of Directors of WEA is responsible for their selection. The identity of the jurors will be made public at the Awards and Grants Ceremony.

The decisions of this jury are final.

Program Timeline

  • January 25: Online application portal opens.
  • March 25: At midnight, the online application portal closes.
  • Mid-April: The jury panels review and deliberate on the grant submissions.
  • May 2: Successful grant applicants will be notified by phone call and/or email.
  • MayThe WEAs Awards and Grants Ceremony. Date & Venue TBD
  • November: Progress reports on each grant project to be submitted to WEA.


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

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the button below to view the list of Frequently Asked Questions.

F.A.Q. pdf file




P.O Box 7024, Windsor, ON N9C 3Y6

Web: www.wea-arts.com