The cast of Onegin (2017). Photography: Rachel McCaig.

Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators

This third-party recommender program assists Ontario-based professional theatre creators, and informal collectives of creators, by funding them to create and/or further develop new work. While the funding comes from the Ontario Arts Council, applications are made to, and funding decisions are made by, the theatre companies enrolled in the program. The Musical Stage Company is proud to be enrolled as a Recommender.

Please refer to the Ontario Arts Council website for full program guidelines.

For any questions, please email Aaron Willis, Associate Artistic 
Director, at or call (416) 927-7880 ext. 229.


Our Priorities

We are seeking new musical theatre work that uses music to illuminate the human condition and where the music is integral to the emotional journey of the storytelling. As a collaborative art form with complex and intricate craft required for each discipline involved, preference is given to musical theatre works written by teams who each specialize in a particular area (e.g. book, music, lyrics) rather than a single artist who attempts all three components.



You are eligible if you are:

  • Professional theatre artists who are residents of Ontario with a permanent physical address in Ontario.
  • Ad hoc groups/collectives composed of a majority of Ontario residents.

You must meet the eligibility criteria found in the Program Guidelines on the Ontario Arts Council website.

You are not eligible if you are:

  • An organization
  • Non-professional applicants
  • Employees or board members of the recommending theatre organization, or immediate family members of staff or board members

Grant Amounts

Grant Amounts

You may request an amount between $1,000-$5,000* for your project.

What our Recommender Grant funds:

  • Any type of musical theatre creation / development activity submitted by eligible applicants

What this program does not fund:

  • Creation of non-theatre work (i.e. film, radio, TV, poetry, etc)
  • Workshop costs
  • Productions

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

  • Cannot start before our deadline
  • Cannot finish before you receive your grant results, up to six weeks after the deadline 
  • Must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results

*Note: Grant amounts are typically under $3000 to best accommodate as many applicants  as possible. If successful, you may receive less than your requested amount. You cannot apply to this program if you have an overdue final report in any OAC grant program.

Application Process

Application Process

Applications for the 2019-2020 Recommender Grant are now open. For more information visit The Ontario Arts Council website

Deadline: December 16, 2019, 1 p.m. ET

Please note recent changes to the process:

  • Applications are now submitted to recommenders through the Ontario Arts Council’s online application program (NOVA). Interested applicants must register for a NOVA account to apply.
  • Recommenders no longer notify applicants. All applicants are notified by OAC through their Nova account.

You will be asked to submit the following items in addition to the project description and Artistic Merit questions on NOVA:

  • C.V. (mandatory)
  • Script Sample (Max 10 pages)
  • Audio/Visual (Max 2 songs)

For more information and to register for a NOVA account please visit:

*Previously called Theatre Creators’ Reserve.