FALL TERM   City of Surrey Start immediately Sept

City of Surrey  Expressions of Interest  September 30th (grant submission by November) 

City of Surrey have a substantial Budget and want to support us - they know who we are and what we do! City of Surrey run excellent workshops and give guidance to help organizations succeed. Contact Dory Haley.


There are three grants for different purposes 

  • ​Capacity Building Grant - up to $3,000  to develop the organization, web site, constitution, membership, training workshops for Board members etc

  • Project Grant - up to $5,000 to deliver a concert program or events for the benefit of Surrey Residents

  • Operational Grant  up to 20% of operational costs (max $15,000) - no strings attached - a grant just to support the organization. This is a 'merit'  grant for organizations who have effectively delivered two Project Grants. Essentially Surrey  are keen to support organizations running costs who  have demonstrated that  they  adds value to the area.

FALL TERM   City of White Rock Start immediately Sept

City of White Rock  Submission by 30th January each year (notification by end of March).

This falls a little awkwardly for us as it straddles Fall and Spring Term and is right at the end of the financial year!. Theres quite a bit of budget info to assemble which needs doing early in Fall term along with the planning as to what events we might be putting on for the following year. 

Contact is Elizabeth Keurvorst (its best to contact her as the web site at CWR is not easy to find info!)

The City of WR  are very keen supporters of the orchestra and view  us as a cultural cornerstone of the City  as it continues to expand its population. The 'Arts and Culture'  form is for projects and events that enrich life for residents in White Rock (typically supporting a performance) , and the other 'Grants In Aid' form is for helping develop the organization. NB City of White Rock do not do Operational Funding  to support overheads and running costs (see BC Gaming /Surrey)! 

  • Project Grant - up to $5000 to deliver a concert for the benefit of City of White Rock residents   Arts and Culture Event

  • Grant-in-Aid - up to $2000 general grant for equipment and organizations development (but NOT operational costs, so, music equipment, repairs, PA system, that add to the output of what we do and the public get the benefit)  Grants in Aid

SPRING TERM  BC Gaming Grant Start immediately in January

BC GAMING GRANT  Applications 1st February - April 30th

BC Gaming give Operation grant funding to support the orchestras general running costs 

Arts Council of Surrey

How to make a good Grant Application

20 key slides  taken from the City Of Surrey Grant Workshop with notes below each image.

Click to enlarge and read the notes in black area at the bottom to give some good guidance as to what funders look for and what to include in a good application so that it is a success!


The 'How -t0' Section

Its actually only a process

There really is nothing complicated about writing grants!  The details do however need to be clear, well defined and correctly budgeted for. The City of Surrey get around 60 - 70% of grant applications that are really poorly written, vague, not well considered and dont actually tick any of the key  criteria that the City list as being important. These applications tend to fail!


The starting point for any successful  grant  application is to spend time reading and understanding the  guidelines. Make bullet points as to how the WRCO are a good fit. Before writing  the grant simply digest why a grant  is being made available and what boxes need to be ticked. Surrey run workshops. They actually want grants to succeed!

The  value of  a grant

Writing any grant should show value to the funder and the people they represent. With the City of Surrey its about the relevance and appeal of any grant project  to the tax paying residents of Surrey. It is all about  partnership where they actually want to support groups like WRCO that enrich the local community . i.e. we do stuff that the City of Surrey dont. 

So simply put , a Grant to us enables  any funder  to put on shows for the community that normally wouldn't exist. It is important to recognize that they want to give money away but that they only 'shop' with organizations that can demonstrate that  they are a safe bet , have a  good track record and will deliver something that they would pay money to come and see themselves.

Music Program ingredients:

The key thing is to consider a music program that ticks the boxes. This needs thinking through early  but essentially for City of Surrey  there should include the fundamentals:-

  • the event takes place in Surrey,  has paid guest artists, is ideally something that no-one else is offering in the area, has collaborations, and is something that will be popular and sell out. 

Get that bit right and all that is left is to check that the budget stacks up!


Grant Committee

The grant committee are really busy and wont get in deep  but will quickly evaluate the merits of the program and then the look at feasibility (how the budget is put together). They typically have 100 applications to get through - they dont like long worded applications but enjoy reviewing ones that have a clear well thought out pitch,  clearly and efficiently written, and which demonstrate that they deliver the three weighting criteria that the City of Surrey state as being important:-

  • Artistic Merit             40%  This is about the ingredients of the program ( employ people of standing)

  • Commuting Impact  30%  This is about appeal of the program (aim for a popular show that will sell) 

  • Feasibltilty                30%   This is about the budget

Artistic merit: how can you best demonstrate this?

