Guidelines

Public Art Commission Program Application Guidelines

Application Deadline: October 1

Applications for this grant stream are made online through the Grants Application Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) system. To make an application, you will require an online GATE user ID and password. Please e-mail registrationAFA@gov.ab.ca at least five business days prior to the application deadline with the following information:

  • The legal name of the organization;
  • The contact name of the individual responsible for preparing the application on behalf of the organization; and,
  • The contact person’s email address. Important – The GATE user ID and password will be sent to the person at the email address provided by the organization.

E-mailed, faxed, late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. 
For help with this application call 780-427-9968 or toll free 310-0000 before application deadline.

  1. Purpose
  2. Eligible Organizations
  3. Eligible Projects
  4. Application Requirements
  5. Application Submission
  6. Assessment
  7. Notification
  8. Payment
  9. Funding Conditions
  10. Reporting
  11. Questions

1. Purpose

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) Public Art Commission Program is integral to the AFA’s support of The Spirit of Alberta, Alberta’s cultural policy, and the Collections Development Plan.

The Public Art Commission Program assists not-for-profit Organizations by providing a portion of the funding required to administer and commission a specific public art project, through an agreement with the AFA, with the intent that the final work of art becomes a part of the AFA permanent art collection. Once completed, the artwork is placed on long-term loan from the AFA to the Organization. This Program also provides support to Organizations through AFA participation on the commission committees, artist and artwork selection criteria, and celebration of successful public art commission projects.

Public artworks acquired on behalf of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts art collection must fit within the purpose, guiding principles and definitions of the collection as approved in the current Collections Development Plan.  The Collections Development Plan can be found here.

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2. Eligible Organizations

2.1  To be eligible for this Program, applicants must be one of the following:

  • A not-for-profit Organization registered and in good standing with Alberta’s Corporate Registry that has been in operation in Alberta for at least one year;
  • A post-secondary institution established in Alberta and recognized by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology;
  • A library board;
  • An Indian Band as defined by the Indian Act R.S.C. 1985, C.1-5; or
  • A Metis Settlement recognized under the Metis Settlements Act R.S.A. 2000, C.M14.

2.2  This Program provides support for any eligible not-for-profit Organizations that is in good standing with the AFA.

2.3  All applicant Organizations must:

  • Have at least 50 per cent of the Organization’s board members, or ruling council, as residents of Alberta;
  • Demonstrate adherence to good governance principles, effective administration practices, and a commitment to fiscal responsibility

2.4  Ineligible applicants are those that:

  • Are municipalities, commercial enterprises, or K-12 schools;
  • Engage primarily in competition-based activity; or
  • Groups that are not arm’s length from municipalities, commercial enterprises, or K-12 schools.

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3. Eligible Projects

3.1  Eligible projects must be for the selection, design, build and installation of an original work of public art, in a public location in Alberta, created by an eligible artist as outlined in the AFA Collections Development Plan.

3.2  The Organization must have the legal right to place artwork at the proposed location. Applicants leasing spaces where artwork is intended to be placed must include a description of their lease terms, and identify what support they have from their Landlord.

3.3  Eligible projects must not be of an ongoing nature.

3.4  Selection and awarding of an artist commission must occur after an Organization’s application is received by the AFA and an agreement signed between the AFA and the Organization.

3.5  Public Art mediums can include, but are not limited to:

  • Sculpture
  • Installation
  • Fine Craft
  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Prints
  • Photography
  • Multi-media/Time-Based Media projects
  • Murals
  • Mosaics
  • Land art/earth works
  • Projects which incorporate design, architecture, or landscape architecture
  • An edition, multiples or series of artworks may qualify provided the run is limited and consistent with professional artistic standards.

3.6  The Alberta Foundation for the Arts must be incorporated in the overall project in an advisory capacity, and a member of the AFA Board and/or their designate will be included in the Public Art Selection Committee for the final artist and artwork commission selection.

