Organizing Events in Ontario

Photo Credit: Garrett Elliot, Kingston Writersfest, 2019

Each year, Ontario Culture Days sees over 1500 events taking place in 150+ communities throughout the province, all thanks to a fantastic roster of organizers who make everything possible. In 2020, the Culture Days festival has been extended to September 25 - October 25, creating even more opportunities to connect, share, and highlight the vibrant arts and culture sector within our province. The following are a few important answers to frequently asked questions about the upcoming festivities.

Jump to:
Community Feature Days
Pay What You May and other fundraising strategies
Artist Fees

Community Feature Days

We may be physically distanced and staying close to home, but this Culture Days will be an opportunity to visit the province – virtually, of course. ONCD will be hosting a series of Community Feature Days throughout the four weeks of Culture Days 2020. These features will be a place to show off local artists, current programming, or behind-the-scenes tours, just to name a few. If your community is featured, it will be the focus of our communications platforms on the day in question, including social media, our websites, e-newsletter and media relations.

Stay tuned for more details, including a mid-August deadline for confirming your community’s interest in this program.

Pay What You May and other fundraising strategies

In 2019 we updated our free admission policy to include a Pay-What–You-May (PWYM) option for entry to Culture Days events. While all Culture Days events are still mandated to have free entry, organizers can now publicly list that they accept optional PWYM donations for admission, which will be included in your event listing on the site.
With the pivot to online, self-guided, or physically-distanced programming, it can be a challenge to receive donations. Thankfully, there are ways to receive payments digitally. Here are a few of our favourites:

  1. weshowup - allows for PWYM for live-streamed events on a number of platforms. Participants are prompted after the event to donate to you/your organization
  2. Facebook Donations - event-based short term fundraising option- 100% of the funds raised goes towards the non-profit.
  3. Kickstarter - Allows you to create tiered donation packages. Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If your project doesn’t reach its goal, then funds don’t get collected, and no money changes hands. If the goal is met Kickstarter charges 5% of the total funds raised. View their fees here.
  4. Sometimes simple can be best! Some artists are asking people to send donations directly to their bank account via e-transfer. You just have to tell them an email address for the payment.

Artist fees

With gigs being cancelled and the sales of artwork vanishing, now more than ever, it is important to support artists getting paid for their time and hard work. Paying artist fees ensures the longevity and resiliency of the sector, allowing artists to continue to meet their own needs while working in their chosen field.

Ontario Culture Days supports the fair payment of artists for their participation in all arts and culture programming, including the Culture Days festival.

For more resources and guidelines relating to artist fees, including when to pay artist fees, how much should you pay, and how should you calculate an artist’s time, we recommend reviewing the following sources:

  1. CARFAC minimum fee schedule
  2. Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (CADA) Professional Standards

What’s Next
For more tools, resources, and opportunities to tap in to the collective brainpower of our sector, check out our From the Sector page.

Don’t forget to stay in touch! Connect with other organizers on our ON Organizer Network Facebook group and sign-up for our provincial newsletter.
Have a question? Send an email to