Newcomer Artist Award

The Toronto Arts Foundation Newcomer Artist Award provides micro-awards of $2,500 to six newcomer (immigrant and refugee) artists. The award aids the integration of newcomer artists into Toronto and Canada by supporting their artistic careers. Newcomer artists living across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and working in a range of disciplines are eligible for the award. The Newcomer Artist Award is presented every year on or around Toronto Newcomer Day. The award is part of the Foundation’s Newcomer Spotlight Program, generously sponsored by RBC Foundation.


Eligibility Criteria:
Nominees must be:

  • An artist who has lived in Canada for seven years or less.
  • A Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Approved Refugee Claimant (i.e. Protected Person) or have applications for permanent residency or citizenship pending.
  • Over 18 years old.
  • A resident of the City of Toronto or Halton, Peel, York, Durham municipalities.
  • must not have received this award in 2023
  • may self-nominate
  • NOT have received this award in 2024

Nominees are not eligible to nominate or receive Toronto Arts Foundation awards while serving as executive board member or staff of Toronto Arts Foundation or Toronto Arts Council

How to Apply: To nominate yourself (self-nominations are accepted for this award) or an individual for the Newcomer Artist Award you must,

  1. Visit the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal
  2. Register an account on the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal or sign in to your existing account
  3. Submit the nomination online, complete with supporting material

• Along with the name of the individual you are nominating, the nomination form will also ask for a biography, a nomination rationale, and accompanying support material in the form of visual, audio or text-based attachments.

• Nominators can save their application at any time before submission by clicking ‘Save Draft’. Nominators can log-in and out of the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal as many times as needed before clicking ‘Submit’.

* Please ensure you are on/ register through the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal and not Toronto Arts Council’s TAC Grants Online.

Selection Procedure
An Award Panel of up to 5 Assessors selected by the Award Manager will review nominations and recommend the selected recipients for final approval by Toronto Arts Foundation.  Participants in each panel include practitioners of the arts, organizers, programmers, producers, curators, critics, commentators and lay specialists. Panelists must have recognized expertise, credibility, and experience along with a familiarity of the newcomer experience.

Assessment Criteria
Deliberations will be guided by the following assessment criteria:

  • meeting eligibility requirements as detailed above.
  • artistic strength and/or future potential of the artist
  • demonstration of the impact on the artist’s current artistic practice
  • contribution to the development of arts and culture in Toronto.

Contact Info: For questions, please contact Hasanika Mediwake at hasanika[at]torontoarts[dot]org

The Newcomer Arts Award is made possible by RBC Foundation. 

Newcomer Arts Award Recipients