  • Hiring professional paid artists shows huge artistic merit  in the eyes of the City of Surrey (Dory Hayley who is in charge of Grants is a professional soprano and runs the Bluerigdge Chamber Festival and 'gets' the value of why paid artists make all the difference). For WRCO this would be employing guest performers, paid musicians, collaborations that raise the performance above a community orchestra putting on a show etc

  • Quotes from people who have written in and support WRCO and value what the orchestra does . Article in the news paper, events stepping out of the norm and is the ONLY thing or is unique on the patch. 

  • It is important that you include specific details - such as what is going to be performed who is performing, 

Show that you are interested and understand  Artistic Merit!!


Community impact

  • Multicultural

  • hitting all ages 

  • appealing to an underserved  population indifignious 

  • open ans access to a wide public 

  • impact a wide group audience plus parircaipnrwm, production folk

sheer numbers are not the only criteria ,. small projects are good


Important to show you have a plan for getting the word out - good to demonstrate 

show you know how to publicize this event

 website social media



the funders want to Trust you shown that your porject is feasible

Realistic budget

History gives trust

track record - some gourpols do the same festival and it builds our

an enfgagfed ream of people and invested in what you are doing

collaborative business - a really good trick asking to Partners to be part of the collaboration supported by other known organizations it builds trust with teh funders

 support letters ( but the committee have limited time!!)

Very subjective 

early application is good, directly and well answers Funders want Every interaction you have adducts the way they view you organization  so be projectional


5 reasons to Start early 


  1. Read and re-read the guidelines

  2. do you reseaserh

  3. Gather your documents

  4. Proof read get as second pair of eyes on you 

  5. Talks to us early and understand the 


Project description

Why should we fund you?


Who - you are -  A short summary paragraph 3-4 sentences and maybe some stats . It very rbgiefgly gives an at a glance what the group is known for and what it does. I get it


What - what you want to done  Explain the porject will help fine Where Where who will be involved . be succinct but a very clear idea of what you will do, and what are the arctic value. Inspire and spark the interest. Its ok to not have all the detailseven if small things end up changing.Show the artistic core of your project


Why you want to do it - perhaps the most imporotbnat. Here is where you build the argument as to why the City should fudn YOUR porject. 60 -70% say Hey we want to do this but dont say WHY and



What is specula

 IS anyone odin anything simples

HOw is your project dirrecnet

What unique strengths or porject logger


USe DATA to backup your idea - it becomes verifiable and shows facts 

how many people came last year

 how many supporters to you ahve

audience / participant survey are great to include


Press quotes


Grant Writing in Covid

Whenever you are writing a grant because nobody knows be reassuring in your grant as you can that you have a plan and perhaps multiple plans

describe it as you hope but also include one or tow contingencey plans so as to reassure the `funders If we can do it due to the pan dement we plan to move to online.


Organisation FUling

is  based on established trust delivering partnerships with the CIry of Surre

Its meant to fund what ever you need it for 


CLear - revenues and expentideuter are explained and obtiouvs ly repose to the porject

Realistic 0 Amounts are reasonable esiames  and based in past actuals where possible

Accurate and maths is correct

Blanaced Reveneus (invulling the revues grant amount equal expense


Brainstorm a list of expenses

You dont have to use the City of surrey forms but they are a good foment

`Always include a line for marketing and adverstiubng

Estivema cos of each expense from start to finishes as steps 

Do your research!



One off the big things is t5o show divers

City of Surry funds only  50% of project expenses are 

and it shows other people like you and the porject and build trust

Sho3 casategarores


Earned revenue o concerte itickets

Public sector 0 grants

individual donations, 


Make sure you include the `city of Surrey grant a


IN kind - you dont have to show thesis but it adds value

its good tp show investment in the project 

must include in expenses and revenues it has a value

You would novelly have to pay for stuff you have 

Make sure your budget balances

Project surplus deficit should be $0

Always good to balance budget rather than surplus 

If you have surplus it bad as it looks like you are calming too much

If  it less then its maybe not a feasible porject]


~YOu should be paying artists - a large reason why  Cultural Grants exist they exist CIy pdf surrey like to payment of artist.



Paying artists is a key part of showing cultural value nd merit


Final report

INitaivet assessment - what where the clkannges and successes

statistic form - 



Projected and Actual columns in the report 

projected should show what you originally applied for and you t6hen 3how actuals

the best thing you can do is to show that you learned form you project and to state next time we will do XYZ

Invludfe two budgets to show the challenged are that we are facing and vontincengy budget


Genearl tips

Keep its simple - write in your own voice 

Write a point form draft

Try saying it out loud as a description

Ask for feedback


Make the message clear]


Kent Galley head of  surrey civic theatres tomorrow night


Dory Haley 604 591 4850

For covid times the funders know it tough

but show the money has been used and  

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