The Sheilas

The Sheilas … in honour of Sheila Mackay’s philanthropy …

Sheila Hugh Mackay

Sheila Hugh Mackay

Since 2012, Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation has contributed 500,000 in annual facilitation grants to arts organizations and collectives serving the New Brunswick visual arts community. These grants, affectionately known as “the Sheilas” build on Sheila Mackay’s early program of small seed grants to emerging artists. Based on the recommendations of independent jury panels, the Board of Directors offers yearly grants for projects that promise to enhance the creation, interpretation or appreciation of the visual arts in New Brunswick. Based on available resources in any given year, SHMF is committed to investment in projects that adhere to the following principles:

  • A credible concept or idea that is innovative in nature and unrelated to regular operating costs
  • Measurable goals, implementation strategies and evaluation criteria
  • Leadership and expertise
  • Viable financial plans
  • Understanding of contemporary art issues in New Brunswick

Based on a 2022 strategic review, the Board of Directors remains dedicated to supporting impactful, timely initiatives that advance opportunities in exhibition, education and art appreciation.

SHMF invites Sheila grant requests from New Brunswick visual arts organizations and collectives within the range of $10,000 to $20,000.

The Board of Directors, with the goal of investing in the long-term sustainability of visual arts organizations or collectives, calls for applications in one of two major categories selected as a foci for 2024:

  1. Infrastructure projects (physical, digital or human resources) that will build the long-term capacity of organizations offering visual art programming in New Brunswick
  2. Youth-centered projects to support and encourage the development of young visual artists seeking experiences in creative expression.

The Sheila grants are competitive. The most compelling proposals, adjudicated by independent jury panels, will be selected for 2024 investment by our foundation. Organizations may apply in only one category. Grant requests must explain how this project responds to the strategic vision of the organization.

The submission deadline for 2024 requests is February 15, 2024. No late submissions will be accepted.

Note: Individuals do not qualify for the Sheilas. Groups with out-standing reporting are not eligible for additional funding.


Past Sheilas

2020 – Publication
2019 – Enhance the careers of NB artists through exhibitions
2018 – Meaningful networking and educational opportunities
2017 – Infrastructure
2016 – Critical and Documentary Writing
2015 – Infrastructure
2014 – Creation, installation and exhibition of public art
2013 – Development of creation and education projects
Sheila Archives