3.7  Applicants may apply for up to 75% of total project expenses, to a maximum amount of $300,000 (divided over a maximum of three years, as determined by the AFA Board of Directors).

3.8  Applicants are expected to provide a minimum of 25% of the total project budget, covering the costs of the following, in cash or in kind, or from other matching funding:

  • Administration of the commission process;
  • Project management costs;
  • Contributions toward items outlined in 3.9 to top-up the application to 25% of total project budget.

3.9  Organizations may apply for eligible expenses that are verifiable through receipts and directly related to the acquisition of a new, site-based artwork. Eligible project expenses include any combination of the following:

  • All costs associated with the creation, fabrication and installation of an original work of art;
  • Equipment rental costs for installation;
  • Site preparation;
  • A portion of costs related to administration and project management of the commission to a maximum of no more than 15% of the total project budget.
  • AFA contributions should be used for the creation, fabrication and installation of the artwork except for any funding advance due upon the agreement signing.

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4. Application Requirements

NOTE: Applications for this program are managed through the GATE online grant application system. Each component identified below must be submitted to the AFA in the noted manner: as a GATE online form or an attachment. Attachments must be uploaded to GATE to complete the application. See the Application User Guide for more information.

4.1  Applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project and must include the following.

In the Application Profile:

  • Current, complete contact information for the primary applicant (GATE online form).

In the Public Art Commission Application:

  • A listing of primary and secondary contact persons and signing authority designate for the application (GATE online form). Organizations must designate one member who is the contact person for all requirements in executing the Public Art Commission Agreement. The organization’s registration details, including Alberta Registration number and Canadian Charitable Registration number (if applicable) (GATE online form).
  • A brief project title/description;
  • The project start and end dates (GATE online form);
  • An Applicant Agreement with e-signature of signing authority designate for the organization (GATE online form);
    • A list of all current board members, including names and titles. For Board Officers such as the Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses must also be included (GATE online form);
    • A project budget, indicating all projected expenditures and non-AFA revenues in Canadian dollars (whether in-kind or financial contributions) for the project (GATE online form). The AFA requested amount will be automatically calculated as the difference between the cost of the project and contributions from other sources. No more than 75% of project costs will be covered by the AFA. Contributions from applicant Organizations are strongly encouraged;
      • A current Organizational Business and/or Strategic Plan (upload attachment).
  • A detailed Project Description (upload attachments), including:
  • A description of how a Public Art Selection Committee will be incorporated into the project, and a listing of any potential candidates (if known) including a short description of their background and their relationship to the applicant organization. The Committee typically is composed of:
    • artists/art professionals;
    • the Project Manager;
    • members of the site’s user groups;
    • persons qualified to ensure an artwork’s technical feasibility;
  •  A description of all planned activities, and expected results and benefits;
  • A detailed schedule of key project dates and milestones for the project;
  • A listing of project leads or key persons working on the project, a short description of their qualifications, and a copy of their resumes (resumes should be no more than four pages);
  •  A listing of all partner organizations mentioned in the application (e.g. funding partners) and a short description of their role and purpose in the project including a contact name, the nature of their industry and their partnership role in the project. For funding partners, please specify if their funding commitment is confirmed or anticipated;
  • A description of how the proposed project fits within the purpose, guiding principles and definitions of the AFA collection and the project’s ability to align with the AFA Collection Development Plan, especially section D: the Strategy and Criteria for Collection Development that can be found here;
  • A description of the suggested site where the artwork will be placed, the impact of the project on the place/community where it is situated, and how the project enhances the public art landscape of the intended site;
  • A description of the performance and achievements of the applicant organization to date.
  • The name and resume of the individual designated to chair the Selection Committee (upload attachment).
  • The Organization’s most recent annual financial statements with Balance Sheet, Statement of Revenues and Expenditures, and Statement of Cash Flows (upload attachment). The financial statement must demonstrate responsible fiscal management.
  • A copy of the Organization’s most recent Annual Return from Alberta’s Corporate Registry (upload attachment).
  • Additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process. These may include, but are not limited to, promotional literature, programs, or newsletters (upload attachment).

