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YRAC Programs


Artrepreneur is 13-week business accelerator program designed for creatives who want to start or grow an arts-related business. This 40-hour course equips artists with the necessary business skills to write a business plan and run their own business. 


  • Learn the fundamentals of running a business
  • Write a business plan (marketing and finance)
  • Meet other creative entrepreneurs and experts
  • Practise public speaking and pitching
  • Develop or ideate a creative business idea
  • Showcase your business at the graduation show

Who is this program for: 

  • Artists who run or have an idea for a creative business
  • Entrepreneurs working in any creative discipline

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The AIR program pairs York Region artists with a local host organization to develop a new piece of work over a three (3) month residency. Residents also engage the community at the host space and receive a fee for their work.


  • Receive funding for your project
  • Work out of a unique space
  • Develop a new piece of art
  • Grow your artistic practice
  • Engage the public with your art
  • Experiment with new project ideas

Who is this program for: 

  • Artists looking to build their portfolio and gain exposure
  • Artists looking for funding and a workspace
  • Mid-career to established artists in any discipline

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AMP is a 9-month program that pairs emerging artists with established artists. The pairs will meet once a month to discuss their professional goals. Mentees will also receive professional development workshops in a collaborative group environment.


  • Receive +10 hours of 1-on-1 mentorship
  • Meet other artists and experts
  • Attend +10 hours of workshops
  • Access a mentor for nine (9) months

Who is this program for: 

  • Artists at any stage of their careers, looking to receive mentorship in a specific discipline and area of their practice

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Creativity Connected Awards

Deadline: September 15, 2019

The Creativity Connected Awards recognize companies or individuals in Richmond Hill who have demonstrated excellence in the creative industries field. The purpose of the Awards is to celebrate creativity and the power of ideas in all forms.

Click here to learn more.

Richmond Hill Arts Awards

Deadline: TBC - December 2019

The Richmond Hill Arts Awards profile cultural success stories by recognizing artistic talent and community contribution to the arts sector in Richmond Hill. The Richmond Hill Arts Awards will be presented annually at the Richmond Hill Cultural Summit.

Click here to learn more.

Applied Arts Awards

Deadline: Various

Launched in 1992, the Applied Arts Awards are the only competition in Canada that recognizes the creative work of professionals across the visual communications sector, from image-makers to advertising executives to designers. These awards are your best opportunity to promote your work to an audience of the best and brightest of the industry as well as to potential clients. Over the past 25 years, the Applied Arts Awards have become an international recognition of creative excellence.

Click here to learn more.

Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Deadline: TBC - December 2019

In 2006, the Government of Ontario created the awards as a sign of the province’s deep appreciation of the wonderful artists and arts groups who have chosen to work here and its appreciation for their invaluable and lasting contribution to the enrichment of our way of life.

The awards recognize the outstanding achievements of artists and arts organizations, as well as their contributions to arts and culture in Ontario over a significant period of time.

The awards support any artistic practice, including but not limited to craft, dance, literature, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts and cultural industries, such as book and magazine publishing, digital media, film, television and sound recording. The awards are not intended as a lifetime achievement award.

Click here to learn more.


Society of York Region Artists - CURIOUS MINDS
November 29 – January 25
Society of York Region Artists’ 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition & Sale 
Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora
Deadline: 11 Nov 2019 
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Town of Georgina 2019 Summer Photo Contest
Deadline: September 9, 2019
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Wallace Joyce Scholarship
The Wallace Joyce Scholarship is a $1,000 bursary created to support students from York Region pursuing their studies in an art-related field at a post-secondary level.
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Artrepreneur Program

The York Region Arts Council Artrepreneur Program was created in 2015 and has completed thirteen cohorts since its inception. Run in eight municipalities around York Region to date, it has continued to provide an opportunity for artists and creatives in a variety of artistic disciplines to learn how to start or grow their creative business. The program is comprised of weekly seminars, workshops, assignments, and a final presentation and expo over a period of four months. Our curriculum is blended with in-class working sessions, peer-to-peer learning, a one-on-one session in preparation for the final expo, and opportunities for group learning and discussion. 

Through the program, fellows go through a business model canvas and complete a business plan, allowing artists to take their businesses to the next level. A final Expo provides the opportunity for fellows to present their work to an audience, including York Region Arts Council stakeholders. Upon successful graduation, fellows receive a certificate endorsed by all program partners. Fellows will gain the necessary skills and resources to build their own creative business.  

As entrepreneurs who contribute greatly to the social and economic well-being of their communities, artists require strategic training to grow in capacity. By incubating artists of all disciplines in one program, we foster collaboration and the sharing of ideas, tools, tips and best practices, resulting in a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to “make it” as a creative entrepreneur.

The Artrepreneur Program is currently being run in Vaughan for Cohort 7 fall 2019.

For more information, visit:

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Deanna Galati, Program Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Experience York Region (formerly known as YorkScene) is your ultimate resource for all there is to see and do in York Region and the Region’s nine municipalities – Town of Georgina, Town of East Gwillimbury, Town of Newmarket, Town of Aurora, Town of Richmond Hill, King Township, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, City of Vaughan and City of Markham.

Just minutes north of Toronto, York Region is a special place – it is uniquely characterized by its rich cultural diversity, vibrant community life, vast green spaces and Lake Simcoe waterfront. As a resident or visitor, there are many opportunities to discover and experience everything York Region has to offer. Browse through daily to learn about local events, activities, venues and places that cater to your individual interests and tastes. You will find that York Region is sizzling with arts, culture, golf, sporting, outdoors, culinary, shopping, nightlife and recreational entertainment, as well as plenty of places to stay. is the property of the York Region Arts Council and a collaborative initiative between the York Region Arts Council, the Regional Municipality of York, Economic Strategy Branch, and York Region Media Group, a division of Metroland Media Group. Throughout the past eight years, the site has been funded by a number of organizations, including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Regional Municipality of York, Metroland Media Group, Central Counties Tourism and the York Region Arts Council. Experience York Region – It's All Here!

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York Region Arts Council, YRAC

395 Mulock Drive,
Newmarket, ON. L3Y 4Y9

Phone: 905-726-3278
Fax: 905-726-2788

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