Placemaking Grant Pilot

Placemaking Grant Pilot Program

The City of Hamilton, with financial support from the Patrick J. McNally Charitable Foundation, is pleased to announce the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program for 2020-2022. Funding will support community-led projects that propose new ways of interacting with public spaces. Projects are to be place-based and may be playful and fun or address more serious issues. Applicants are encouraged to reimagine every day public spaces and propose temporary projects that are creative and experimental.

What is Placemaking?

Placemaking is a hands-on approach for making a meaningful change or impact in a neighborhood, city or region. Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces. Placemaking interacts with the unique geography, culture, and heritage of a space and is a way for residents to feel ownership of public space and use it in a way that is specific to community need.

Placemaking Venn Diagram

Planning during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, safety must be the first priority when planning and implementing any placemaking project. Please consult current safety regulations before starting your project and be ready to adjust as needed if regulations change. For general information, visit

Resources for Grant Applicants

Join a virtual Question and Answers session. To register email [email protected]:  

  • Wednesday October 6 from 3 pm to 4 pm via zoom
  • Wednesday November 10 from 7 pm to 8 pm via zoom

Groups are strongly encouraged to contact staff and discuss their project details before submitting an application. Please contact [email protected] or call 905-546-2424 ext. 7505 to arrange a meeting or with any questions.

Funding available

The Placemaking Grants Pilot Program will award $100,000 over 2 years for community-led, place-based projects. Funding is available as follows:

  • Category 1
    Up to $2,000 per project to fund place-based projects that are low-cost, that result in a meaningful impact on a place/community. Projects are temporary (from a few days up to one year) and may include a physical change to the place (signage, art installations, garden planters, etc.) or may reimagine a space through repeated action (performances, gatherings, etc.). Approximately 20 grants may be awarded during the two-year grant program.
  • Category 2

    $5,000 to $20,000 per project to fund place-based projects that have a larger physical impact on the place/community with meaningful results. Projects are temporary (from a few days up to three years) and will include a physical change to the place (seating, sculpture, etc.). Approximately two to four grants may be awarded during the two-year grant program.

This grant can cover up to 100% of eligible project expenses.

Note to City Enrichment Fund grant applicants: It is your responsibility to ensure that participation in this funding program does not exceed the 30% funding threshold from all City sources. If unsure, please speak to your City Enrichment Fund program manager.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Groups of residents (minimum of 3 city of Hamilton residents, 18 years or older) working on a project together. All 3 residents will be responsible for the funds awarded and ensuring that the project is completed as proposed. NOTE funding recipients will receive a T4A from the City of Hamilton.
  • Non-profit groups and organizations. Groups may or may not beincorporated. Organizations must be Hamilton based.

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Individuals
  • Groups of people and organizations who do not reside/operate in the City of Hamilton
  • Political parties or events related to political projects or lobbying
  • For profit organizations or businesses
  • Organizations whose projects are deemed to come under the jurisdiction of other levels, divisions, departments or agencies of the City or other governments, i.e. school boards, post-secondary institutions, libraries, hospitals, etc.

Eligible Projects:
Projects must meet all of the following eligibility requirements.

  • Place-based projects - The project must be created to interact with the unique traits and local context of a place.
  • Project must be new or being tested on a newer/larger scale.
  • Projects must be temporary.
  • Must take place in the City of Hamilton on public property or private property that is easily accessed by the public and considered public space. Permission from land owner required.
  • Project and activities are intended for the general public at no cost.
  • Projects applying for Category 2 funding ($5,000-$20,000) must include a physical change to the place (seating, art installation, etc.)
  • Projects expected to start between June 2022 and May 2023.

