The Artist Relief Fund is a fund administered by the Canadian Arts Resources Foundation for Ontario (CARFO) which...

The Artist Relief Fund is a fund administered by the Canadian Arts Resources Foundation for Ontario (CARFO) which operates under the name, CANVAS. The Fund provides Ontario visual artists with assistance for the relief of poverty, and provides short-term financial aid for rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, food, dental and medical care, and prescription medicines.


Completed applications are reviewed by the CANVAS Artist Relief Fund committee. Decisions are based on policies and information provided in the application and supporting documentation. The review process takes up to two weeks, depending upon the nature of the request. Funds for food or homelessness prevention may be provided sooner if deemed necessary by the committee. It is therefore important that applications be as complete and thorough as possible. Applicants will be contacted by telephone or mail when the Committee has come to a decision.


  1. Applicants must be professional visual artists living in Ontario.
  2. Applicants must have attempted to earn a portion of their income from their art careers within the last year.
  3. Applicants who have received assistance from the Artist Relief Fund in the last twelve months may be ineligible.


The Fund provides short-term financial aid to assist applicants in maintaining their current housing, health and art practice. Eligible items include:
•  food  •  residential rent/mortgage  •  utilities  •  home care  •  telephone  •  transportation  •  emergency medical care
•  emergency dental care  •  psychological services  •  exceptional circumstances (at discretion of committee)


The maximum amount  available for assistance is $1,000.00. The amount and type of assistance provided depends on the Committee’s assessment and the particular circumstances of each application. Not every applicant will be guaranteed funding; each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Successful applicants will not necessarily receive a cheque; in some instances the Fund will purchase gift certificates for groceries, pay medical and dental providers directly, purchase transit tickets and passes or pay utility companies directly.


•  taxes, including GST  •  legal fees  •  credit cards  •  studio rent  •  exhibition expenses  •  art supplies  •  loans
•  child support payments  •  education  •  marketing expenses  •  cable bills  •  accounting fees  •  long-distance charges
•  art insurance  •  storage fees  •  framing  •  internet


Applicants are required to submit a current résumé or curriculum vitae and where appropriate, copies of relevant bills, medical invoices or assessments, unfilled prescription quotes, dental estimates or landlord’s name, telephone number and address.



Completed application forms including résumés, receipts, quotes and invoices can be dropped off, mailed or emailed to the following address:

CANVAS  Artist Relief Fund

401 Richmond Street West, Suite 440

Toronto, Ontario

M5V 3A8


Image Credit: Roman Kraft