Donations

The AFA collection's distinguished reputation, combined with our adherence to national standards for maintaining and managing art collections, prompts artists, individual collectors, organizations and corporations to donate works of art.

Significant gifts have included valuable artworks by such internationally recognized artists as members of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr. Read more about how donations were instrumental to the birth of the AFA collection.

Why donate to the AFA collection?

The life of an artwork can be extended significantly when cared for by professionals in a facility designed to preserve it. Furthermore, the artwork is likely to be seen and enjoyed by more Albertans thanks to our high circulation rate.

The AFA is authorized by the Canada Revenue Agency to provide tax receipts for charitable donations of artwork to our collection.

Works of outstanding significance and national importance

The AFA collection maintains a Category “A” Designation by the Department of Canadian Heritage. This means the AFA may apply for certification of works as "Cultural Property," if they meet the criteria of Outstanding Significance and National Importance as established by the Federal government. 

The Category "A" designation is a testament to the high quality of care and professional management of our collection. Learn more about how we care for artwork in our collection.

How we accept donated artworks

The AFA assesses potential donations using the same criteria as for curatorial purchase or through application for purchase programs. Donations tend to be made to the AFA in one of three ways:

  • through unsolicited donations
  • planned giving and bequests
  • exchange or transfer with other public collections

Unsolicited donations

While we welcome inquiries from potential donors, it is important to note that not all donations offered to the AFA collection are necessarily accepted.

Careful consideration is applied prior to accepting any donated artwork and offers of donation are always reviewed through our collection development plans. Learn more about the AFA curatorial criteria and development policies.

Artists or artwork owner’s wishing to propose donations are asked to submit the following for consideration by the Acquisitions Working Group:

  • an Artist CV, which includes information on formal and informal training, exhibitions, awards and any collections (private and public) holding artworks
  • a listing of artworks to be considered (include title, date, medium, technique, dimensions and proposed value)
  • digital images of all artworks to be considered (labeled to correspond with your list)
  • an artist’s statement
  • any additional information as requested by staff

No donation will be accepted with encumbrances from the donor, such as a fixed fair market value, or expectation of Certification of Cultural Property (CCPERB) certification (that is, certified as being of outstanding significance and national importance).

Please note that consideration by the Acquisitions Working Group does not guarantee acceptance of donation.

Planned giving and bequests

Many remarkable works of art appropriate to the AFA collection are held in private art collections. Targeted donation solicitation and planned giving provides an opportunity for owners to consider the legacy value of their artwork and how best to preserve and share these precious works.

Donors wishing to incorporate a gift to the AFA collection in their estate plan should contact the Manager, Art Collections to discuss acquisition priorities. In addition, we always encourage potential donors to discuss their plans with an appropriate expert.

Exchange or transfer

Desirable artworks held in other public collections are occasionally offered for exchange or transfer. This is can happen when a collection has multiple works by historical artists, or when it is changing its collecting mandate.

Should the opportunity present itself, we use the same assessment criteria as for other methods of acquisition.