The Infinity Tunnel. Photo Credit: Cory Bluhm


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Making Art Happen in our Community since 2002


The Arts Fund has had a significant impact on the development of the creative arts community throughout Waterloo Region. Arts Fund Board members contribute their time, expertise and goodwill, and are acknowledged as having a leadership role within the arts community. Serving on the Board is both an opportunity and a commitment.

  • If you are interested in applying to be a Board member, please review recruitment info on this link.


Purpose and Role of the Arts Fund Board of Directors  


The 14-member volunteer board is responsible for allocating funding provided by Regional Council on an annual basis. Applications are assessed using the peer review model – the people with the best expertise to review project proposals and understand which artistic projects are of highest quality and worthy of support are artists and individuals with extensive involvement in the arts.


Board of Directors application review

The Arts Fund does not provide comment or feedback about any grant application evaluations and/or funding decisions. It is essential to the integrity of the review process that Board members do not assist with preparing applications, nor discuss the deliberations or outcomes. Members sign and adhere to the Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policies.


Board members volunteer their time and expertise and receive no payment; some administrative expenses are reimbursed. 


Can Board Members Still Apply for Grants?


Yes, Board members may apply for grants as individuals or on behalf of their affiliated organizations. A position on the Board is a commitment of several years and, if excluded from the application process, it would penalize local artists for serving on behalf of others. 


Over the years, the Board has strengthened its commitment to the Conflict of Interest policy. Applications from Board members undergo the same scrutiny that all applications receive. If a Board member submits an application, they must declare a direct conflict for that round. The Board member does not review any applications at all. The Director does not participate in any granting evaluations or decision-making while their own application is being considered.



Board Appointment and Term of Office


Members of the Board can be appointed initially for a one- or two-year commitment, at the discretion of the incoming board member. A director can serve a maximum of six (6) continuous years. After retirement from the board, a former director can return to the board after a one-year absence.



Responsibilities of Board Members

  • Review grant requests and prepare for deliberations for allocations (2 cycles per year)

  • Attend meetings and participate fully in the work of the Board

  • Adhere to the Arts Fund Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policies, as per the By-laws of the Corporation

  • Assist in the work of the various committees, as required from time to time

  • Represent the Arts Fund within the community, in adherence with its corporate by-laws


    Promote the Arts Fund within the community and encourage artistic projects and community-support for those projects


Skills and Values

  • Generosity of spirit and a desire to support the well-being of individual artists and organizations

  • Expertise in specific artistic disciplines, as well as a broad knowledge of the arts in general throughout Waterloo Region

  • Optimism and a positive approach towards the role of the arts in community development

  • Experience with governance practices in non-profit boards is an asset

  • Good judgment when balancing conflicting priorities and making difficult decisions

  • A collegial and collaborative approach to working with fellow Board members

Tasks and Time Commitment

  • Attend all Meetings – The schedule for a minimum of four (4) meetings per year is set well in advance of the coming year.  Depending on the amount of applications in a cycle, an additional meeting may be required to accommodate a thorough review of all applications; the additional meetings are scheduled well in advance. The purpose of the meetings are primarily to review applications received and to conduct Board business.
  • Review Applications – Board members review grant applications twice per year, in the spring and fall. As of September 2020, applications are submitted via an online portal and are password-protected. The applications are accessible by Board members online approximately 4-5 weeks ahead of the application review meeting date. Normally, 100-120 applications are received for review in each cycle. The amount of time required to read, review and, in some cases, research the applications will vary by individual (10-30 minutes per application, over the span of several days).
  • Deliberations and Allocations – A minimum of two (2) meetings per year are held to decide on grant allocations. The average time required for participation in these meetings is 3 to 5 hours. Board members must be prepared to discuss the applications in detail at the review meetings. 
  • Other meetings – Board members may be asked to sit on one of three committees and to attend other committee meetings on an ad hoc basis – two or three times per year. 
  • Represent the Board – Arts Fund Board members represent the Board when attending events at the invitation of grant recipients – once or twice a year. 
  • Open House – to allow community members to learn more about the Fund, Board members take turns participating in a two-hour open house. These coincide with the two granting cycles, in the spring and fall.

Nomination and Election Process

  • Provide a resume or CV to the Nominations Committee through the Arts Fund Chair

  • Receipt of all membership applications will be acknowledged and applicants will be interviewed at the discretion of the Board

  • Election occurs during an appropriately scheduled meeting of the Board, typically annually in September during the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  • Each new Board member is required to review, sign and agree to abide by Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policy documents

  • Orientation is provided by the Board Chair and/or Vice Chair, or designate


  • During COVID-19, and until physical distancing measures are relaxed, Board meetings occur virtually via Zoom with the Board President and support staff present onsite (at the Region of Waterloo Administrative Headquarters,150 Frederick Street in Kitchener)

  • Parking costs incurred by members are reimbursed on a regular basis and paid from the Arts Fund budget

  • Arts Fund-supported events occur throughout the Region and members are encouraged to attend/participate, where possible

  • The Arts Fund Board carries Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

  • Staff support is provided for the work of the Board by Regional staff members in the office of the Regional Clerk (Planning, Development and Legislative Services), as well as staff in Legal Services and Financial Services

For more information and to express your interest in serving on the Arts Fund Board, please contact us.