Energize Microloan Fund for the Arts

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ArtsBuild Ontario and Community Forward Foundation have established The Energize Microloan Fund to provide Ontario’s nonprofit arts organizations with the opportunity to make their spaces more energy efficient and contribute to global greening efforts with access to capital and ArtsBuild Ontario’s programs and services.

This fund will provide nonprofit arts organizations small loans from $2,500 to $5,000 at an interest rate of 3.5%* that can be used for the purpose of funding projects that could reduce their energy consumption or towards plans, reports or audits needed to qualify for/or understand the energy efficiency of their buildings.

*Community Forward Fund charges 8% annual fixed rate of interest on this loan. ArtsBuild Ontario is subsidizing this annual fixed interest rate in the amount of 4.5%, to make it more affordable for your organization

The Energize Microloan Fund for the Arts is part of ArtsBuild Ontario’s Energy Conservation Program, which has provided energy conservation training and incentives towards the cost of energy audits or energy conservation projects to arts organizations and facilities.

To Apply:

Nonprofit arts organizations in Ontario responsible for the maintenance of their facilities, pay for their own utilities, have annual revenue up to $5 million, and who are addressing environmental, energy efficiency or conservation challenges in their creative spaces can apply. Read more about eligibility requirements here.

Click here to download the Energize Microloan Fund Loan Application Form.

Send your completed application form and attachments to lindsay@artsbuildontario.ca

Mail your $250 application fee (made payable to Community Forward Fund) to:

ArtsBuild Ontario
79 Joseph Street
Kitchener, ON N2G 1J2

Feel free to contact  Lindsay MacDonald, Director of Programs, at 519.880.3670 x102 with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why did we create the Energize Microloan Fund for the Arts?
ArtsBuild wanted arts organizations to capitalize on opportunities that energy efficiency upgrades could provide. Energy efficiency upgrades could save money for an organization every year on utilities and we wanted to make sure that arts organizations are able to take advantage of these opportunities. These energy upgrades in creative spaces could include small projects like replacing lights, doors, windows or toilets which all contribute to lowering energy consumption and result in lowering hydro bills. Other important work to be done around energy conservation could be energy audits and reports that can help an organization understand the potential of their building and plans to execute future work.

Most organizations do not have the funds to make these small projects a reality and, as a result, lose out on potential future savings.

ArtsBuild wanted to pilot a small loan fund that could support arts organizations in doing these small projects/plans/reports and help them maximize the opportunities available to them.

Through our partnership with Community Forward Fund, support from TD and program support from Toronto Hydro, we hope that our arts facilities can make needed improvements that will save them money each year on utility bills.


How do I apply?
You can download an application at X and submit your completed application with attachments to ArtsBuild Ontario.

Submit via email to: lindsay@artsbuildontario.ca

What amount can organizations borrow?
Organizations can borrow amounts between $2,500-$5,000.

What is the interest rate?
The interest rate to the borrower is 3.5%
Community Forward Fund charges an 8% annual fixed rate of interest on this loan. ArtsBuild Ontario is subsidizing this annual fixed interest rate in the amount of 4.5%, lowering the interest rate to the borrower to 3.5%.

Is there a fee?
There is a $250 non-refundable application fee, to be paid by applicant.

How is the fund capitalized?
TD has provided ArtsBuild with a grant of $30,000 that is being applied to capitalize the fund. Community Forward Fund is matching the $30,000, for a total loan fund of $60,000.


The Energize Microloan Fund for the Arts will fund projects to:

  • Allow organizations to undertake and complete needed small energy efficiency or conservation related projects, renovations or energy-efficiency improvements that reduce their annual operating expenses
  • Commission energy audits that allow for business planning and that are required for many incentive programs
  • Complete the planning and business case preparations, for the required capital investment in larger improvements

Examples of Eligible Small Improvement Projects:

  • Installation of energy efficient lighting systems
  • Installation of low flow toilets
  • Insulation
  • Replacement of any system or component with an energy efficient system/component
  • Replacing windows or roofs


Nonprofit arts organizations in Ontario responsible for the maintenance of their facilities and who pay for their own utilities

  • Have annual revenue up to $5 million
  • Are addressing an environmental, energy efficiency or conservation challenges in their creative spaces


ArtsBuild Ontario

ArtsBuild Ontario is the only organization in Ontario dedicated to realizing long-term solutions for building, managing and financing the sustainable arts facilities needed in Ontario communities.

ArtsBuild provides tools, training and resources that support the development and sustainable creative spaces such as theatres, galleries, concert halls, museums and other arts facilities.
Whether you are an arts organization that already owns or leases an arts facility or planning to have your own space, a municipality that owns and/or manages creative spaces, or a funder or other decision maker that works with creative infrastructure, our offerings can help you.

Community Forward Fund Assistance Corp.

The Community Forward Fund Assistance Corporation (CFFAC) is a Canadian nonprofit operating nationally. Our mission is to advance a sustainable charitable and nonprofit sector by providing access to loans and the financial capacity building tools organizations need to help them assess their current financial picture and implement plans for their future.


TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2014, TD donated $82 million to community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit: td.com/corporate-responsibility.

Toronto Hydro

Toronto Hydro offers business conservation programs aimed at saving money by reducing electricity usage. The programs vary in incentives and technologies and are funded by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Toronto Hydro is working with ArtsBuild Ontario to assist eligible arts facilities in accessing these incentives alongside the Energize Microloan Fund for the Arts.


saveONenergy Programs

ArtsBuild has worked closely with Toronto Hydro to understand these energy incentives and how they can help arts organizations. These incentives are available province-wide and are administered through the Local Utility company.

To see what incentives or rebates are currently available, please visit: saveonenergy.ca/business.aspx

If you need help understanding any incentives and if they apply to your organization, please contact ArtsBuild at  or 519.880.3670 ext 102.