Opera Artist Resilience (OAR) Program

Association for Opera in Canada (AOC) has been awarded $434,000 in training funds from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage of the Government of Canada, through the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund (CPAWRF). This funding will create two streams of high-impact, short-term programming in support of skills development for artists, called the Opera Artist Resilience (OAR) Program.  The program will be carried out between November 2022 and March 2023.  

OAR will support artists across two streams of paid skills development:

  1. 225 Mini-mentorships – These are short opportunities to gain skills and insights with an individual over the course of one or two meetings. ($250, 2 hours)
  2. 100 Earn and Learn Placements – Embedded within an organization or project, these paid opportunities help artists improve or develop additional employable skills. This may be alongside opera performance and/or adjacent opportunities. ($2,500, not to exceed 80 hours)

Applications will be accepted until March 6, 2023 and acceptance will be on a rolling basis. All applications will receive a response. It is our intention to fund all eligible applications, however, in case of high demand, applicants may not receive their first choice of opportunities. 

AOC is currently in the first year of our strategic plan Resilience Through Equity. OAR is a strategic response to our third goal: “to support opera artists and professionals through better employment opportunities”. This program will prioritize equity-deserving artists and communities.  

All program participants will receive a one-year membership, at no cost.

Opportunities to learn more about the OAR Program

Zoom Office Hours

We welcome individuals interested in the program to join us for Open Office Hours to discuss the program. Please drop in any time during this 90 minute slot with your questions. Questions can be asked in both French and English. Should you need ASL interpretation or other language or accessibility accommodations please reach out 1 week prior to these days to request at oar@opera.ca

  1. Monday, October 24, 2022 10 AM PT, 1 PM ET (Click Here) password 860669
  2. Tuesday, November 15, 2022 2 PM PT, 5 PM ET (Click Here) password 662387
  3. Thursday, January 9, 2023 12 PM PT, 3 PM ET (Click Here) password 064757

Book a One-on-One

Should you wish to ask questions directly, please email oar@opera.ca. One of our program coordinators (Kristina, Brendan, or Julie) will get back to you.

Information for Opera Artists 

The OAR Program will be available to any opera artist or independent arts worker working in opera regardless of their membership status with AOC. Each component offers a participation honorarium scaled to the length of the work.  The program will be carried out now until mid-March 2023.

Eligibility Criteria

The Opera Artist Resilience Program will be available to any professional opera artist (examples: performers, directors, designers, etc.) regardless of their membership status with AOC.  

For the purposes of this program, Independent/Self-Employed Opera Artists are defined as those who: 

  1. are professional opera artists (examples: performers, directors, designers),
  2. have a recent history (between 2017-2022) of earning professional fees from artistic engagements,  
  3. can demonstrate these professional engagements from 2017-2022 (through their CV), and  
  4. are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. 

Please note that students, in general, are not eligible for this program as it is specifically for workers who are already in the sector and lost employment due to the pandemic.  Should you have a question about your eligibility please reach out to oar@opera.ca.

All program participants will receive a one-year membership, at no cost.


Please fill out the following form: https://airtable.com/shrSTssUfIfDB4kzi

Should you have any questions or need support with the form please email oar@opera.ca and one of our coordinators will respond to you.


All applications will receive a response. It is our intention to fund all eligible applications until our funding runs out. Please note that not every applicant will be deemed eligible, and it is not guaranteed that all eligible applicants will receive placements and / or funding.

Once your application has been processed, depending on the stream you have chosen, you will be sent a link to a database of opportunities. Once you have found an opportunity you are interested in and confirmed with the supervisor of the opportunity that it is a match, OAR Program Coordinators will send an agreement along to both parties.

We cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to the mentor or placement of your choice, we will endeavour to match all interested artists to placement in their areas of interest. 

Should you not find what you are looking for in the database, please be in touch with our OAR Coordinators at oar@opera.ca to discuss options.


Upon completion of your opportunity, you will fill out a brief evaluation survey, after which time your fee will be sent to you.

Information For Organizations, Mentors, and Opportunity Providers

To support the scope of this project, AOC is delighted to partner with six organizations that have committed to providing just under half the opportunities. Those partners span Canada and include Pacific Opera Victoria (BC), re:Naissance Opera (BC), Manitoba Opera (MB),

Opéra de Montréal (QC), Boulev’Art Artists’ Management (QC), Opera on the Avalon (NL).

We are also interested in opportunities provided by other non-profits, for-profits, and individuals. 

Eligibility Criteria

Any non-profits, for-profits, and/or individuals who have the capacity to host a Mini-Mentorship or Earn and Learn Placement are eligible to apply. We cannot guarantee that we will find an individual to fulfill your request. 

In general, the host organization or mentor is unpaid. The OAR Program only has a limited amount of funds for paid mentors and they are exclusively for self-employed workers acting as mentors. Please indicate on your application if you need to be paid to participate. 


Please fill out the following form:

  1. Offer a Mini-Mentorship: https://airtable.com/shrf2ny64HfIiQBEy
  2. Offer an Earn and Learn Placement: https://airtable.com/shrWuDFPmTYg4hpgA

Should you have any questions or need support with the form please email oar@opera.ca and one of our coordinators will respond to you.


Once your opportunity has been approved, it will be added to the database of opportunities. Eligible artists will review that database and reach out to you directly. Should it be a fit, please let us know at oar@opera.ca and we will complete the necessary paperwork.


After the opportunity is complete, you will be asked to confirm that the opportunity was finished.