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Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund

Guidelines & Application

Please review the full Application before beginning. 
The following info / materials must be included with your NFCDF application:
  • Completed Application
  • Completed Project Budget
  • Audited Financial Statement or Equivalent (Cultural Organizations only)
  • One (1) Confirmed Project Partner(s) Letter of Commitment (if applicable)
  • One (1) Letter of Recommendation (required by all applicants)
  • Local musicians playing original music  (if applicable)
  • Contact must be made with Culture Staff regarding this application. 
You will be given a link for revising the Application after filling in your email, so that you can go back and edit your responses if need be. [To make changes to your Application you must complete the required elements (those with an *asterisk) and get to the end. It will automatically send you a link to go back in and revise once you have “finished”. One workaround is to just put in a number or single letter in * areas that you are not ready to properly fill in yet.]

Funding Guidelines
Are you a Niagara Falls based artist, organization or collective? The NFCDF is an annual fund for local projects to take place between March and February of each year. Project proposals can range from exhibitions to events, walking tours, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, public programs, art installations, project or concept development, heritage-related ideas, community celebrations, interactive experiences and performances. We encourage participatory and co-created projects, and collaborative partnerships between organizations, collectives and individuals.

What the Fund Supports
We aim to support innovative and inspired cultural programming that is:
Niagara Falls-based
Inclusive (accessible, available to the public)
Collaborative (features shared costs and enhanced partnerships)
Accountable (has measurable impact and sustainability)

The funds offer funding to Niagara Falls-based individuals, groups, collectives and organizations for the creation, production, presentation and distribution of culture and cultural services.

Objectives
Innovative projects have the potential to engage the local community with cultural and heritage related ideas and activities. They can also be used for the advancement of community knowledge through culture or they can advance the arts community’s abilities through education, activities and dialogue. It is also the intention of this fund to provide groups (both formal and informal) with the ability to research and explore new directions for culture in Niagara Falls. This program also supports projects that use arts and culture in innovative ways to tackle issues such as social inclusion and marginalization.
Allocate funding to new projects that engage the local community with arts, cultural and heritage-related ideas and activities
Build capacity in Niagara Falls’ culture sector
Increase access to culture for residents and visitors in Niagara Falls
Promote cultural partnerships between public, private and governmental
Celebrate Niagara Falls’ history, people, and identity

Level of Funding
In 2023, the maximum level of funding that will be allocated to one project may be up to $10,000. Microgrants are up to $1,000.

Key Dates
Applications Available:                 October 19, 2022

Applicant Zoom Info Session:      6pm November 9, 2022
ZOOM:     https://niagarafalls.zoom.us/j/83922876120?pwd=WlhpYTR1S042VXJMblJlcmZUbVJVQT09

Application Deadline:                   December 7, 2022 at 11:59pm. Late applications will not be accepted.  
 
Announcement of Successful ApplicantsIt is anticipated that successful applicants will be notified by March 2023. This is also contingent on City of Niagara Falls Council Budget Approval.

Project Dates:                              Projects must occur between March 2023 and February 2024.

Redistribution of Unused Funds: Should a successful applicant communicate to cultural staff within one month of notification an inability to pursue their approved project for whatever reason, staff is to distribute the unused funds to organizations who did not receive their full requested amount, up to their requested amount.

Final Reports Due:                       Due within one month of project completion. The final installment of 25% will be paid once all reporting requirements are satisfied.

Note: Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to seek feedback from the committee to strengthen any future applications.


Is Your Project Eligible?
All applications will be judged and evaluated on the same criteria.  Applications may include events, programs, activities or innovative developments.

To be eligible for funding the project application must meet the following criteria:
  • Projects must be organized and hosted within Niagara Falls, ON
  • Cultural groups and individuals may apply Note: One application per cultural group or individual per year.  Individuals or cultural groups are strongly encouraged be a partner with other organizations, individuals or institutions. (i.e. schools, art galleries, BIAs, collectives, etc...)
  • Applicants must be either a resident of Niagara Falls or an organization that operates in the City of Niagara Falls  
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with the Cultural Division Staff before submitting application, and it is recommended that this be done early in the project development. This is to assist with the process and provide advice. 
  • Funding from the NFCDF cannot be the sole source of financial support (additional funding can be public or private financial support). For requests under $5,000 the additional support can be in-kind, for requests of $5,000 and more, there must be actual/financial support of at least 10% of the overall budget.
  • Project should be a new cultural initiative, or if it is an ongoing project, it should demonstrate evolution and strong success along with community desire.  Funding FOR THE SAME PROJECT is not renewable from year to year.
  • Projects must be open to the public and publicized
  • Project should have clear, significant and measurable evaluation data (i.e. attendance/participants, satisfaction rates, surveys, number of artists hired)
  • Project should have a clear and reasonable budget
  • Project partners should provide the applicant with a letter of commitment specifying their support and role(s)
  • Project recipients should pay principal artistic contributors for their services in accordance with industry standards
  • Priority may be given to events that hire local musicians playing some original music.
  • A maximum of 5% of the recipient’s NFCDF funds can go towards administration or management fees of the project
  • Priority may be given to organizations or individuals that have not previously received NFCDF support
  • Applicants must be in verifiable fiscal health (individuals excluded)