4.2  The AFA will retain all materials submitted with Public Art Commission applications.

4.3  Applicants may submit only one Public Art Commission application to the AFA per year.

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5. Application Submission

5.1  Applications must:

  • Be submitted online through the GATE online grant application system;
  • Be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time of the deadline date, unless the deadline falls on a statutory holiday or a weekend when it will be extended until the next working day.

5.2  The AFA does not accept mailed, emailed, faxed or late applications. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible. Applicants should ensure that budgets and timelines are cross-referenced, and are accurate and consistent across all sections of the application.

5.3  Applicants may submit only one application to the AFA each deadline.

5.4  The application deadline is October 1, annually.

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6. Assessment

6.1  The AFA Acquisitions Working Group, with assistance from external peers and experts, reviews all eligible Public Art Commission applications from Organizations submitted, and recommends projects to the Board.

6.2  The Acquisitions Working Group process is:

  • Prior to the start of the review meeting, all members receive a package for review with copies of all eligible project applications and proposals that are received within the current period.
  • The Committee meets to consider each application and to review support materials. The Committee must reach consensus on if a project will be recommended for funding and the amount of funding and the funding period over which it will be provided.
  • The Committee may recommend funding for only part of the project or amounts for specific purposes as stated in the final agreement which must be signed before funding can be issued.
  • A recommendation for any successful Public Art Commission project is made to the AFA Board of Directors for approval.

6.3  The Committee assesses the merit of each application both on its own terms and in relation to all other applications received for a given deadline. Assessment of a commission project is based on the following general criteria:

  • The ability of the project and the applicant Organization to align with the AFA Collection Development Plan, especially section D, the Strategy and Criteria for Collection Development;
  • The impact of the project on the place/community where it is situated;
  • How the project enhances the public art landscape of the intended site;
  • The appropriateness of the project budget, in relation to its location, and including evidence of in-kind and/or financial contributions from the applicant. Contributions from applicant Organizations are strongly encouraged;
  • The feasibility of the project scope and scale;
  • The feasibility of the proposed timeline
  • The ability of the applicant Organization to carry out the proposed project;
  • The performance and achievements of the applicant Organization to date.

6.4  All Committee recommendations are reviewed by the AFA Collection Committee and the AFA Board and their decisions are final.

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7. Notification

7.1  Applicants will be notified in writing of the result of their application within six (6) months of the application deadline, and may include feedback from the Collections Acquisition Committee.

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8. Payment

8.1  Once a project is approved, Organizations will sign a multi-year agreement, outlining the deliverables and payment schedule.

a. The first payment will be made upon the development of an agreement between the Organization and the AFA regarding the details of the project to be funded and upon the signing of an agreement between the AFA and the Organization.

b. Future payments will proceed annually, according to the timeline of the project.

c. A final payment will be issued upon completion of the commission and receipt and approval of final reporting documentation.

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9. Funding Conditions

9.1  Funding for this purchase program is established by the AFA Board of Directors.

9.2  The annual AFA budget is based upon funds allocated in the annual Government of Alberta budget. The AFA reserves the right to adjust project allocations for the duration of a maximum three-year commitment in the event of funding changes to the annual AFA budget and/or discontinue project funding for any or all applicants in the event that sufficient funding is not available in the AFA’s budget in a given year.

9.3  The successful Organization will be required to enter into an Agreement with the AFA, for the administration and project management of the Public Art Commission project applied for.

9.4  The final artist and artwork selection must comply with the AFA’s Collections Development Plan and be approved by the AFA before a sub-contract is signed by the Organization with the artist.

9.5  Funding provided through the Public Art Commission Program must be used for the artwork commission as described in the agreement and as approved by the AFA. If funding is used for any other purpose, including changes in the outcome or in the final location of the artwork, the AFA may require the recipient to return all of the funds unless the change is:

  • Submitted in writing; and
  • Approved by the AFA before the change is made.

