Artists in the Classroom | Grants for Schools

Teachers, principals and PAC representatives can apply for Artists in the Classroom (AIC) grants to bring professional artists into their classrooms. AIC grants support projects in schools across BC that demonstrate artistic excellence, strong curricular connections, high levels of student engagement and an active partnership between an educator and a professional artist.

Primary funding partner:
BC Arts Council


  • Expose BC's young people to professional arts experiences in the classroom.
  • Explore curricular connections to the arts to support student learning.
  • Connect the arts and education communities by developing mutual awareness, respect and appreciation.



AIC grants can fund up to 70% of total project costs. The remaining 30% of costs must be covered by other sources secured by the applicant including contributions from the school district, school, PAC, private sponsors and individual donations. 

  • up to $3,500 for small to medium scale projects 
  • up to$10,000 for large scale projects



Applicants can only apply for two projects per school year (more than two projects per school can be submitted if provided by different applicants.) In order to be considered for funding, projects and applications must meet the following criteria: 

Projects must:

  • Engage a BC-based professional artist, preferably local to the community (see definition of professional artist below);
  • Take place during school hours with K – 12 students enrolled at standard public or independent schools;
  • Be planned for the future and cannot have been completed prior to application;
  • Not be receiving funding from BC Arts Council or other ArtStarts sources for the same project.

Definition of Professional Artist (Canada Council for the Arts): A professional artist is defined as someone who has specialized training in the arts (not necessarily in academic institutions); is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition); is committed to devoting more time to his or her artistic activity, if financially possible; and has a history of public presentation.

Applications must:

  • be submitted by teachers, principals or PAC representatives;
  • Use the most current application form provided and be submitted by email as a Microsoft Word attachment;
  • Include a balanced budget, timeline and artist CV (not required if the artist is listed in the ArtStarts Artists in the Classroom Directory located online;
  • Be complete.

ArtStarts staff will review all applications for eligibility. Applications not meeting the above eligibility criteria will not be brought forward to the jury for assessment.


Learn More

To learn more, read the complete Grant Application Guidelines and Application Form, available to download from the lefthand sidebar of this webpage. You can also refer to the AIC FAQ and take the AIC Eligibility Quiz.



  • Watch this video highlighting a successful AIC project:







ArtStarts gratefully acknowledges the support of BC Arts Council and the Province of British Columbia.


ArtStarts gratefully acknowledges additional support for 2014-2015 from the Columbia Basin Trust, through the Kootenay Cultutal Alliance.

Photos on this page

1 Arrow Lakes School in Nakusp, BC: "The ABCs of Community" with artist Morgen Bardati | Bowen Island Community School on Bowen Island, BC: "Virtues Made Visible" with artists Gerald Morrisseau, Andrea Klann and Saffron Gurney