How the Applications Are Reviewed and Evaluated
Each application will be reviewed by City staff to determine if it meets the eligibility criteria listed above. Then the Culture Committee will evaluate applications based on criteria listed below. Incomplete applications will not be funded. Niagara Culture Committee members must declare conflict of interest when applicable. All applications will be kept in confidence. Successful applicants will receive 75% of funding prior to the commencement of the project and 25% upon completion and once all reporting requirements are done. Incomplete or late final reports will not receive the final 25% of funding and will not be eligible to apply for funding in the following year.

Evaluation Criteria
  • Projects are scored based on these key evaluation criteria:
  • Overall quality of the project
  • Uniqueness and innovation of the project
  • Number, nature, and diversity of partnerships
  • Number of people in Niagara Falls who will benefit from the project
  • Budget Feasibility
  • Potential of the project to have a strong legacy component
  • Potential of the project to build capacity in Niagara Falls

What We Don’t Fund
  • Direct grants, bursaries, or awards to individuals or organizations
  • Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are excluded to submit but encouraged to work with community partners on projects
  • Retroactively for any project expenses incurred prior to the NFCDF application date
  • Operating funding for any organization or program
  • Capital infrastructure or software purchase (small scale equipment rental or purchase may be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Fireworks
  • Alcohol
  • Projects promoting specific religious beliefs or any discriminatory activities
  • Stand-alone commercial, fundraising or for-profit activities
  • Debt repayment

Definitions

·         Letter of Recommendation: A letter describing an organization or someone's qualities and abilities, written by someone who worked with them previously. This letter should provide some understanding that the individual is aware that the applicant is capable of undertaking the project in the application.

·         Project Partner(s) Letter of Commitment: A partner organization participates actively in a formal partnership and contributes to the success of the endeavor. A partner organization may be, for example: postsecondary institution, for-profit or not-for-profit organization, or local BIA [Business Improvement Area]. A partner organization is expected to support the activities of the partnership by sharing in intellectual leadership or providing expertise. The partner organization is also expected to provide cash and/or in-kind contributions. The letter of commitment should provide a clear understanding of what role it is undertaking, their support and commitment.

·         Collaborations: Collaborations may be between one or more group, individuals, not-for-profits, private sector or public sector organization. These collaborators will agree and commit to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit.

·         Legacy: a project or event that has community benefits beyond the term of the project.

·        Capacity: NFCDF will support the development of arts organizations, festivals and events. This is to encourage a deeper understanding of the advantages that culture brings to all of us in Niagara Falls. The NFCDF will support applicants to build better arts organizations, to develop arts audiences, to grow our arts and culture economy, and in the promotion of Niagara Falls as a cultural tourism destination. Supporting the growth of culture in Niagara Falls through focused investment in our arts organizations and events enriches the quality of life of our residents, provides increased educational opportunities, and supports the growth of our economy.  Funds supporting capacity for arts based groups may include market research, community knowledge, information dissemination, education and more.

Submission Deadline
All applications and supporting documentation must be submitted by Wednesday December 7, 2022 at 11:59pm.  Applications must be submitted electronically.


Program Contact
Kim Van Stygeren
Cultural Program Assistant, City of Niagara Falls
5810 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls, ON
[email protected] 
 
Applicant and Background Information
Please read Guidelines fully before beginning application.
*Should you wish to complete the submission in different sessions, fill in all available information, for any unknowns place an "X", just make sure your email is complete. You will receive a link to come back and edit it at your convenience.
4. Category of Request *This question is required.
5. Contact
This question requires a valid email address.
8. Please provide the following information with an attachment in jpg, jpeg, doc, xls, docx, xlsx or pdf format.

For Individuals and Ad Hoc Groups: Project Partner Commitment Letter*  (if applicable)
For Individuals and Ad Hoc Groups: Recommendation Letter*

*Definitions for Project Partner and Recommendation Letter are found at the beginning of the Application.

For Organizations Only: A copy of your most recent audited financial statement/equivalent
For Organizations: Recommendation Letter* *This question is required.
9. Project Partner and Recommendation Letters' names (see above)
  *This question is required.
Space Cell .
Name of Project Partner
Name of Recommender
10. If applicable, upload any additional material regarding past projects (maximum of 10 files) in the following formats: jpg, jpeg, doc, docx, pdf, mov, mp3, mp4.