9.6  Organizations must prepare and have the commissioned artist sign a contract, approved by the AFA, which outlines the process and expectations of the project before the artist receives their first payment. The AFA must receive a copy of the artist contract for their records before the project commences.

9.7  If applicants require an extension to their project, or reporting dates, a request must be submitted in writing. The AFA may consider a single extension per project.

9.8  Credit to the AFA for financial support must be acknowledged in any publicity in relation to the project, including electronic, print, or visual material. Failure to satisfy the AFA recognition requirements will result in the cancellation of the funding and requirement to return all of the funds. The AFA provides electronic versions of its logo for use in meeting recognition requirements. These may be downloaded from the website www.affta.ab.ca.

9.9  Any and all artwork produced as the result of a successful Public Art Commission project remains the permanent property of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts art collection. A long-term loan agreement between the Organization and the AFA will be signed upon completion of the artwork. While artworks may be site-specific, the AFA retains the right to manage the care and preservation of the work of art, in perpetuity. At a future date, the artwork may be removed from the site when and if deemed appropriate by the AFA.

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10. Reporting

Reporting for this program is managed through the GATE online grant application system. Each component identified below must be submitted to the AFA in the noted manner – online forms or attachments. Attachments must be uploaded to the GATE system to complete the application. See the Reporting User Guide for more information.

10.1  For multi-year Public Art Commission projects, an interim annual report by will be due on the dates specified in the Agreement that consists of the following:

In the Applicant Profile:

  • Current, complete contact and registration information (GATE online form).

In the Project Grant Interim Report:

  • A complete and accurate financial accounting for the project to date based on the original budget submission (GATE online form);
    • A copy of the Organization’s most recent Annual Return from Alberta’s Corporate Registry (upload attachment);
    • An update of the Organization’s planned timelines and activities related to the Public Art Commission project;
    • Artist proposals, as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Copies of related artist solicitation/procurement documents, as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Any reviews, publications, invitations, and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned, as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Final selection of successful artist parameters, as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Results of any RFEI and RFP processes, as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Signed agreement with selected artist, as appropriate (upload attachment).

10.2  Successful applicant Organizations must submit a report upon completion of the project, on the date specified in the agreement. The complete final report must be received before final commission payment is made. The final report must include:

In the Applicant Profile:

  • Current, complete contact and registration information (GATE online form).

In the Project Grant Final Report:

  • A complete and accurate financial report, based on the original budget comparing actual project expenditures  and  demonstrating that funds were spent on the activities described in the application (GATE online form);
    • A copy of the Organization’s most recent Annual Return from Alberta’s Corporate Registry (upload attachment).
    • Description of the results of the project, and an evaluation of its success in relation to the original objectives as stated in the application and project description (upload attachment)
    • Artist proposals as appropriate (upload attachment)
    • Copies of related artist solicitation/procurement documents, as appropriate (upload attachment)
    • A copy of any publicity or promotional materials projects in which AFA support is acknowledged and any reviews, publications, invitations, and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Final selection of successful artist parameters, as appropriate (upload attachment)
    • Results of any RFEI and RFP processes, as appropriate (upload attachment)
    • Signed agreement with selected artist, as appropriate (upload attachment);
    • Artist and artwork data required to formally accession the artwork into the AFA art collection, and a Reproduction/Exhibition Agreement signed by the Commissioned Artist(s) (upload attachment);
    • A copy of all invoices from the artist establishing Fair Market Value paid for the artwork (upload attachment);
    • A signed long-term art loan agreement between the Organization and the AFA (upload attachment).

10.3  New applications will not be accepted until the previous project is completed (final report received and approved by the AFA), and at least three (3) calendar years have passed since the Organizations previous completed project.

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11. Questions

11.1  For assistance with this application, call the AFA at (780) 427-9968. Toll-free calls can be made by first dialing 310.000.

11.2  To obtain a GATE user ID and password, please email the AFA at registrationAFA@gov.ab.ca a minimum of five business days prior to the application deadline.