Through the Artists in Neighbourhoods program, artists and neighbours are invited to work together to create and deliver community art. Eligible applicants can apply for up to $5,000 per project. 

Who can apply? 

Groups of two or more neighbours from the same City of Waterloo neighbourhood and professional artists (based in the Waterloo Region), are eligible to apply. Groups of neighbours and artists can apply separately, but the final project must include both neighbours and an artist. Projects should involve collaboration between an artist and be open to any neighbours in the area interested in participating. City staff can help support connections between neighbours and artists.

How to apply

To apply, follow the steps outlined below: 

  1. Brainstorm the type of project you may be interested in. Connect with to chat about your idea. 
  2. Submit an expression of interest online by March 1, 2024. If your expression of interest is approved, you will be emailed a link to submit a final application later in March. 
  3. Collaborate and complete your art initiative!

Expressions of interest are now closed. Check back for 2025 program details!

What types of initiatives are eligible?

The Artists in Neighbourhoods program is designed to support a wide range of art initiatives in the City of Waterloo. To be eligible for this program, initiatives must: 

  • Involve collaboration between neighbours and a professional artist or arts professional.
  • Be based in a neighbourhood, instead of across the City.
  • Be displayed/performed publicly.
  • Align with the City of Waterloo’s Public Art Policy.
  • Be generally supported by surrounding neighbours. 
  • Obtain necessary permits, follow applicable bylaws, and undergo necessary review processes outlined by the City of Waterloo.

Examples of projects could include: 

  • A community-based performance like a play or musical performed by neighbours, a poetry reading, or a dance featuring works created by the community as part of the project.
  • Visual art in a public space such as a mural, sculpture, exhibition, or display.
  • A project with a final display of work produced by the community such as a pottery, light, photography, or other artistic showcase.
  • A sign-based project that includes the work, music, poetry or other artistic media that will be displayed in a given area.
  • Publication of a collaborative piece such as a novel, poetry collection, cookbook, or other artistic media shared within the neighbourhood.

Unsure if your project is eligible for this program? Connect with

Frequently asked questions

Check out the frequently asked questions for more details on the program. 

 What is a professional artist?

For this specific program, the City of Waterloo defines a professional artist or arts professional as someone who has developed skills through training or practice, is recognized by artists working in the same artistic tradition, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work and actively practices their art. Artists must live in the Waterloo Region. 

What is a neighbourhood? 

Neighbourhoods are districts where people live. Neighbourhood boundaries can change over time and can be defined differently depending on each individual – some neighbourhoods have a specific name and boundaries, and others may be groups of neighbours residing in a certain area (like around a park). 
How are applications reviewed? 

 When reviewing applications, staff consider four measures: 

  • feasibility
  • artistic merit 
  • impact 
  • community benefit and connection to neighbourhood 
What types of expenses are eligible to be funded? 

 The following expenses are eligible to be funded through this program: 

  • artist fees 
  • consumable materials and supplies 
  • equipment or technology rentals 
  • permit and insurance costs 
  • logistic costs 
  • volunteer recognition 
  • printing 
  • costs associated with supporting collaboration between artist and neighbours (space rentals, food and beverage, etc.)

The following expenses are not eligible to be covered through this program: 

  • Ongoing operating fees associated with artist work (for example, administrative costs, rental fees for artist work space).
  • Purchase of equipment, technology, licenses, or certifications that will have an ongoing personal benefit to the applicant outside of the project (for example a course, printing press, 3D printer, kiln, etc.). The applicant should explore rental options for the duration of the project. 
  • Items already purchased prior to final grant approval.
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis, or any other drugs.

An example budget form can be downloaded here. 

What if my art initiative is not eligible for this program? 

If your neighbourhood art initiative is not eligible for this program, there may be other funding opportunities available to support your idea as a neighbourhood group, like the Neighbourhood Fund
Can I apply for other funding opportunities? 
Artists, or neighbours in collaboration with an artist, are free to pursue additional funding to support the delivery of their project through sources like, but not limited to, Waterloo Region Arts Fund, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts. Artists and neighbours are not eligible to apply for other funding opportunities from the City of Waterloo to support the delivery of the same project.
 After my application has been approved, what can I expect? 
After an application has been approved, City staff will work with applicants to help their project come to life! This may involve helping applicants obtain permits and approvals, connecting artists and neighbours, and providing guidance and support. 
What types of projects has this fund supported?

Past community art projects include: 

  • Nature art paint-making station with paints made from rocks, soils, and clays
  • Fence art project illustrating neighbourhood heritage through the creation of a mural-like wooden pictorial of the creatures that live in the neighbourhood
  • A woven pod from natural weaving materials like willow, grapevine and invasive buckthorn saplings that are growing abundantly in the city
  • Textile weaving in a neighbourhood park