For example:
  • YouTube links in PDF page 
  • Sample materials 
  • Images
Project Information
14. Is this a new project for the NFCDF or an innovative enhancement of a previously awarded NFCDF project?  *This question is required.
20. Is there a fee to participate in the project/activity?                         
*If yes, please indicate fee structure. *This question is required.
Funding Information
$
Budget Breakdown

A complete project budget is required with the application.
All Funds are inclusive of HST (where applicable).
 
25. EXPENSES for NFCDF Project
Please list all that will pertain to your project. Please use "0" if not applicable. All fields must be filled.

Note:
Most applications will only fill in the left column, NFCDF Expenses.
For large projects only: If the NFCDF is only part of your funding, please define the expenses for the entire project and the NFCDF portions separately, using both columns.
Space Cell NFCDF only*Full Project
Technical Salaries and Fees- E.g. Project lead, consultant, coordinator, presenter, production/installation crew
Artistic /Curatorial Salaries and Fees- E.g. Musicians Union rates, CARFAC rates for artists
Venue/Facility Costs- E.g. Equipment/space rental, food/drink, permits
Materials- E.g. Art supplies, project supplies, etc.
Administrative / Professional Fees/Staffing - E.g. Office administration, project staffing
Marketing- E.g. Graphic design, advertising, promotional materials, writing
Travel / Accommodation- E.g. Travelling guest artist/presenter, accommodations, parking, etc.
Other
26. Total Projected Expenses *This question is required.
Space Cell Total NFCDF Expenses [If NFCDF / Applicant are the only Revenue sources]*Full Project Expenses [Is your project funded by many sources? Full Project Total here]
Please tally all of the Expenses for the NFCDF portion and Full Project here. [Smaller project will likely only fill in left column]
REVENUES
Projected* Government and Other Revenues
*Revenues that you anticipate materializing for the project, or have already confirmed
29. Projected Revenues
Some projects seek multiple sources of funding. Have you applied for other grants?
What other Anticipated Funding do you have in place for this project?
Please use "0" if not applicable. All fields must be filled. *This question is required.
Space Cell Anticipated AmountConfirmed (Yes or No)
Federal Grant/Fund
Provincial Grant/Fund
Regional Grant/Fund
NFCDF (Niagara Falls) (How much are you asking for from Niagara Falls?)
Applicant
Sponsor/Private
Earnings
Other
30. Total Revenue *This question is required.
Space Cell Total Estimated RevenueTotal Confirmed Revenue
.
31. Net Surplus
Net Surplus is the total Revenue minus the total Expenses. The net surplus must equal zero ($0) once the budget is complete. *This question is required.
Space Cell Net Surplus for NFCDF*Net Surplus for Full Project
.
32. In Kind Contributions
Value of community contributions to your project.
Please use "0" if not applicable. All fields must be filled.
  • For volunteers, please use a standardized figure of $15/hour to estimate cash value. E.g. 25 volunteers for 100 hours total (25 x $15/hr x 100 hrs)
  • If you have no standardized figure(s) for staff, please use $20/hour.
  • For all others, please provide the best estimate possible.              
  • Please specify ONLY significant non-cash contributions
Space Cell Estimated Cash ValueBrief Description
Volunteers
Supplies
Venue(s)
Staff
Other
In Kind TOTAL
Definitions
  • Letter of Recommendation: A letter describing an organization or someone's qualities and abilities, written by someone who worked with them previously. This letter should provide some understanding that the individual is aware that the applicant is capable of undertaking the project in the application.
  • Project Partner(s) Letter of Commitment: A partner organization participates actively in a formal partnership and contributes to the success of the endeavor. A partner organization may be, for example: postsecondary institution, for-profit or not-for-profit organization, or local BIA [Business Improvement Area]. A partner organization is expected to support the activities of the partnership by sharing in intellectual leadership or providing expertise. The partner organization is also expected to provide cash and/or in-kind contributions. The letter of commitment should provide a clear understanding of what role it is undertaking, their support and commitment.
  • Collaborations: Collaborations may be between one or more group, individuals, not-for-profits, private sector or public sector organization. These collaborators will agree and commit to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit.
  • Legacy: a project or event that has community benefits beyond the term of the project.
  • Capacity: NFCDF will support the development of arts organizations, festivals and events. This is to encourage a deeper understanding of the advantages that culture brings to all of us in Niagara Falls. The NFCDF will support applicants to build better arts organizations, to develop arts audiences, to grow our arts and culture economy, and in the promotion of Niagara Falls as a cultural tourism destination. Supporting the growth of culture in Niagara Falls through focused investment in our arts organizations and events enriches the quality of life of our residents, provides increased educational opportunities, and supports the growth of our economy.  Funds supporting capacity for arts based groups may include market research, community knowledge, information dissemination, education and more.
35. Culture Division Staff: *This question is required.
36. I have completed my submission: *This question is required.