Ineligible Projects:

  • Projects previously funded through the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program
  • Projects led by the City of Hamilton
  • Repeat or annual projects/events
  • Projects that forecast a deficit
  • Projects whose primary purpose is fundraising
  • Projects of a primarily religious or political nature
  • Projects that are not intended for, or accessible by, the general public

Eligible Expenses
To be eligible, an expense must be directly related to the project being funded. Some examples include:

  • Permits (including park rental fees)
  • Maintenance and removal costs
  • Insurance
  • Supplies and materials
  • Fees and expenses for artists, demonstrators, and/or performers
  • Production expenses
  • Equipment and venue rental

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Operating expenses for your group or organization (e.g., salaries, travel, office equipment or furniture)
  • Creation, production and/or distribution of souvenirs
  • Purchase of alcohol and related expenses
  • Purchase, commission, or restoration of items that are intended for sale

How to apply for funding

  • Read all of the information provided. Review the funding eligibility, assessment criteria, and expectations for funded projects.
  • Submit application by the deadline. Grant applications must be submitted by 4 pm on December 10, 2021.
  • Complete the application form online via Submittable.
    • You will need to create a user name and password to use Submittable.
    • You can save your progress as you work on your application.
    • Prepare a project budget and upload it to your application.
    • You can submit your own budget document or use the budget template (XLS, 32 KB).

If you require any accommodations or the application in an accessible format, please contact [email protected] prior to the deadline to make alternate arrangements.

Button "apply online"
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How Funding Decisions are Made

Assessment Process:
All applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Ineligible and late applications will not be considered for funding.

Assessment Criteria and Scoring:
All eligible applications will be assessed against the following assessment criteria. It is expected that applicants requesting Category 2 funding ($5,000-$20,000) will submit a more detailed application than those applying for Category 1 funding (up to $2,000).

Project demonstrates a place-based experience

What the Assessors will be looking for in the application:

  • Project and place are described
  • Project designed specifically for the place
  • Project has the potential for meaningful impact on a place/community


  • Application exceeds assessment expectations
  • Application meets assessment expectations
  • Application is below assessment expectations

Project encourages collaboration and interaction

What the Assessors will be looking for in the application:

  • Individuals and/or organizations involved in the project are identified and their roles described
  • Those involved with the project are diverse and represent more than one point of view
  • Project has the potential to increase community interaction


  • Application exceeds assessment expectations
  • Application meets assessment expectations
  • Application is below assessment expectations

Project demonstrates a creative or experimental approach to create change

What the Assessors will be looking for in the application:

  • Reason why project is needed is described
  • Project demonstrates a creative or experimental approach
  • Project changes how people can experience the place


  • Application exceeds assessment expectations
  • Application meets assessment expectations
  • Application is below assessment expectations

Applicants demonstrates they have the resources to complete the project

What the Assessors will be looking for in the application:

  • Budget is reasonable and suited to the proposed project
  • Major steps required to coordinate the project are identified
  • Plan to maintain the project through its lifecycle and retire it upon completion identified
  • Resources and capacity required to coordinate project demonstrated


  • Application exceeds assessment expectations
  • Application meets assessment expectations
  • Application is below assessment expectations
  • To be considered for funding, the application must achieve the score of “application exceeds assessment expectations” or “application meets assessment expectations” in each of the 4 areas of assessment.
  • Applications that receive a score of “application is below assessment expectations” in any area of assessment will not be considered for funding.
  • Projects will be reviewed to ensure that they are technically feasible before funding is awarded. Applicants may be contacted by staff if more information is required. Any terms and conditions will be outlined in a funding agreement.
  • The assessment team will make funding recommendations based on score. In the case of a tie score, new applicants will receive preference over previously funded applicants and the location of projects may be a factor in order  to support placemaking projects throughout the city of Hamilton.

Projects Awarded Funding

Funding Announcement
Funding decisions are expected to be announced by the end of March 2022. Successful applicants can expect to receive written confirmation from the City of Hamilton via email.

Funding Agreement
Applicants awarded funding should expect to meet virtually with City staff after the funding announcement to confirm technical requirements. Once both sides are sure that the project can go ahead as described in the application or reasonably amended, a funding agreement will be created. The funding agreement, agreeable to both parties, will identify a payment schedule, project milestones, insurance requirements, potential COVID-19 impacts, any approvals required for the project, acknowledgment of funds, etc.

Placemaking Grant Pilot Program - Projects awarded funding in 2021 (PDF, 202 KB)

Contact us

Sarah Ehmke
Cultural Projects Specialist Tourism and Culture Division,
City of Hamilton
Phone 905.546.2424 ext. 7505
Email [email protected]