Arts Economic Development Program


The Arts Economic Development Program (AEDP) provides funding for NWT artists and organizations who work with them to develop stock for commercial purposes. It can also help fund exports of their product to new audiences.

This program is designed to:

  • Support the growth and sustainability of the NWT arts economy.
  • Build the skills and experience of NWT artists and art organizations.
  • Encourage the export of NWT art.

Funding Available

  1. Up to $5,000 for new inventory meant for sale to new buyers, either inside or outside the NWT. Inventory may include printed materials, books, digital recording, and more. This program cannot be used to purchase raw materials.
  1. Up to $25,000 to:
    • Attend tradeshows, marketing or sales opportunities inside or outside of the NWT
    • Touring activities, for a musician, artist, dancer, theatre artist, etc, inside or outside the NWT
    • Host a familiarization tour to take place within the NWT for the purpose of showcasing NWT artists for future export opportunities
    • Develop a website or e-commerce platform that exports NWT art products to new audiences
  1. NWT arts organizations can apply for up to $10,000 to deliver or enhance professional development training for artists.

For a project to be considered, applicants must contribute the following minimum equity costs:

  • Group 1 communities (Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith, and Inuvik) – 30% of project costs
  • Group 2 communities (all other communities within NWT) – 20% of project costs

For Example, an approved $10,000 project in a Group 1 community would need to contribute $3,000 of the total project cost, and would receive $7,000 in total funding.

Assistance provided under this program is understood to be in excess to the client limits under SEED Policy, Section 9(1)(h).


Applications for the pilot program will be accepted until February 15, 2024 through ITI regional offices.

Applications will be assessed on a first come, first reviewed basis. Eligible proposals will be awarded funding until the budget is spent.

As much as possible, funding will be allocated equitably across NWT regions.

Applicants can apply for more than one funding stream at the same time.


Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements below, as well as any outlined in the Support to Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Policy. Applicants must be in good standing with the Government of the Northwest Territories and currently be a resident of the NWT. Funding received must be spent on activities that occur between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. Applicants may include activities that occurred prior to submitting an application, as long as those activities occurred within the April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024 funding period.

To be eligible, artists must provide:

  • Proof of NWT residency.
  • Able to demonstrate experience creating art for commercial/economic purposes, such as online or in-person sales, live performance at a public event, past publications, past recordings, etc.

To be eligible, arts organizations must provide proof of:

  • Certificate of compliance or letter of status from the NWT Corporate Registry.
  • Current business licence.
  • Two million dollars comprehensive general liability insurance.

How to apply

  1. Complete an application form and attach all required documents.
  2. Submit the completed application form to your regional office.

Before completing your application, contact your regional Economic Development Officer to discuss your idea.