NFCDF Guidelines and Online Application - Microgrant

Microgrant Application Link

All applications MUST be filled in online. You will be given a link in the Application after filling in your email, so that you can go back and edit your responses if need be.

The information here is for your convenience to best prepare to complete the Application. You can print this out or review it on your device.

Niagara Falls Cultural Development Fund

$1000 Micro Grant

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)

·  Contact must be made with Culture Staff regarding this application. 

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.

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 2022, 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

October 19, 2022 – NFCDF application available

November 9, 2022 6:00 p.m. – NFCDF info session for applicants on Zoom:

December 7, 2022 – NFCDF deadline at 11:59 p.m. 

Announcement of Successful Applicants: It 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)

.         Local musicians hired are encouraged to be performing original music

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


· 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 Tuesday 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.

1) Project Title*

2) Project Summary (25 Words maximum)*

3) Funding Request (Maximum $1000)*

4) Contact

Name of Individual or Organization*:

Contact Person:

Street Address*:



Postal Code*:

Email Address*:

Phone Number*:

Website (if applicable):

Instagram (if applicable):

Facebook Page (if applicable):

YouTube (if applicable):

5) I would like the City of Niagara Falls to include my email address to the monthly Cultural Newsletter.

Sign me up for Cultural Currents!

6) Please provide the following information with an attachment in jpg, jpeg, doc, xls, docx, xlsx or pdf format.

For Organizations Only: A copy of your most recent audited financial statement/equivalent
For Individuals and Organizations: Project Partner Commitment Letter*  (if applicable)
For Individuals and Organizations: Recommendation Letter*

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

7) For Individuals and Organizations Only: Recommendation Letter (see above)

Name on Recommendation letter:

8) 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 or project designs

9) Project Title

10) Please describe the project and its goals. (250 words maximum)

11) Please list your project event date(s), location(s), and time(s):
*Guestimates are acceptable*

12) Please specify how the project will be promoted. (100 words maximum)

13) Please describe the need for this project and how it will benefit the community.
(100 words maximum)

14) Collaborations - please list:

·  Collaborators

·  Specify their roles

·  Are they confirmed or potential collaborators?

15) Total NFCDF Funding Request (Maximum $1,000)                       

16) EXPENSES for NFCDF Project
Please list all that will pertain to your project. Please use "0" if not applicable. All fields must be filled. Add totals here. Breakdown of fees follows after table.*



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


17) Total Projected Expenses*

Total NFCDF Expenses


18) Please specify what the NFCDF funds will be used for in the project. (100 words maximum)

19) 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.*

Anticipated Amount

Confirmed (Yes or No)

NFCDF (Niagara Falls) (How much are you asking for from Niagara Falls?)





20) Total Revenue*

Total Estimated Revenue

Total Confirmed Revenue


21) Net Surplus
Net Surplus is the total Revenue minus the total Expenses. The net surplus must equal zero ($0) once the budget is complete.*

Net Surplus for NFCDF


22) Terms & Conditions
By submitting an application to the NFCDF program the applicant agrees to the following terms and conditions:

·  Personal Information Content – The Applicant consents to the release of information contained in its application, pursuant to section 17(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (1967).  Information contained on the application form will be used by and made available to the members of the NFCDF adjudication panel and City of Niagara Falls staff for administrative purposes. The City of Niagara Falls reserves the right to verify elements of the application.

·  Appeals – There are no appeals regarding funding recipients approved for the NFCDF program.

·  Application – The Applicant acknowledges that the application and all materials submitted in support of the application become property of the City of Niagara Falls and will not be returned.

·  Late Applications – Applications must be received by the specified deadline to be considered for funding.  Late applications will not be considered.

·  Redistribution of Funds – Any redistribution of funds must be requested in writing at least one month before the end of the project.

·  Final Reports – All recipients are required to keep and itemize their receipts for the final report. Final reports will include: budget report, statistics/metrics, receipts and summary of activities.

·  Reapplication and Final Reports – NFCDF recipients applying to the program in successive years should note that NFCDF applications for each year will only be considered upon timely receipt of complete final reporting for the previous year.

·  Imagery – a minimum 5 jpg images of the project (video is also acceptable) to be supplied with final reporting

·  Please submit applications digitally


I agree to the above Terms & Conditions

23) Name and date of discussion with Culture Division Staff regarding this application*


24) Who did you speak with?*

Clark Bernat

Kim Van Stygeren

Thank You!

We understand the effort involved in applying for this fund and appreciate the time it takes to apply.

The applications will go to the adjudication committee and then funding is approved by council. The process may take until early March for the funding to be announced. We may approach you for clarifications, or in some instances, a modified budget.