Exhibition Loan Procedure

Eligibility to Receive Loans for Exhibition

All Loans from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) Art Collection are done in compliance with the Exhibition Loans Policy. Loans from the AFA Art Collection will be considered for bona fide cultural institutions with mandates similar to, and for purposes that correspond with the spirit and intention of the AFA and its programs. These cultural institutions may include public museums, art galleries, interpretive centres, archives, and other collecting or exhibiting organizations. Loans to individuals will not be permitted.

Access and loan requests for purposes other than exhibition, such as for research, should be directed to the appropriate Art Collections Consultant for consideration.

Preliminary Inquiries

The Art Collection Consultant – Art Exhibitions is available to advise on the curatorial selection and general availability of works for loan. The AFA Art Collection welcomes early discussions about works under consideration. Preliminary research for a loan should be carried out well in advance so that the formal request can be made in time.

The Art Collection Consultant – Art Exhibitions, when necessary, may provide a detailed report to the inquiring Curator with images, for the purposes of final loan selection. In addition, access to the Arts Branch Collections Resource Centre is available by appointment (M-F 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).


A request to borrow works of art from the Collection must be in the form of a letter, sent via letter mail (or a signed, scanned copy via e-mail or fax 780-422-9132) to Erin McDonald, Manager, Art Collections,  10708-105 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5H 0A1 (erin.mcdonald@gov.ab.ca) who will refer the request to the appropriate team member(s).

Formal request for loans should include the following:

  • Title of the exhibition (working title acceptable)
  • Exhibition venue(s) and dates
  • Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the exhibition organizer
  • Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address for the person responsible for the exhibition at each venue
  • Scope of the exhibition
  • List of works requested quoting AFA accession numbers  (these can be obtained from the AFA online collection http://alberta.emuseum.com)
  • Reasons for inclusion of the AFA works of art

Any subsequent changes to these details must be confirmed in writing.


After receiving a formal request, the approval procedure for loans involves discussions between collections management and curatorial staff. All loan requests should be formally submitted in advance of the loan request deadline. Submission by the loan request deadline does not guarantee approval. Loan request cut off times are outlined below, and represent the minimum amount of time required prior to the anticipated outbound shipping date:

Loan Details


Intraprovincial (AB), requesting <20 works

3 months (90 days)

Intraprovincial (AB), requesting 20+ works

6 months (180 days)

Western Canada (BC, YK, SK)

6 months (180 days)

National (NWT, MB, ON, QC, NS, NB, PEI, ND)

9 months (270 days)


12 months (365 days)

Please note that in the event that a work of art is formally requested, and the borrower no longer requires it, it may be cancelled with written notice in advance of the agreed upon shipping date. In the event that a work of art is formally requested, and the borrower subsequently requests an alternate artwork, the AFA requires a new application be submitted within the Loan Request Deadline time frame.

Facility Report

Potential borrowers may be asked to submit a Facility Report, unless the borrower has a current report on file with us. The report on file should be dated within the past three years; otherwise a new report will be required. If a loan is requested for an exhibition tour, facilities reports must be provided for all venues. Borrowing institutions must normally have at least one staff member professionally trained in handling museum works of art.

Deadlines for submitting facilities reports and any requested supplementary materials (recent actual relative environmental [temperature and humidity] readings for display area(s), insurance provisions, final dates and venues) will be forwarded after the loan is approved, and will be no less than 30 days in advance of object shipment.

Loan Review & Assessment

Once received, Exhibition Loan requests are typically reviewed and responded to in a reasonable amount of time. All Loans will be reviewed in relation to availability of requested artwork, integrity of the requested artwork relative to the intended purpose of the loan (e.g. some artworks may not be stable enough for shipping, however a local loan may be considered), and the ability of the borrowing institution to meet museum quality care and standards.

All Exhibition Loan requests will be responded to with a letter from the Manager, Art Collections within two to three weeks of receipt of the request, approving or declining the loan. Subsequent correspondence will normally be with curatorial, and collections management staff.

Exhibition Loan Period

Artworks may be loaned for a maximum period of two (2) years, including proposed exhibition dates plus time for travel and installation as required. Loan periods beyond this may be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will require new loan documentation.

Works of Exceptional Value/Significance

Works with an appraised value over $100,000 may require additional review and authorization, and can increase the response time to a request by one to two weeks.

Associated Costs

Borrowing institutions are responsible for the safety and security of all AFA artwork while on loan. The AFA will establish the insurance value for each artwork requested for loan, and the borrowing institution is responsible to obtain Door-to-Door insurance for all the artwork loaned to them. The AFA reserves the right to request a Certificate of Insurance from the Borrower, listing the Lender as the loss payee for the full replacement value of the Loan.

The AFA aims to make artworks and Exhibition Loans accessible provincially, nationally and internationally. The AFA does not charge an Exhibition Loan fee.

Borrowers are responsible for all coordination and costs associated with appropriate fine arts shipping of artwork. The Borrower is responsible for arranging and contracting with a fine art shipping company, and all associated costs.

Credit Lines

The AFA requires appropriate recognition of all loans for public exhibition. Exhibition credit lines and artwork labels should reasonably reflect the AFA’s contribution. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts should be appropriately credited as:

Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts