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Arts, Culture & Heritage Subsidy Program Guidelines

Program Overview

The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA) introduces the Arts, Cultural & Heritage Rent Subsidy Program (ARSP). The program utilizes rent subsidy to encourage up to four (4) arts, cultural and heritage businesses annually to fill previously unoccupied buildings with new businesses. This program is sponsored, funded, and monitored by the DWBIA’s Committee of the Whole. All funding is at the sole discretion of the DWBIA and subject to the DWBIA’s budget.

Program Goal

The goal of implementing the ARSP is to stimulate and enhance economic development and to introduce new arts, cultural and heritage services and entities to the DWBIA’s boundaries. The DWBIA will offer grant funding for a portion of monthly commercial rent for up to a maximum of $1,800 for a consecutive 12-month period for selected applicants.


Any new arts, cultural and heritage business located within the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association’s boundaries selected for a funding allocation by the DWBIA. Arts, Cultural and Heritage will be defined as a transformation and/or collaboration of different art forms. The DWBIA will view the terms Arts, Cultural and Heritage as art forms that embody creative thinking and expression, that encompass the analysis of contemporary visual culture alongside other art forms i.e. visual art, literature, music, theatre, film, dance etc. Please note that the DWBIA does not at any time determine what constitutes good/bad art. The DWBIA will remain impartial at all times during the decision process. Please also note that proponents must agree to be open to the public a minimum of 20 hours per week and must also agree to posted hours.

How the Funding Will Be Awarded

Upon approval for funding by the DWBIA, the DWBIA will subsidize up to 50% of the selected tenant’s rent each month for the one-year subsidy period up to a maximum of $200/month.


  • Complete attached Arts Cultural & Heritage Rent Subsidy Program application form.
  • Include a business plan along with the application submission.
  • Applicant businesses must represent the arts & culture sector through the described eligible areas.
  • The applicant must show proof that the business is registered in Ontario as a Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, or Partnership.
  • There will be no subsequent funding for the business after the first year.
  • Applicants will be encouraged to ‘cluster’ into a similar area as to promote street growth and vitality.
  • The applicant must agree to remain in business and to not sell or assign such business to another person or entity for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of initial funding.
  • In the event the business (applicant) fails to remain open, or the business or property is sold or transferred, within the 12-month grant period the applicant shall reimburse the DWBIA for amounts received.

Application and Approval

  • Applications must be received prior to the business opening.
  • The DWBIA’s Committee of the Whole shall conduct the review of submissions. The review of all submissions is at the sole discretion of the DWBIA.
  • The DWBIA’s Committee of the Whole may request that an applicant attend a Committee meeting to discuss their application.
  • The DWBIA may award funding to an applicant with certain provisions, conditions, or other requirements the DWBIA may deem necessary in the sole discretion of the DWBIA.
  • All applicants chosen and all funding given will be at the discretion of the DWBIA’s Board of Directors.
  • The applicant will be notified, within 120 days of receipt of application, if the DWBIA has approved of the applicant’s application.


  • Payment will be made to the business owner each month for duration of twelve (12) months.
  • The DWBIA may award funding to up to four (4) applicants. Funding applications received after the budget is exhausted may be considered for funding during the next application in-take cycle.
  • For funding to be awarded, the applicant must stay in good standing with the DWBIA and adhere to all DWBIA standards.
  • Prior to receipt of the first monthly grant payment (of up to $200.00) the applicant must provide the DWBIA with a copy of the applicant’s fully executed and binding lease, and a copy of their cancelled rent cheque or a receipt from their landlord.
  • For each successive monthly grant payment (up to 11 additional months), the applicant must provide the DWBIA with a copy of their cancelled rent cheque or a receipt from their landlord receipt demonstrating rent paid for the previous month. Once the DWBIA is in receipt of the supporting documentation, it will release the grant funds.
  • All funding is subject to the DWBIA’s budget and may be withdrawn at any time at the sole discretion of the DWBIA.

Next Steps

For any questions please contact us.

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